SDSS Members get up to speed on latest sector news at 2022 AGM

An illustration with the text 'Progress through Partnership, Self Directed Support Scotland AGM 2022' and an image of strands of rope weaving together into an arrow

This year’s SDSS AGM, ‘Progress through Partnership’, saw more than 50 people from our member organisations and across the sector get together to hear the latest updates on Self Directed Support and share learning in a series of workshops. 

As well as taking part in a formal AGM, where members of the SDSS Board were elected, delegates heard updates on the work of the organisation over the past year. CEO Donald Macleod shared highlights from the year, including the development of the Personal Assistant Programme Board to drive forward work to improve the status of PAs within the social care workforce, with SDSS leading on work on the PA survey, PA awareness campaign and PA and PA Employer Handbook. 

Members then had the chance to hear three keynote presentations: Anna Kynaston, Deputy Director of National Care Service Division, Scottish Government, updated members on the progress of designing the service. She noted that the ethos and principles of Self-Directed Support were central to the design of the new service, and suggested that responsibility for delivering SDS would move from Local Authorities to the newly created care boards. 

Anne-Marie Monaghan shared her work to establish Community Brokerage Scotland, which has three main objectives: the delivery of the SQA Award on Community Brokerage, the development of a National Brokerage Framework for Scotland, and developing the Accredited Brokers Community of Practice, to continue professional development for brokers. You can find out more information about this work here:  

Enquiries for support for Autistic people are one of the most common requests of people using the ‘Find Help’ service on the SDSS website. Members heard a presentation from Lynsey Stewart, who has carried out work looking into the challenges and enablers for Autistic people to access Self-Directed Support. Her work, which involved speaking to neurodivergent people about their experiences of accessing SDS, highlighted a number of areas where they met with barriers and lack of understanding, while also putting forward several suggestions for work that can be done to improve access, which SDSS intends to take forward. 

In the afternoon, delegates were invited to join one of five workshops exploring emerging areas of SDS practice:

    • Dr Kainde Manji from Age Scotland’s About Dementia service led a workshop on access to SDS for people with Dementia, highlighting the challenges faced and the fact that better access to SDS could make a significant difference to people at the early stages of their diagnosis.

  • In-Control Scotland Director, Pauline Lunn, co-facilitated a workshop about access to Self Directed Support for people with addictions, or in recovery. A lively and positive discussion reflected the desire to improve access in this area, with all involved committed to taking forward work in the coming months.

  • Becs Barker from Community Contacts (Carr Gomm), along with NHS Highland and members of the Highland SDS Peer Support group, discussed their work to understand the true cost of Option 1 support, and the positive working relationships that have been forged across third sector, public sector and with individuals and carers, to take this forward. 
  • Dr Danielle Farrell from Your Options Understood (Y.O.U.) shared her work on innovative approaches to person-centred planning, highlighting the fact that older people who may not have had the chance to develop a person-centred plan could benefit from the process and be encouraged to ‘dream big’. 
  • Lastly, SDSS members were invited to join a workshop to discuss how we honour our commitment as a Disabled People’s Organisation, giving primacy to disabled people’s voices and the DPO mantra “Nothing about us without us” while widening access to SDS for all.  

For more information about any of the work discussed above, please contact us at  

SDSS would like to thank all our members, speakers and workshop facilitators for making this year’s AGM such a useful learning experience for everyone who attended.  

We look forward to welcoming you to our future events, including the forthcoming SDS National Voice conference, planned for March 2023, where members will again have the chance to network, share learning, and get up to speed on the latest developments in Self-Directed Support. 

Self Directed Support Scotland

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