30 June 2022
Call for nominations to the National Collaborative Change Team and Reference Groups
The Scottish Government has made an important commitment to put people with lived and living experience at the heart of the National Mission to reduce drug related deaths. Involving people affected by problem substance use is important for a human rights based approach to policy making. This approach aims to empower people so that their voices and their rights are acted on in decision-making.
In January 2022, the First Minister appointed Professor Alan Miller, an internationally recognised human rights leader, to lead on this work. Professor Miller will bring together people affected by drugs and alcohol and people who have a responsibility to provide services in the National Collaborative. The National Collaborative will make recommendations to the Government and will make decisions independently. Secretariat support for the National Collaborative will be provided by the Drugs Policy Division from the Scottish Government Population Health Directorate.
This is an open invitation for people to nominate themselves or somebody else to be part of the Change Team of the National Collaborative, and for groups who want to advise and influence the National Collaborative to put themselves forward as Reference Groups.
We are asking a number of organisations to look across their networks and consider whether there are individuals who would be interested in taking part in this work. This letter invites you to share this opportunity with people who you think may be interested in taking part.
The Role Specification for the Change Team and role specification for reference groups describe the different roles and purposes. They also set out what being part of the Change Team or being a reference group involves.
Who should get involved
There isn’t an ideal Change Team participant, or type of Reference Group - participants won’t need to act or speak in a certain way. The National Collaborative is intended to be an inclusive space for genuine dialogue. That will involve trying to understand each other better but also allowing space for differing views too.
It is important that the Change Team include people from as many different backgrounds, identities and experiences as possible. Therefore, we particularly welcome nominations from people who may experience multiple barriers to having their rights recognised and respected.
Please note however that participants will be asked to contribute based on their whole experience and not solely on their specific experience related to any particular background.
Nominees do not need any prior knowledge of human rights, but a willingness to undertake training is essential and of course existing expertise is welcome! We will do all we can to ensure that the sessions are accessible to all.
Support to participate
We know that sometimes, talking about problem substance use can raise difficult issues and experiences. We will do all that we can to support individuals and are looking into the best ways to do this, including through training and ongoing support in between meetings. As set out in the Change Team role specification we will also be offering expenses and a payment to recognise the time and effort involved in being part of the Change Team.
As set out in the Change Team Role Specification we will also be offering expenses. Participants will also be offered a token of gratitude for their involvement in the Change Team. Unfortunately the impacts of receiving such a token of thanks on benefits entitlements is complex and difficult, and very dependent on individual circumstances. The Scottish Government strongly advise prospective applicants to seek independent advice on whether receiving such a token of thanks is likely to effect eligibility for benfits or other forms of state support.
How nominations to the Change Team work
We are inviting people to complete this expression of interest form to gather initial contact information and a brief understanding of an individual's unique experience and motivation. Please note the final date for completing the expression of interest form is Wednesday 31 August 2022 as we hope to be able to have the Change Team in place in September.
Professor Miller, supported by the Scottish Government, will review responses and will contact nominees to set up an informal, follow-up by phone or video. The purpose of the follow-up is to explore an individual’s experiences and motivation in greater detail, gather some more information about them and their support needs as well as offering an opportunity for them to ask questions. The follow-ups will take place on a rolling basis but no decisions will be made until after the deadline. In the event that the change team is oversubscribed, nominees who have not been selected - and nominating organisations - will be provided with information about other ways to take part in the National Collaborative.
How nominations for reference groups work
These are more informal groups and they provide another way for people to feed into the National Collaborative.
We ask that people get in touch via the team mailbox if they want to form a Reference Group or if a group they are already part of would like to act as a reference group. We will be open to nominations for groups who want to act as reference groups throughout the National Collaborative lifetime.
If you have any questions about the National Collaborative and the nominations process please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at NationalCollaborative@gov.scot.
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