A development space for care experienced young people, run by care experienced young people
"Our Looked After Children's Champions Board.... has led Dundee's Corporate Parent approach by listening to the views and aspirations of children and young people in the care system and working together with them to improve outcomes and help looked after children and young people reach their full potential. The young people and children on the Board have significantly improved the outcomes for current and future looked after children, and the latest innovation that they have developed is the On The Whole facility in the Hilltown. This facility gives looked after children a meeting place of their own, and I am certain from this special place many further successful outcomes will be developed by these special young people." -David Dorward, Dundee City Council Chief Executive (now retired), June 2014
OTW is a programme designed and developed specifically for care experienced young people from Dundee by care experienced young people. Established in 2014, it was the first programme of its kind in Scotland as previously no programme had existed specifically designed for this target group. It developed as the result of a proposal by care experienced young people to the Champions Board in Dundee. The Champions Board provides care experienced young people with a platform to be heard and be involved in and influence decisions that impact their care. The Dundee Board is chaired by Dundee's Chief Executive and attended by key local authority departments with input from the NHS, Police Scotland and the third sector. The young people requested that a safe space providing creative and educational programmes was created specifically for care experienced young people in Dundee.
Since OTW was established in 2014, it continues to work with over 100 care experienced and vulnerable young people each year in a range of ways, including one-to-one sessions and creative workshops using film, art and music. OTW aims to run mentoring programmes and provide participants with a safe, relaxed meeting space. As with all Front Lounge projects and activities, OTW is peer-designed and peer-led with former participants supporting the running of the programme as volunteers. Each year the specific programme activities vary depending on the participants' needs and interests.