Getting out of the woods? Reflecting on the SDSS AGM 2018.

Image of SDSS National Voice brochure held up against manor house style venue

At the start of the month our AGM took place in with co-hosts SDS Forum East Renfrewshire. There were 49 delegates in total in attendance from a range of membership organisations from across Scotland.

As well as an opportunity to discuss the work of SDSS over the last 12 months, highlight key achievements and challenges and for members to have a say about the future work and governance of SDSS the theme of the event ‘Getting out of the woods’ served as an opportunity for members to look at what we can do to ensure that the vision of SDS can become a reality.

A big thanks to our members, speakers, workshops hosts and PAs and venue staff who contributed to this successful event. Read more about what members got from the day below.

Who did members hear from?

Image of Mary Njoki presentingSDSS chair Florence Garabedian presenting

Image of Ian Fricker addressing Kaen Geekie of SDSS Policy team Image of SDSS researcher presenting to audience


As well as the formal AGM where members had their opportunity to have their say of the future work and governance of the organisation we heard from a range of speakers on the day:

  • Florence Garabedian, SDSS Chair.
  • Jess Wade, SDSS Manager.
  • Karen Geekie. Scottish Government SDS Policy Team. Karen’s slides are available here.
  • Mary Njoki on her upcoming research on direct payments for BME people with dementia. Mary’s slides are available for you to view here.

The day also included:

  • The launch of ‘My Support, My Choice’ research in partnership with the ALLIANCE.
  • New SDSS website announcement.

You can access the full programme here to recap on the day.

What did members take away from the day?

Post it notes stuck to a board with answers to the question 'what do you want to achieve from the AGM' accesible version can be found below

(An accessible version of this image with full transcriptions of the post it notes can be found here.)

At the start of the day we asked people what they hoped to achieve and learn from the day, from this we were able to identify 6 key themes/objectives:

  1. Networking: ‘Solidarity among disabled people and DPOs is important and so this SDSS AGM is a ‘Must attend’
  2. General Learning: ‘Here to listen!’
  3. To learn more about what is going on in other Local Authority area: ‘I’m here to learn how SDS is done in other areas. Share challenges faced, creativity with budgets facing ‘very critical care’ how are other regions coping?’
  4. To learn more about SDSS as an organisation and what we can do to assist you: ‘Be involved in influencing the governance of SDSS.’
  5. To discuss and contribute to the future of SDS on a national level: ‘To find out more what’s happening at a national level and how my organisation can be involved.’
  6. To address questions with Scottish Government: ‘Direction of SDS and the accountability of LA’s in implementing this with consistency- what powers do Scot Gov have?’

We also collected post event feedback, with all who completed this stating that they felt their outcomes had largely been met. The majority of participants commented that the opportunity to network with peers was particularly useful . Where attendees indicated that they would like to learn more this largely surrounded local implementation- we hope to address this with our upcoming event SDS National Voice 2019 which through the theme ‘Local Stories’ aims to to highlight how SDS is being implemented in each LA/HSCP and NHS Highland. This event will take place on Wednesday 13th March 2019 in Stirling. More information will be available soon!

Workshop materials

roundtable discussion with SDSS members

Some of the workshops have materials available to download:

Data protection, your questions answered workshop

Option 2 resources workshop.

Self Directed Support Scotland

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