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Fund to help organisations implement new Carers Act

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Fund to help organisations implement new Carers Act

Carers Act Transformation Support (CATS) Fund

The fund is open for applications from third sector organisations – charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups,based in Scotland who are currently providing support to carers which is aligned with the implementation of the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016. This funding is to improve their capacity to carry out their role in local implementation of the Act. Your organisation must be part of a regulated body – that have a charity number, SCIO number. Where this is not the case, your application must have the support of a regulated organisation who will be asked to provide a reference for you.

In addition to applications from single organisations, they welcome collaboration between eligible organisations and will consider joint applications where economies of scale, wider sector benefit and innovation can be clearly demonstrated.

Closing date for applications is 3rd August 2018

Find all the details on how to apply to the fund here

Please read the guidelines before submitting your application.

If you have any queries, please contact Irene Connelly on (0141) 465 7537 or email her at:

New SDSS Research Officer: Dianne Theakstone

Meet our new Research Officer: Dianne Theakstone

Hi, I’m Dianne Theakstone and I’ve recently joined the SDSS team. My best buddy (who you can see in the picture) is Merlin, my 2 year old, very mischievous black lab guide dog.

I come from a research background that focuses upon co-production methodology with disabled people and exploring how to improve disabled peoples’ access to independent living. I’ve just finished a PhD in Applied Social Sciences at the University of Stirling and I’m currently working part-time as a researcher on the Match Me project (what works for effective allocations of adapted/accessible social housing) funded by Disability Research on Independent Living and Learning.

My role with SDSS is Service User Experiences Research Officer. Between now and March 2019, I’ll be exploring the experiences/views of SDS users in five local authority areas in Scotland. We’re very excited about the project that seeks to build upon a pilot study conducted in 2016.

I will be working on Mondays, Tuesday mornings and Wednesdays from 9am – 5pm.

If you would like to share any relevant information with me or if you would like to find out more about the Service User Experience project, please don’t hesitate to contact me on:

I look forward to meeting you all during the course of my time with SDSS.

New Partners in Policymaking Course: Applications Open Now!

Partners in Policy Making

New Partners in Policymaking Course: Applications Open Now!

In Control Scotland are running their internationally recognized leadership programme for parents of disabled children up to the age of 18 and disabled adults 18 and over.

This programme is a chance for participants to gain the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to campaign and advocate for better treatment and social justice for disabled people within our society. By the end of the programme we also expect that participants will be better able to contribute to the successful implementation of self-directed support.

Participants will build up their knowledge about what is happening in Scotland and around the world to promote the inclusion of disabled people in society.
They will hear from some of the best teachers, thinkers and practitioners in the field of human services from Scotland, the rest of Europe, and North America. They will also be provided with resource materials at each session.

People living anywhere in Scotland are entitled to apply for a place. There are 40 places available in total.

The programme is made up of 8 sessions that take place over a weekend (Friday and Saturday) over an 8-month period at the Stirling Court Hotel, Stirling from November 2018 through to June 2019. Times: Friday – 11.00 am – 9.00 pm (with overnight stay & dinner included) Saturday – 9.00 am – 4.00 pm

The closing date for applications is Friday, 14th September 2018.

You can see copies of the Programme Flyer here, the Programme Description here and the Programme Application Form here.

To find out more you can also contact:

June Dunlop, Administrator, In Control Scotland

Tel: (0141) 440 5250


New Carers Research reveals impact and lack of support for Carers


‘Supporting Carers to be Healthy and Connected’ – Research Summary for Carers Week 2018

Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK.

The survey findings are based upon the 6,828 responses to the State of Caring 2018 survey from individuals in the UK who are currently providing care.
This includes 5,051 carers from England, 547 from Northern Ireland, 645 from Scotland, and 514 from Wales. A copy of the Survey can be seen here.

