Investing in Infants to Realise The Promise
I’m Jimmy, and I believe that all infants deserve the best start in life. I am committed to making that happen, hence why I spend a few days a year supporting Cattanach as an Associate. I work with the Grants Committee to make decisions on what we fund, and I support organisations with their funding applications.
I have worked and volunteered in a range of leadership roles across health and social care for nearly 10 years. My time as a co-chair at the Independent Care Review was quite special, and an experience that I will always treasure. Currently, I work at CELCIS, I am a fellow at the Royal Society of the Arts and the Chair of a new charity called ProjectChange. I spent time delivering a programme of voluntary work at the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Community, and I have been recognised for my leadership skills internationally by the British Council. I am extremely passionate about the move to a "wellbeing economy" and will be getting more involved in making this a reality in Scotland in 2021. I feel fortunate to be involved in all of these fantastic things.
We in Scotland have a clear mandate to deliver what I call less heroic (but socially significant) acts of prevention. How can we turn off the tap, rather than try to frantically empty the overflowing sink? How can we work alongside people (in the absence of judgment) and invest in communities, ensuring this is where power lies? We must build a nation that does not allow for poverty and hardship to exist in the first place, rather than believe it is inevitable and attempt to patch up the damage. These are things that have been said many times before, but we have a unique opportunity to achieve this thanks to The Promise, where all of the above is evidenced in a clear human and economic cost model and detailed in a blueprint for change. Central to all of this is investing in families and in infants in ways that we have never done before, and this paper written by Katherine Trebeck and Amy Baker is one of my favourite articulations of how we do this and why this is essential.
As a parent of baby Finlay, I know very well that he can communicate with me. He tells me when he’s hungry, happy, sad, and a whole range of other things. I just need to know how to understand his cues! As a nation, we have a lot of work to do to ensure that decisions that are made about the lives of infants genuinely has their wellbeing at heart and that we don’t just pay lip service to represent their experiences and needs. UNCRC Article 12 compels us to do better. We also have a lot of work to do to ensure that we are ‘holding the hands of the adults who hold the hands of children so that every child can experience really healthy attachment and that Scotland is the best place for children to “grow up loved, safe, and respected so that we realise our full potential”.
If it’s not already obvious, the reason I wanted to be an Associate at Cattanach is that it is an organisation that works fearlessly to realise this vision. It’s only a few days a year commitment on my part, but I get to support a fantastic organisation that funds fantastic work.
I look forward to connecting with you all as we make this vision a reality.