Published 27 January 2022

Children's Hearings Scotland have launched a campaign to recruit new volunteer Panel Members in West Dunbartonshire.

The service is keen to hear from residents who are interested in playing a crucial role to support infants, children and young people across the area.

The campaign aims to attract a diverse range of applicants, with an emphasis on recruiting more men and young people as traditionally membership from both is low.

Anyone aged 18 or over can apply to become a member, though the organisation is particularly keen for applicants to have trust, compassion, be a good listener and have empathy.

Children’s Hearing Scotland is also keen to enroll care experienced young people.

Councillor Karen Conaghan, Chair of Educational Services and the Council’s representative on the West Dunbartonshire Area Support Team, said: “As a Council we are dedicated to improving the lives of our children and young people and Children’s Hearings Scotland has a key part to play in achieving that. Over the years we have had the services of so many committed Panel Members who have dedicated their time to helping and supporting local families.  I would encourage anyone who can spare a few hours every month, to please get in touch and together we can make a real difference to children and families going through difficult times.”

Judy Wilson, Area Convener of the Area Support Team, added: “We are keen to hear from anyone who thinks they have the skills that make a good Panel Member.  These include listening, trust, empathy and compassion to make a positive difference in a young person’s life.  Key to our role is helping children and young people who have experienced some difficulties in their lives to receive the help and support required for them to achieve their full potential. We are particularly keen to hear from adults who are care experienced and men who are currently underrepresented within our Panel Community. Volunteers are essential to ensure the consistent and smooth operation of the Children’s Panel, so I would encourage residents or those who work in the Local Authority area to apply and help us support the young people in West Dunbartonshire.” 

Anyone interested in becoming a Children’s Panel Member, or who would like to find out more, should visit contact Scott Kelly at the Council on 07972147274 or email   Applications close on Wednesday, 9 February.