Ian, aged 41, has been on the Children’s Panel for four years.
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The father-of-two heard about the panel in what some might say, a rather unconventional manner when catching up with an old friend at a funeral.
He said: “I first heard about the panel through a friend who explained the process and the ethos behind the organisation. I decided to look into it further and something struck a chord with me, prompting me to join.
“I find the idea of helping children going through tough times very interesting so decided to get stuck in and begin my training. Luckily the company I work for has been extremely understanding and already encourages employees to volunteer, so fitting the initial training around my work was very easy.
“This has been followed up by one or two other sessions a month which I manage to attend out of hours. This also helped me learn new, transferrable skills such as dealing with situations under pressure, something I deal with on a daily basis in my role in I.T sales.
“Being on the panel has also given me an insight to how different circumstances affect children in society. I don’t think there is such a thing as a bad child, just the circumstance of how they are living.
“For anyone thinking about joining, I’d have to say you need to be taking the role very seriously. You need to think how you will cope as a lot of the cases can be quite shocking and be confident in your decision-making.
“Apart from the training and sitting on hearings themselves being quite time consuming, knowledge is power and I’ve found the panel really opens your eyes. It prepares you to make tough decisions but at the end of the day, you are part of a wide network helping improve the lives of children across Scotland.”