We would like to share with you some updates on current projects and information on how to get involved.

Firstly, I would like to introduce myself as the new project worker (care-experienced community) with Staf. My name is Katrina, I have been in post for a month now and have been made to feel very welcome by everyone at Staf and the fantastic advisory group for the Real Toolkit. I am a care-experienced person myself and my background is in Youth work. I have a degree in Community development and also volunteer regularly. I love to be adventurous and enjoy kayaking, camping and cave hunting in my spare time.

As part of my role with Staf I will be working with the Real Toolkit Advisory group on developing and launching The Real Toolkit. Last week the Advisory Group met to discuss the next stages of developing The Real Toolkit. The advisory group have been working hard in developing the toolkit and we would like to share some of the things we have been doing and what’s next to come!

The Real Toolkit Advisory Group have been incredibly welcoming and I have been blown away by the work they have done up until now and their ideas and visions for the future. The Real Toolkit is an online resource that offers actionable guidance for young people and the workforce. REAL stands for Relationships, Empathy And Love. These are our guiding values that underpin the toolkit. You can visit the toolkit here: https://www.therealtoolkit.scot/ where you can also join our mailing list. If you are interested in joining the REAL toolkit advisory group you can contact me by phone: 07931766456 or by email: [email protected].  We meet every two weeks on a Tuesday between 3pm-5pm.

The advisory group is made up of young people and workers who have been co-producing every aspect of the Toolkit. Right now we are busy writing guides to be added to the website continuously. You can follow updates and progress on our Instagram page and our twitter account

Furthermore, as part of my role with Staf I will be creating a steering group of people with care experience to develop critical, creative, independent and active decision making and participation. This is a brand new project which will give people with care-experience the opportunity to discuss and debate issues that matter to them and to understand these issues in the context of wider social, political and economic forces. The steering group will be a community of people with care-experience that will aim to recognise and build on existing skills, knowledge and expertise by learning from shared experiences and working in collaboration with decision makers to influence Scottish Government Policy. This project will be underpinned by a co-design ethos, ensuring that people with care-experience are central to shaping the project and informing policy development. In addition to creating a mechanism that strengthens the voice of people with care experience at the heart of Staf’s work influencing policy and practice. If you would like to be involved in this project or have any questions you can contact me at [email protected]

Take care,