Their findings included:

  • 72% of carers in the UK said they had suffered mental ill health as a result of caring
  • 61% of carers in the UK said they had suffered physical ill health as a result of caring
  • 35% of carers in the UK expect that they will be able to provide less or no care in the future because of poor mental health
  • 43% of carers in the UK expect that they will be able to provide less or no care in the future because of poor physical health

The 3 top issues that contributed to Carers stress and anxiety levels were:

  • Not getting enough sleep
  • Providing hands on care for the person they care for
  • Managing financially

Other findings include:

  1. Carers aren’t being routinely offered support with their own health and well-being from their GP
  2. Carers need to be consistently identified by health professionals
  3. Growing numbers of older people are providing care at the same time as managing their own health and care needs. Older carers should be identified and offered support to coordinate care, have regular breaks from caring, and plan for the future as their own health needs change.
  4. Across the UK, there is a need for sustainable funding of social care support.

Carers UK works a range of organisations to support Carers Week, including Age UK, the Carers Trust, Independent Age, Macmillan Cancer Support, Motor Neurone Disease Association, the MS Society and Which? Elderly Care.

Research now open on SDS and experiences of people affected by Dementia

Research on SDS: The experience of people affected by Dementia

The Life Changes Trust is a Scottish charity that wants to improve the lives of people affected by dementia. The Trust wants to learn about how self directed support is working for people living with dementia in Scotland.

They have asked social enterprise Community Catalysts to talk to and learn from people and their families. Community Catalysts and the Life Changes Trust want to use people’s stories to improve how self-directed support works in Scotland. You can see a flyer on what the research is trying to achieve here.

To get involved in the research you can either:

Complete the short questionnaire here

If you would like to have a face-to-face  face interview to discuss your experiences, just contact:

Lisa Kirkley

Tel: (01423) 503937


Sustainability and SDS Report: Challenges, Learning and Resources

Challenges, Learning and Resources

Learning from SIRD and Innovation Funded Projects on Sustainability

This resource shares the learning, tools and tips generated by a programme of workshops on sustainability, centred on the Lasting Difference toolkit. The programme ran from August 2017 to January 2018, involving 52 people from 28 organisations across Scotland. It was hosted by Scottish Government, who had funded the participating organisations to support the implementation of Self-Directed Support (providing independent support and/or piloting innovations). However, the challenges participants worked on during the programme are almost universal. The learning presented is therefore applicable to anyone working in health and social care. This includes looking at:

  • Supporting involvement
  • Sharing ownership, power and risk
  • Capacity
  • Diversifying income and having a long-term strategy
  • Supporting innovation in our organisation
  • Knowing / selecting which ideas to pursue
  • Encouraging innovation in other organisations
  • Measuring impact
  • Gathering data
  • Analysis and reporting

You can see a copy of the Sustainability and SDS Report here

You can also see copy of another publication from Wren and Greyhound looking at Leadership for a Lasting Difference: A companion to the Lasting Difference Toolkit

Scottish Govt ‘SDS Communications Group’ Survey

Scottish Govt ‘SDS Communications Group’ Survey: How do people learn about SDS?

The Scottish Government Communications Group was set up to look at SDS communications, specifically around Outcome 1 of the 2016/18 SDS Implementation Plan which states:

Supported people have more choice and control

Citizens are engaged, informed, included and empowered to make choices about their support. They are treated with dignity and respect and their contribution is valued

Within this Outcome, it was stated that the Scottish Government and SDSS will lead a National Communication Group to promote: ‘a clearer, shared understanding of Self-directed Support across Scotland’

As part of the work of this group, they would like to undertake 2 activities:

  1. A Questionnaire looking at how people access information about SDS
  2. Workshops to check the quality and relevance of information and resources on SDS – to identify examples of best practise

The Questionnaire looking at how people access information about SDS can be found here

The Consultation Events looking at information and resources on SDS are happening in July and will take place across Scotland. You only need to attend one event if you can and these will be on:

Edinburgh: Thursday 5th July from 10am – 2pm Venue: Edinburgh Training and Conference Venue, 16 Saint Mary’s Street, Edinburgh EH1 1SU


Glasgow: Wednesday 11th July from 10am – 2pm Venue: The Teacher Building 14, Saint Enoch Square, Glasgow G1 4DB


Perth: Tuesday 17th July from 10am – 2pm Venue: Perth Concert Hall, Mill Street, Perth PH1 5HZ

The links take you to an Eventbrite page where you can find more information and book to attend one of the above dates.

