New leadership role to support Big Noise children, young people & communities

A new leadership role has been created at Sistema Scotland that will help amplify youth and community voices. We are delighted to have appointed Paul Sullivan to the post of Director for Children, Young People and Communities.



This is a marker of the growth, impact, and maturity of Sistema Scotland, as we continue to invest in the wellbeing of children, young people, and communities to build an inclusive and vibrant future. In his new role, Paul will be a champion for Big Noise children, young people and community members and will ensure the programme is designed to meet their needs, support their rights, and amplify their voices, representing their views both within and outwith the organisation. The job will have a particular focus on how we work for children, families, and communities across our Big Noise programmes, which operate in some of Scotland’s most disadvantaged neighbourhoods. We are proud to champion and strengthen the organisation’s approach to inclusion, ensuring the maximum number of children and families can be supported by Big Noise. And the new leadership role will also maximise the contribution Sistema Scotland can make to national and regional strategies and approaches to tackling child poverty and inequality in Scotland.


Nicola Killean, CEO of Sistema Scotland, said: “I am delighted to welcome Paul to strengthen the leadership team at Sistema Scotland in this ambitious and strategic new role. We have made a clear commitment in our strategy to strengthen youth and community voice, and to use our organisation to amplify the voices of the families we represent. I am excited to see how this role will build on the work that is happening in our Big Noise communities, continue to build on our commitment to inclusive approaches, and enable the children and young people to shape the future direction of the organisation.”


Paul joins the Sistema Scotland team after a successful five-and-a-half years as Sector Engagement Lead at the Centre for Excellence for Children’s Care and Protection (CELCIS), based at the University of Strathclyde. At CELCIS, he worked closely with Scottish Government and other partners to design and implement policy that supports children, young people, and families. During his time at CELCIS, Paul was seconded to the Independent Care Review as its Policy, Participation and Influencing Manager. The Care Review heard over 5,500 lived experiences, and their stories shaped everything the review concluded – including The Promise made to Scotland’s care experienced children and young people that they will grow up loved, safe and respected. Paul also led on research with young refugees and the delivery of CELCIS’s participation strategy.




Paul Sullivan, Director for Children, Young People and Communities, said: “I’m absolutely delighted to join Sistema Scotland as Director for Children, Young People and Communities. I can already see the amazing impact of Big Noise, and I’m excited to work with centres across Scotland to further strengthen and share more widely our approaches to inclusion. Children, young people and families already show such a strong ownership over their community’s Big Noise programme, and the organisation has strategically prioritised strengthening their voices further and ensuring their rights are upheld. I’m looking forward to working alongside our children and families to ensure their views shape what we deliver and they feel ownership and agency over what happens in their local community and beyond.”


More about Paul

Prior to CELCIS, Paul held roles in change management, funding and fundraising leadership, project management and operational leadership with the Prince’s Trust, Royal Bank of Scotland, Life Changes Trust and others. On the musical side, Paul has spent more than a decade as Chair of The Sound Lab, a charity that aims to overcome barriers to people accessing music. Through Sound Lab, Paul also co-created Musicares, the first national music service for careexperienced young people. Paul also sits on the board of Together Scotland, the national membership body of children’s rights organisations, and United Glasgow, an anti-discrimination football charity.






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