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Welcome to the team | Meg Thomas

Gary Seath 1 month ago

Influencing Policy Media

Introducing our new Deputy CEO and Policy Lead, Meg Thomas.

Meg will lead our exciting policy work, following the release of Forces Children Scotland’s Influencing Strategy last year, as well as provide her invaluable knowledge, skills, and experience to help the charity realise its respective strategic outcomes across its five services.

To get to know Meg a little better, we asked her to answer a couple of questions as she makes a start settling into her new role.

 

What inspired you to apply for the role with Forces Children Scotland?

“I first became aware of the work of Forces Children Scotland when the Influencing Strategy was launched.

“I was so impressed with the strategy and the co-production methods to create it with the children and young people from armed forces communities. From there I looked at the other co-produced materials. I applied for the role, as it was an exciting opportunity to join an organisation committed to genuine co-production to make a difference in children’s lives.”

 

What do you bring to the role in terms of knowledge, skills, and experience?

“I qualified as a Social Worker in Australia in 1993 and worked there for 10 years before moving to Scotland in 2003.

“In the last thirty years I have worked in a variety of roles in both the charitable and statutory sectors. I bring to this role, an extensive knowledge of service delivery and management, well developed skills in listening to and amplifying the voices of children and young people who are often least heard and the experience of combining these two things to influence decision makers across the political spectrum.”

What are you looking forward to most regarding your role?

“I am passionate about promoting and protecting children’s human rights.

“I think that children from armed forces and veteran families experience some of the greatest challenges in having their rights respected due to the sacrifices their parents make through serving. Despite this, they are one of the least heard groups when it comes to decision making.

“For children from armed forces communities in Scotland, they face the additional possibility of falling between the gaps of reserved and devolved powers in law making. I am looking forward to the challenge and opportunity of representing the views of forces children, creating situations for them to influence directly and together, seeing change which will mean better lives for all forces children.”

It is an exciting time to be involved in policy, isn’t it?

“Just before joining Forces Children Scotland, I had the privilege of doing some work for the Children and Young People’s Commissioner for Scotland.

“While I was there the UNCRC Incorporation (Scotland) Bill passed (for the second time) and the office was working on the strategic plan for the next four years.

“I hadn’t joined Forces Children Scotland yet but I was able to influence the planning to ensure that the voice and experience of forces children were included in the development of the plan. I am so excited to see how I can work with everyone involved with Forces Children Scotland and the wider sector to promote the rights of forces children.

“Scotland has an opportunity to lead the way and I am excited to play a small part in that.”

 

How things going so far – How are you settling in?

“Today is day 10 and I am very much still settling in, still reading, reading, reading, and still getting to know everyone in the organisation.

“Coming in at the point where we are writing our operational plan for next year is exciting, as I get to plan with the team how to take forward the Influencing Strategy and realise the aspirations of the children and young people involved in developing it.

“Policy at Forces Children Scotland is in an excellent place, thanks to the fantastic work of Carly Elliot-Scott and I am excited to move it forward. I want to thank everyone I have met so far, who have been so welcoming and tolerant of my many curious questions. I am looking forward to meeting the children and young people, our partners and supporters, and working together to achieve change.”

 

Would you like to know more about Forces Children Scotland’s Policy work?

Contact Meg