If you have any queries about the Questionnaire you can contact Bronach Hughes at:

Any queries about the Consultation Events you can contact Janet Crozier at NHS Education for Scotland on:

Tel: (0141) 531 2687


NHS Social Services Knowledge Hub:

Twitter: @sds_ssks

Scottish Govt Consultation: Supporting Disabled Children, Young People and their Families

Year of young people 2018, Supporting Disabled Children, Young People and their Families: logo

Supporting Disabled Children, Young People and their Families:

Scottish Government Consultation on a Resource for the Information Needs of children and families

In 2016 the Scottish Government set out a plan to make life better for disabled people in Scotland – this was called A Fairer Scotland for Disabled People.
Part of this plan was to make a special information resource for disabled children and young people.

The resource is meant to give people all the information they need to understand the law and find all the help and support options that are available across Scotland.
It is a first step towards putting all this information in one place and making it available and accessible to all.

This consultation will be one step towards developing a central, inclusive source of information that seeks to ease the pressure on families who have limited time and resources. Following the consultation, the content will be developed into a website and mobile app, which will aim to be accessible, inclusive and dynamic.

They want to give people clear accessible information on:

  • The law
  • What they are entitled to
  • Their rights
  • The different kinds of support they can get

There is a short section on SDS in the document and SDSS will be giving our views about what we think needs to be included around SDS. So for example, we would like to see information about the SDSS database for Independent SDS Information and Support Services across Scotland included – which many of our members have their details on already. However, it would be really useful to raise the importance and profile of SDS for children, young people and families by having more people take part in the Consultation.

The closing date is: 5th September 2018

You can go to the Consultation page on the Scottish Government website here

You can see a copy of the Full Consultation document is here

You can see the Easy Read Consultation document is here

Professional Development Award in Mental Health and Peer Support

Minds well logo, Mental Heath and Peer Support

Professional Development Award in Mental Health and Peer Support

The Professional Development Award (PDA) in Mental Health Peer Support is designed to facilitate candidates in the role of peer support worker. The PDA equips candidates with the knowledge, skills and values which are necessary to carry out this role.

Time & Location:

Date: ‎September‎ ‎17‎th 2018
Time: ‎10‎:‎00‎ ‎am
Location: To Be Confirmed

About The Training:

The PDA in Mental Health Peer Support is aimed primarily at candidates who wish to develop their skills in mental health peer support. The primary target group consists of individuals who have personal experience of mental health problems and who wish to take on the role of peer support workers.

Mind’s Well see peer support as the way forward. Many people who have had mental health issues start giving back and getting experience through volunteering. This qualification will allow people to take a step forward and use your experience to develop your career path in Health and Social Care.

What is the advantage of having a qualification in Peer Support?

Having personal experience is essential to develop some of the skils that are required to perform this job. Undertaking this qualification will also provide a first hand experience of peer support with the other students, you will learn about the basic principles of peer support: mutuality, empathy, strengths based approach, empowerment and trauma informed practice. It will help you to work according to set quality standards that will protect you and your clients. get used to support structures such as supervision and goal setting and develop your personal approach to supporting others in a safe and supportive environment.


Candidates wishing to take this PDA should be able to demonstrate awareness of, and active involvement in, mental health support either in the capacity of paid employment or as a volunteer.

This is an academic qualification SCQF Level 7 and you are expected to do some written essays and assignments. Mind’s Well provide you with support to do this and there are some foundation courses that may be beneficial to you before you enrol

For an application pack, please e-mail




Full – £450

Early bird – £400

Concessions (If you are experiencing financial difficulties you may be eligible for a bursary) get in touch

Watch Out – It’s Coming: SDSS Membership Renewals Next Week!

SDSS Membership Renewals will start next week

Next week SDSS will send out an email to all of our Member Organisations asking you to renew your membership with SDSS. This year we will have a slimmed down, online process!

We will still ask you to update us with any new developments or information, but we will be asking you to check that we have the right information about you.

This is also an opportunity for you to tell us how you would like SDSS to support you in the future, whether through training, events, resources, information, funding or campaigning.

Watch out for your Renewal next week!