Appeal for Children’s Panel volunteers

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With the deadline for applications approaching, an urgent appeal has been issued for new Children’s Panel volunteers in the Western Isles.

Locally, eight new panel members are needed this year to ensure the system offers the best possible support. People who live and work in the area are being urged to apply by the 11 October deadline if they think they have what it takes to help a child or young person out of a dark place.

Panel members play a crucial role in helping neglected, troubled and abused children and young people, attending hearings to address the needs and behaviour of those who face serious problems in their life.

No qualifications are needed as full training is provided. However applicants need to be over 18, have the time to commit to attending hearings, and have empathy and a genuine interest in helping vulnerable children and young people living in the Western Isles.

Bernadette Monaghan, National Convener, Children’s Hearings Scotland, said: “As the campaign to recruit new volunteers to the national Children’s Panel draws to a close, we are urging people in communities across Scotland to apply.

“Having served on the Children’s Panel for nine years, I know from experience the valuable role the 2,500 volunteers play in helping children at risk out of dark places.

“We don’t need people with specialist skills, simply those with the capacity to care about, and communicate with, children, young people and families.

“If you think you could be that person, then I’d urge you to apply ahead of the deadline. It won’t just change a child’s life, it’ll change yours too.”

To find out more about becoming a panel member, visit www.childrenspanelscotland.org