CARING SCOTLAND – a new project and partnership with Who Cares? Scotland


28 Mar 2024

News Story

Four people stand in front of an orange screen displaying the Caring Scotland title and a photo of a child holding an adult's hand. They are all looking at the camera.

Billy McMillan, Louise Hunter, Leah Flint and Nicola McCartney

Credit: Kirsty Anderson

We are delighted to announce that our new project, working with and documenting the lives of Care Experienced people in Scotland has been awarded a £250,000 grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Caring Scotland, is a new three-year project, led by acclaimed playwright Nicola McCartney, created in a unique partnership with Who Cares? Scotland. The project will culminate in a new oral history audio archive at the National Library of Scotland and a touring immersive installation in 2027.

Caring Scotland is a far-reaching creative oral history project that will document the lives and experiences of at least 100 members of the Care Experienced community in Scotland over a three-year period. The project will be delivered by National Theatre of Scotland in partnership with Who Cares? Scotland and funded with an award from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

In 2027, following a three-year period of consultation, workshops, interviews, research and development, the project will result in a large-scale touring immersive experience, created by a team of artists, for audiences across Scotland, as well as an oral history sound archive housed in perpetuity at the National Library of Scotland.

Caring Scotland is conceived by playwright and socially engaged theatre-maker, Nicola McCartney, who has extensive experience of the Care Experienced community, as a member of the Children’s Panel and as a foster parent.  Caring Scotland is a continuation of her creative practice and her ongoing research into the care system in Scotland, Nicola was commissioned in 2021 by National Theatre of Scotland to create Holding/Holding On as part of their Care in Contemporary Scotland – A Creative Enquiry programme.

Nicola McCartney’s ongoing creative enquiry into Scotland’s care system follows on from the Independent Care Review published in 2020 and at its centre, The Promise, a commitment to implement change demanded by the review to ensure that all children grow up ‘loved, safe and respected'.

Louise Hunter, CEO, Who Cares? Scotland said

“We are really excited to be supporting Caring Scotland. As the only national membership organisation for Care Experienced people in Scotland we understand the power of storytelling and collective voice. Challenging stigma and reframing public perception around care experience are a key part of our strategic vision to secure a lifetime of equality, respect and love for Care Experienced people in Scotland. At the heart of our work are the rights of Care Experienced people and the power their voices have to bring about change. We can’t wait to hear from the Care Experienced individuals who take part in this project, their stories deserve to be heard. Thank you to National Lottery players and National Theatre Scotland for bringing Caring Scotland to life.”

Paul Fitzpatrick, Director of Creative Engagement, National Theatre of Scotland said

“We’re delighted that Caring Scotlandhas received this support thanks to National Lottery players. I am really looking forward to creating this project with the Care Experienced community across Scotland, and the new connections and relationships we will discover over the next three years. It wouldn’t be possible without the expertise of our partners Who Cares? Scotland and the valued assistance from local authorities and other Scottish theatre organisations.”

Nicola McCartney, playwright and Caring Scotland lead artist said

“I'm equally honoured and excited to be leading this project which will amplify the voices of Care Experienced people and ensure their stories are available for future generations. Also, the opportunity to collaborate with six other artists to listen to these stories make an innovative immersive experience which gives audiences access to care experienced people's lives is a gift.”

The project will be supported by national Scottish partners including Dundee Rep Theatre, Citizens Theatre, Glasgow, Aberdeen Performing Arts alongside local authority social work departments with whom the theatres already have positive existing connections.

With The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s support, the project will be open to all members of the Care Experienced community across Scotland to contribute to and take part in. The project aims to reframe public perceptions of Care Experienced young people in Scotland, as well as celebrating their achievements and potential.

Further information for potential participation is available by contacting Paul Fitzpatrick -

Further information here.