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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Charity creates new leadership role to strengthen youth and community voices

This news post is about 1 year old

Sistema Scotland hopes to help amplify youth and community voices.

A Scottish music charity has created a new job in its organisation to support community voices. 

Sistema Scotland has appointed Paul Sullivan to the post of director for children, young people and communities, which is a new position.

It is a marker of the growth, impact, and maturity of Sistema Scotland, as it continues to invest in the wellbeing of children, young people, and communities to build an inclusive and vibrant future.  

In his new role, Paul will be a champion for Big Noise children, young people and community members and will ensure the programme is designed to meet their needs, support their rights, and amplify their voices, representing their views both within and outside the organisation. 

The job will have a particular focus on how Sistema Scotland works for children, families, and communities across its Big Noise programmes, which operate in some of the country's most disadvantaged neighbourhoods.

The charity is proud to champion and strengthen its approach to inclusion, ensuring the maximum number of children and families can be supported by Big Noise.

And the new leadership role will also maximise the contribution Sistema Scotland can make to national and regional strategies and approaches to tackling child poverty and inequality in Scotland. 

Nicola Killean, chief executive of Sistema Scotland, said: “I am delighted to welcome Paul to strengthen the leadership team at Sistema Scotland in this ambitious and strategic new role.

“We have made a clear commitment in our strategy to strengthen youth and community voice, and to use our organisation to amplify the voices of the families we represent.

“I am excited to see how this role will build on the work that is happening in our Big Noise communities, continue to build on our commitment to inclusive approaches, and enable the children and young people to shape the future direction of the organisation.” 

Paul joins the Sistema Scotland team after a successful five-and-a-half years as Sector Engagement Lead at the Centre for Excellence for Children’s Care and Protection (CELCIS), based at the University of Strathclyde.

At CELCIS, he worked closely with the Scottish Government and other partners to design and implement policy that supports children, young people, and families.  

During his time at CELCIS, Paul was seconded to the Independent Care Review as its Policy, Participation and Influencing Manger.

The Care Review heard over 5,500 lived experiences, and their stories shaped everything the review concluded – including The Promise made to Scotland’s care experienced children and young people that they will grow up loved, safe and respected.

Paul also led on research with young refugees and the delivery of CELCIS’s participation strategy.  

He said: “I’m absolutely delighted to join Sistema Scotland as Director for Children, Young People and Communities.

“I can already see the amazing impact of Big Noise, and I’m excited to work with centres across Scotland to further strengthen and share more widely our approaches to inclusion.

“Children, young people and families already show such a strong ownership over their community’s Big Noise programme, and the organisation has strategically prioritised strengthening their voices further and ensuring their rights are upheld.

“I’m looking forward to working alongside our children and families to ensure their views shape what we deliver and they feel ownership and agency over what happens in their local community and beyond.”