‘THIS IS THE FIRST TIME I’VE BEEN ABLE TO EXPRESS MY OPINION IN THIS WAY. WE MAY BE CHILDREN BUT WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.’
At Children’s Parliament we say that every space we create is a Children’s Parliament – where people come together to talk, listen and share, express their views and be taken seriously. Building on this idea, the National Sitting culminated in the construction of a Children’s Parliament using materials from the event. This physical structure is a reminder of how important it is to listen to children and value their contributions to issues that impact upon children’s lives.
With the Scottish Government’s commitment to putting the views of children and young people at the heart of decisions through Getting It Right for Every Child and the new Children and Young People Act (Scotland) 2014, Children’s Parliament is determined to help children to think critically about their lives and create opportunities for them to share their views with those adults who make decisions about them. As part of our core funding from the Scottish Government’s Third Sector Early Intervention Fund, we have committed to holding an annual national event bringing together children and strategic decision makers.
This one-day event brought together 75 Members of Children’s Parliament (MCPs), 12 Youth Ambassadors and 75 professionals from Scottish Government, local authorities, NHS, Police Scotland and other public bodies, schools and universities and third sector organisations. CP Sits in Edinburgh was attended by two special guests – Sir Harry Burns and Fiona McLeod MSP, Minister for Children and Young People.
Together the participants looked at what children need to be healthy, happy and safe at home, in school and in their communities; what can get in the way; and finally, what actions we can take to ensure that Scotland is the best place to grow up.
Call to Action
Following the First National Sitting, Children’s Parliament collected the views and ideas that were shared by the participants throughout the day and created the Children’s Wellbeing: A Call to Action poster:
National Sitting 2015 was supported by: