16 June 2023

Aberdeenshire Children's Panel members celebrated

Members of Aberdeenshire Children’s Panel have been honoured for their support of young people.

Panel Members are volunteers from local communities who take part in children's hearings. Their role is to listen and make legal decisions with and for infants, children and young people. 

Celebrating milestones at an event at Woodhill House were Yvonne Bernard, who has been with the panel for 10 years, along with Andrew Beck, Carol Sugden, Catherine Mackay, Emily Bell, Neal Morris, Patricia Davies and Tracey Smith, who have all been with the panel for five years.

There was also recognition for three panel members who have sat on the largest number of hearings in the last three years, with Dorothy Donald on 179, Chris Carden on 167, and Steve Buchan on 155.

The event, held on Monday (June 12) was supported by the National Convener for Children’s Hearings Scotland (CHS) Elliot Jackson. CHS is the body that recruits and supports volunteer Panel Members.

Also honoured was Abbie Montgomery-Fox who was with the panel for four years as a panel member, panel representative, learning and development coordinator and Children's Hearings Scotland Learning Academy Facilitator.

Aberdeenshire Provost Judy Whyte presented the awards.

She said: “It was fantastic to attend and celebrate the people who are there to ensure that the young person is at the heart of every decision made.

“These amazing people are there to ensure every decision makes Aberdeenshire’s infants, children and young people feel safe, loved, valued and respected.

“No matter how big or small the decision, it has an impact on the life of the child or young person in the hearing.

“It’s an important role that is hugely rewarding.”

Across Scotland, the organisation is looking to recruit volunteers from a diverse range of backgrounds aged 18 and over who can listen, show empathy, build trust and show compassion to support this group of young people. 

As part of your role as a Panel Member in Aberdeenshire you will be expected to commit to sit on two children’s hearings every month and also to attend at least five learning and development opportunities per year. 

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