Graham, a civil engineer specialising in bridges, has been a Panel Member for over 10 years in Aberdeenshire.
Originally from England, Graham had little familiarity with Scotland's unique Children’s Hearing System.
“I knew very little about the Children’s Panel, particularly coming from down south where there is no such thing, until I saw the advertisements.
“The chance to help local children and young people was the main driver for me applying, although it would also be true that the opportunity for self-development, such as improving my face to face communication skills, was also a consideration.”
Graham applies his skills as an engineer to his work as a volunteer Panel Member.
“As an engineer I have quite an analytical mind and an eye for detail which certainly helps when trying to work out what the best possible decision would be in order to achieve the best possible outcome for a child or young person.
“I am also a good listener and caring but I think that is true for all Panel Members as they are essential qualities!”
For Graham, the strength in the Children’s Hearings System is its focus on putting the needs of the child or young person at the heart of every decision.
“The Panel put the needs, rights and welfare of the individual child or young person first and foremost in every decision made. It offers vital support for children and young adults in a difficult position.
“Being a Panel Member isn’t easy, sometimes it can be tough, but it is ultimately rewarding when you see improvements in the outlook for a child or young person.”
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