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Mission Statement

  • to work collaboratively to incorporate local Independent Support in every aspect of social care design and delivery
  • to ensure the needs and views of people accessing social care support and their support networks are valued and represented.

Our Values

independence, diversity, equality,

peer support, collective voice, collaboration, transparency


Download the SDSS Strategy 2022-25 here.

About SDSS

Self Directed Support Scotland represents organisations run by and for disabled people, our members support thousands of people across Scotland with their social care choices. Together we work to ensure that SDS is implemented successfully so that people have full choice and control over their lives. We do this by:

  • Supporting our members in the delivery of their services to provide local independent information, advice and support to those at each stage of their social care journey.
  • Signposting individuals at each stage of their social care journey.
  • Representing our members nationally to discuss SDS implementation.
  • Showcasing good practice from those involved with SDS.
  • Providing health and social care professionals, other voluntary organisations and educational institutions with the resources they need to champion SDS.
  • Conducting research which recognises the power of lived experience.

SDSS Annual Reports

Articles of Association


Lucia Ortisi
Lucia Ortisi
Lucia is SDSS’ Administration Officer. Lucia earned her Law degree from Catania University and obtained her professional qualification in 1991. Subsequently, she embarked on a career with international companies, spanning across Africa, the Middle East, and Europe, where she specialized in various aspects of commercial law. In the year 2000, Lucia established the Mediterranean Centre for Arts and Sciences, where she designed an academic curriculum focused on humanities, arts, and environmental science.
Upon her return to Edinburgh, Lucia diversified her career by taking on roles in administration and accountancy. However, her skills extend beyond administrative expertise; she is also a dedicated gastronomer and professional chef. Lucia is a staunch advocate for traditional and sustainable food production, driven by her deep connection to Mediterranean culture and an unwavering passion for culinary arts. She wholeheartedly supports agro-ecological farming practices, recognizing their pivotal role in preserving biodiversity and nurturing our environment.
You can contact Lucia at
Emmanuelle Le Coz
Emmanuelle Le Coz

Emmanuelle is one of two Personal Assistant Training Framework Developers based at SDSS.

Emmanuelle has been working in the voluntary sector for 17 years. She studied Community Education at the University of Dundee and whilst working for a collective advocacy organisation for adults with learning difficulties, concentrated on the social model of disability and the impact of employment.

Emmanuelle spent most of her time in the voluntary sector in training roles. She worked at Citizens Advice Scotland supporting the development of volunteers and later for a homelessness policy organisation, concentrating on trauma informed care and welfare rights.

Recently she has returned to Community Development and chaired the Leith Network of voluntary sector organisations, as well as tutoring the Health Issues in the Community Course for Harbour.

Emmanuelle is passionate about parental mental health and has volunteered for Home Start and LinkNet and done sessional work for Family Journeys and Kin Collective. When she’s not working Emmanuelle is trying to sew, she says “with enthusiasm if not skill (yet)”.

You can contact Emmanuelle at

Johanne McBean
Johanne McBean

Johanne is one of two Personal Assistant Training Framework Developers based at SDSS.

Johanne brings a combination of experience in training design and delivery from various environments including mentoring, employability, transition skills, rehabilitation, moving and assisting and Pilates, coupled with direct experience of being a carer and managing a Self Directed Support budget with her daughter for the last 17 years.

Johanne and her daughter began with one staff member for many years, and now have seven Enablers providing a 24/7 service which has led to them collaboratively developing their own training on a micro level.

Johanne has a Masters in Occupational Psychology which she says has come in very handy! She previously worked for the Glasgow Education Business Partnership as a development officer for seven years, and currently runs a small Pilates business. 

You can contact Johanne at

Donald Macleod
Donald Macleod
Chief Executive of Self Directed Support Scotland
Mark Han-Johnston.
Mark Han-Johnston.
Capacity Building & Resource Coordinator.
Jeremy Adderley.
Jeremy Adderley.
Operations Manager.
Kayleigh Hirst
Kayleigh Hirst

Kayleigh is SDSS’ Communications Manager. She works with our member organisations, other stakeholders, and Scottish Government to raise awareness of SDS and related issues, with the goal of ultimately enabling more people to have choice and control over their lives.

Kayleigh has a number of years’ experience in the Scottish voluntary sector, having previously worked in communication and engagement roles with ENABLE Scotland, the Mental Health Foundation and St John Scotland.

Kayleigh lives in Falkirk and supports her local community and voluntary sector as a Director of CVS Falkirk.

Get in touch with Kayleigh:

Connect with Kayleigh on LinkedIn



Julia Lawrence
Julia Lawrence

Julia is SDS Scotland’s Information Officer. She has a background in co-producing research and has supported and collaborated with a range of service users including older and disabled people accessing support services, and health and social care practitioners on a number of projects.

Julia’s recent projects include, in 2019 ‘Match Me: what works for effective allocations of adapted/accessible social housing in Scotland’ and 2020 ‘The costs and benefits of ‘good’ Self-directed Support’; 2021 ‘Needs Rounds: improving end of life care in care homes’; 2022 ‘Promoting INclusive liVing vIa Technology-Enabled support (INVITE)

She previously worked with SDSS in 2020 on the project ‘My Support, My Choice: service users’ experiences of Self-directed Support across Scotland’ and more recently on the First Annual Personal Assistant Workforce Survey. Her role with SDSS is part-time and she is also works as a researcher at Stirling University’s Faculty of Social Sciences. 

