Renfrewshire Council

How Val is helping her team to #KeepThePromise

Empowering care experienced young people through creative local events.

Photo of a young woman wearing yellow hi-vis jacket. Volunteer coordinator, Val Tkacenko, from our events team, became a Promise Keeper to help care experienced young people access and engage with the same creative opportunities as their peers.

She's passionate about supporting young people to express themselves and committed to delivering free, fun local experiences and events that are safe and accessible to all.

"I love to see young people get involved with meaningful projects where they can discover their own passion for something new, while exploring their skills and creativity.

"I recognised that there were certain barriers care experienced young people faced which meant they weren't always hearing about the opportunities we offer. As a volunteer coordinator, I knew I could help change that through becoming a Promise Keeper and listening to what was important to them.  

"I collaborate with colleagues in Youth Services and partners like the Renfrewshire Carers Centre and Who Cares? Scotland to promote our activities early on and encourage young people to get involved with projects they can contribute to.

"Last year I worked with young producers from Art Boss, which is a partnership between our children, youth services teams and OneRen. Their work is all about helping young people and developing the creative skills of those who are care experienced, or are carers themselves, or who need mental health and wellbeing support.

"Art Boss created a fantastic 'Escape Loom' activity for engaging children and young people at Sma' Shot Day 2023. Those taking part had to imagine they were being sent back to 1856, where they had to work together to unlock and solve clues that would make the time travelling loom transport them back home to 2023. It was a perfect way to grab their interest and encourage them to learn about the history behind the day. One of the young producers from Art Boss, Jade, sent us some lovely feedback:

Jade said: "I felt like it was a really good experience, I loved the process of putting it all together and I really enjoyed volunteering at Sma' Shot Day. It was fun meeting and talking to all the people who took part in the Escape Loom".

"We teamed up with Art Boss again on our Halloween festival, to create artwork for the Bat Cave installation. Later, my colleague, youth worker Siobhan Gray, told me how thrilled they all were to see their creations displayed for the public.

For Val, this is what it's all about.

"I can't wait to work with more care experienced young people in the future because I can see the impact it has and it's so rewarding to be able to offer them these positive experiences."

"Overall, becoming a Promise Keeper truly has been a learning experience for me, and it's shown me that staying informed is crucial for changing and improving things.  I'm able to share the message of The Promise with my colleagues in the events team and keep them up to date with national policy and practices. As a result, we are constantly exploring new ways to keep The Promise, and we ensure that its principles are embedded into everything we do from the planning stage right through to gathering post-event feedback.

"If anyone is thinking about becoming a Promise Keeper, I would say go for it, there's so much we can all do to keep this momentum going and do our best for our local communities."

Thank you to Val for sharing what you do as a Promise Keeper.

Why not consider signing up to become a Promise Keeper yourself and like Val, discover practical ways you can make a difference in your team?

Our new e-learning course offers a useful guide to The Promise and our Promise Keepers Network. Log on to iLearn for full details. For more on The Promise, visit The Promise Scotland website.

If you have any specific questions about The Promise, or our Promise Keeper Network, please don't hesitate to contact our Promise Ambassador, Sam MacCrae at

Published Monday 5 February 2024