Redress Scotland can confirm that Deputy First Minister Shona Robison has appointed Dr Kirsty Darwent as Chair of Redress Scotland.
Dr Darwent is currently the chair of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, a role she took up in 2017 having served on the SFRS Board since the Service’s inception. She has wide-ranging leadership experience within the charitable and public sector and a professional background as a chartered psychologist and systemic psychotherapist.
Ms Robison said:
“I welcome Dr Darwent as the new Chair of Redress Scotland. She leads an organisation whose main focus is to be responsive to feedback from survivors and ensuring that this important work is underpinned by three principles – dignity, compassion and respect. I would like to thank Bill Matthews for his leadership after stepping in at short notice in March, as Interim Chair.
“For decades, some children in residential care in Scotland were failed by those entrusted to look after them. Scotland has taken steps to face up to the failings of the past by establishing Scotland’s Redress Scheme, which will play a critical part in its delivery.
“While nothing can ever make up for the sufferings survivors have endured, the scheme is making a real difference to many survivors as it goes some way to providing acknowledgement and recognition of the harm caused.”
Dr Kirsty Darwent said:
“It is an honour to join Redress Scotland and to build on the significant progress made in its first two years. I intend to listen to survivors’ views on the work of Redress Scotland and I want to continue to deliver on their expectations.
“The organisation is playing its part in the wider effort to ensure that the wrongs of the past are acknowledged, learned from, and never repeated, and I look forward to contributing to this important work.
“I am committed to maintaining the confidence of survivors and their next of kin and will do that transparently, and through our independence, effectiveness and efficiency.”
Bill Matthews has served as interim chair since Johnny Gwynne resigned from the role in March and will now return to his role as Deputy Chair.
Bill Matthews said:
“We are pleased to welcome Kirsty as the chair of Redress Scotland and to benefitting from her broad experience and knowledge in the months and years to come.
“Redress Scotland exists for survivors. Kirsty’s appointment will help us to further strengthen our work with them and their next of kin, as well as steering the organisation to ensure we embody our values of dignity, compassion, and respect in everything we do.”
Dr Darwent will officially start in post on Monday 18 September.