“It has been a very challenging year for Children’s Health Scotland, a year in which there has never been a greater need for the children and young people we serve to be able to exercise their rights to good health, education, and wellbeing.” Professor Richard Olver, Chair, Children’s Health Scotland
Over the past year Children’s Health Scotland has clearly demonstrated its resilience, ability, and commitment to supporting the health and wellbeing of children and young people and those who love and care for them, as detailed in their latest Annual Review and Impact Report which has been published today (Friday 22 September 2023).
As more and more families are struggling with rising living costs, unable to afford the very basics, the charity has continued its work with partners and health professionals to provide essential health and wellbeing support, reaching over 14,548 children, young people, parents, and carers. Staff, trustees, volunteers, and partners have worked together to empower the children and young people they support with healthcare rights knowledge and life-long self-management skills that will help to influence their health and wellbeing whilst shaping their future life chances.
Commenting on the publication of the latest Annual Review and Impact Report by Children’s Health Scotland, Professor Richard Olver, Chair of the charity said: “It has been a very challenging year for Children’s Health Scotland, a year in which there has never been a greater need for the children and young people we serve to be able to exercise their rights to good health, education, and wellbeing. As can be noted in the Report, we have achieved a gross income of £353,659 with an expenditure of £396,560 with our funds under management remaining satisfactory. This is evidence of just how challenging we have found the past year, during which time demand for our services has increased whilst fundraising has become incredibly difficult.
“We know that many of the children and young people we support struggle with anxiety, self-esteem and self-efficacy difficulties, social isolation, and loneliness – all of which have been compounded by the pandemic and now the cost-of-living crisis. We also know that all children and young people have an explicit right to achieve their developmental potential and to sustain the highest possible standard of health, education, and wellbeing – rights enshrined in UNCRC Article 24. Our challenge continues to be for them to know and understand these rights, so that they can ask for the help and services that they are entitled to and have their voices heard.
“Without doubt the next few years will to continue to be extremely challenging as we continue to recover from the pandemic whilst tackling a cost-of-living crisis. I know that Children’s Health Scotland will remain committed to doing everything possible to support the health and wellbeing of children and young people and their right to the best possible health. This cannot be achieved without the continuing hard work, knowledge and enthusiasm of our staff, the dedication of our supporters and volunteers, and the generosity of our funders, for which I express our gratitude.”
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
After 12 years as Chair of Children’s Health Scotland, Professor Richard Olver will be stepping down at the AGM of Children’s Health Scotland, which is to be held on Saturday 30 September 2023. Reflecting on his time as Chair with the charity, Professor Olver added: “It has been a privilege to work with a wonderful team, trustees, and staff, united in our commitment to the health and wellbeing of children and young people. At our AGM, I will pass on the role of Chair to Maggie Simpson, confident that the charity will continue its successful trajectory. Maggie brings a wealth of experience within the childcare sector to the organisation and to the Executive Committee and her leadership and expertise will undoubtedly enhance the impact of Children’s Health Scotland as the leading children’s health charity in Scotland.”
Looking to the future, Children’s Health Scotland will remain focused on supporting the health and wellbeing of children and young people through the provision of its four main services whilst adhering to its mission, values and five key strategic priorities as outlined in its Children’s Health Scotland Strategy 2020-23. The charity has also launched a new campaign – My Health, My Rights – to voice the healthcare concerns and priorities raised by the children and young people they support, whilst growing awareness of healthcare rights and the benefits of health-related play.
However, two major pieces of work which will be completed during the next year will be the development of their new strategy and the start of the next Children in Hospital Survey. Since 1985, Children’s Health Scotland has carried out surveys of Scottish NHS hospitals admitting children and young people every 4-6 years and the next survey will highlight the good practice and progress that has been made in the provision of children’s services in hospitals, whilst also identifying areas where improvements need to be made. It is an important piece of research and one which helps to shape the future of services for children and young people in our hospitals.