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QMU in partnership with East Lothian Champions Board had their voice heard at Parliament

Posted: 5th March 2020

On Tuesday 3 March, representatives from Queen Margaret University and the East Lothian Champions Board showcased a short film about the challenges care experienced people encounter with mental health services, education and housing to Members of the Scottish Parliament.

The showcase was part of a cross-party event, organised by Universities Scotland, that brought together higher education institutions from around the country to talk about their community engagement work.

Queen Margaret University (QMU) Head of Widening Participation and Outreach, Callum Maguire said universities play a really important role in their communities.

“From helping individuals transform their lives through education, to researching and finding solutions to local, national and global issues, to creating employment and providing amenities (like sports and library facilities, health services and cultural events) for the community to share in. QMU has a long history of being a part of the community around it.

“It has been an absolute pleasure to work on this project with the East Lothian Champions Board – a group of care experienced young people – several of whom are current students and alumni of our University.

“Here at QMU, we’re whole-heartedly committed to helping care experienced people achieve the future they want. We have a number of programs and services – from financial to academic support – in place to help care experienced people get where they want to go,” Mr Maguire said.

QMU Lecturer in Media, Communication and Performing Arts, Graham Drysdale worked with the East Lothian Champions Board on the films and said they are very honest personal accounts from care experienced young people.

“I just wanted to help give a voice to these young people on a range of topics crucial to their future, including education, housing and mental health.

“Already the films have been screened at a number of different conferences, and I believe they can really help service providers, educators, policy makers and politicians get a first-hand understanding of the needs of and barriers faced by care experienced people as they navigate life,” Mr Drysdale said.

Check out the film short at or see the full length clips at

Find Universities Scotland’s photos from the event at

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