Get in touch with Julia:

If you have difficulty accessing the staff list we have provided an alternative access page.

Board Members

Laura Hendry
Laura Hendry

Laura has been working for an SDS support service, Cornerstone Community Care, since 2015, and has managed the service since 2020. Cornerstone Community Care currently support over 600 clients in Aberdeenshire and a further 50-100 in Aberdeen with all things SDS. Laura helps support with option selection as well as practical support to set up and manage packages of support. This has given her a unique insight into how SDS works in practice and what the potential pitfall are with the current roll out of the legislation.

Through this work, Laura has developed excellent working relationships with local authority staff surrounding SDS.

Cornerstone SDS is also in receipt of SIRD funding which has been used to develop their support service in Aberdeen City. Laura has a sound working knowledge of SDS and how it is practically implemented. She has a passion for SDS and ensuring that it is implemented fairly across the country and does not result in a postcode lottery of what support is offered where.

Laura is keen to help shape the future of SDS and ensure that everyone is getting the same level of support from their local authority with regards to SDS.

Tressa Burke
Tressa Burke

Tressa is a lifelong campaigner for disabled people’s human rights, devoting her career to promoting participation and inclusion for all. She was a founder member of Glasgow Disability Alliance in 2001, and five years later, was appointed CEO. She has taken the organisation from strength to strength over the past two decades, remaining true to the initial vision of combating social isolation and focusing above all, on developing and drawing on disabled people’s own strengths. 

As a disabled person herself, Tressa has a particular interest in the cumulative impact of discrimination, and has led GDA to create safe and inclusive spaces for all, with networks dedicated to rights and needs of disabled people of colour, disabled women, and LGBT disabled people, as well as support tailored for every stage of people’s lives. 

Tressa lends her experience and expertise to a variety of other organisations including Glasgow City and Scottish Government across a range of areas, embedding disabled people’s voices, priorities and direct participation in policy development and service design. She is a member of the First Minister’s National Advisory Council for Women and Girls, the National Care Service Programme Board and the Disability and Carers’ Benefits Expert Advisory Group. 

Tressa has an MA (Hons) in Music and Philosophy and a Masters in Social Work from the University of Glasgow, specialising in community development. She was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Open University in June 2022 in recognition of her commitment to public services including her contribution as a campaigner for equality and human rights. 

Anne-Marie Monaghan
Anne-Marie Monaghan

Anne-Marie is an experienced board member and is currently the Chair of the Board for the Independent Living Fund Scotland (ILF).

She also sits on GGCNHS Board as a Non-Executive Director. She is the chair of East Renfrewshire Integration Joint Board (ERIJB) and sits on the Glasgow City Integration Joint Board (GIJB).

As a Trustee with SDSS, Anne-Marie brings a wide experience of both strategic and operational work, having worked for over 40 years in community work and social work. She has held senior positions in a local authority, working in operations, commissioning and as a head of service. She also led the first Scottish Government self-directed support Test Site and has been involved in SDS from the outset.

Anne-Marie lives with a disability and has an individual budget that she uses for her support.

Michael Greaves Mackintosh
Michael Greaves Mackintosh

Michael is currently Chair of DG Voice, a disabled peoples’ organisation and Chair of LGBT Plus. Further to this, he serves on the Board of the Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership.

By joining the SDSS Management Committee, Michael would act as a liaison between the organisation and the disabled population of Dumfries and Galloway. He is looking forward to gaining a better understanding of SDSS, and to providing appropriate information to disabled people in the region.

Michael believes that all disabled people should have the choice to determine all aspects of their support and care.

Becs Barker
Becs Barker

Becs has a passion for promoting fairness for all. Starting out at the age of 14, she started her working life as a volunteer and then as a play-leader at Thames Valley Adventure Playground for disabled children. Here she learnt that with the right mindset and support, anything is possible. Following this, she trained and worked as a nurse, quickly realising that her strengths lay in working with people with new disabilities. Completing a degree with the Open University strengthened her interest in human rights and community development – getting to the ‘nitty-gritty’ and supporting people to be in charge of their own, ordinary lives became a driving force.

A move to Scotland in 2004 saw a change in direction and Becs spent the next few years managing and facilitating peer support with Neighbourhood Networks. It was here that Becs first learnt about Self-Directed Support and the possibilities of the ‘SDS dream’. Redundancy and a period of time in the wilderness, led Becs to chance upon her dream job in 2013- as a Manager for Argyll and Bute’s independent SDS project, Carr Gomm’s Community Contacts. She has been there ever since; further developing Community Contacts to cover Highland. She has been promoted and along with offering senior management to Community Contacts, she leads on participation, involvement and innovation with Carr Gomm.

In her spare time, Becs is also a trustee of a further three charitable organisations; she enjoys gardening and yoga.

Joanne McGee.
Joanne McGee.
SDSS Management Committee.

Alternative access to board members list.

Read about the structure of our board.