SDSS membership year 2018-19 developments and more to come!

As the 2018-19 membership year comes to an end we have put together a list of highlights from the last year and key developments to increase the support that we provide to members. Read more to recap on the year and to find out how to stay involved in 2019-20!

The launch of My Support, My Choice 2019: User Experiences of SDS in Scotland.

logo in blue cloud shaped thought bubble text ready My support my choice with the first and last word in bold so the phrase in book-ended with the phrase 'My choice'

Earlier this year we launched the ‘My Support, My Choice’ research project in partnership with the ALLIANCE which will examine user experiences of Self-directed Support across a range of Local Authority areas, through interviews and a survey for those who are either receiving SDS or have experience of the assessment process in the last 12 months.

2000 Paper copies of the survey have been distributed in South Lanarkshire and Dumfries and Galloway with more areas to come! We appreciate members support in spreading the word and look forward to sharing the findings with you to form the basis of the report. Let us know if you want more information to support your service users to take part.

SDS National Voice 2019.

On the 13th March we hosted SDS National Voice 2019, our second National Voice event and a chance for our members to come together to discuss best practice in SDS. 52 individuals from members organisation were in attendance.

Members hosting workshops included:

  • Take Ctrl South Lanarkshire with South Lanarkshire HSCP
  • Self Directed Support Forth Valley
  • SDS Forum East Renfrewshire
  • Community Contacts
  • Self-directed Support Service Dundee and Angus

83% of those in attendance told us that the event met their needs ‘a lot’ or a ‘great deal’. You can access a full report here. 

New website launch and searchable database for Independent Support.



Key to our development in this membership year was the launch of the new SDSS website. Since its launch the website has attracted 5,483 unique visitors and we hope to see this increase as the website is developed further (more information  on that coming soon!) Central to our new website and to support your work is a searchable database for Independent Support. We are delighted that in the last quarter alone over 500 people have used the searchable database to find their local SDSS member and learn more about your services. To ensure that those looking for support can make use of your services you will have the opportunity to review and amend your database information as part of the membership renewal process (more on that below!)

Another bit of work that we completed as part of this was the production of a series of short SDS FAQ videos (with British Sign Language and subtitles) which we know several members have made use of and shared with their service users on social media. Please feel free to continue to share widely.

SDSS AGM 2018: Getting out of the Woods


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


On 11th of November 2018 we held our AGM in Giffnock in partnership with local member SDS Forum East Renfrewshire. This event was open exclusively for members were 49 of you in attendance.  The event was an opportunity for members to hear about upcoming SDS research and from Karen Geekie of the SDS Policy team on Adult Social Care Reform. A full recap of the day can be found here.

Launch of the SDS Collective


SDS collective, inform, improve, empower


In November 2018 the SDS Collective was launched with SDSS acting as secretariat until July 2019.  A number of you have been involved with the SDS Collective which will enable your service users to get involved and provides an opportunity for mutual support on SDS. Most recently the SDS Collective have launched a Facebook page which you can join if you would like to get involved, for further details please contact Mark. 

Your Top Five SDS resources from 2018-19.

Lastly we have rounded up the most popular resources from our website over the last membership year which I am sure you can all continue to make use of:

(1) SDSS FAQ video ‘How does SDS work?’

(2) SDSS FAQ video ‘What does SDS mean for individuals?’

(3) MECOPP Resource: ‘Challenging Social Care Decisions in Scotland: A Legal Guide’

(4) Coalition of Carers guide: What to expect The Carers (Scotland) Act.

(5) Local Authority guidance on implementing free personal care for under 65s.

Membership year 2019-20,what’s next?

First things first! Membership renewals are coming! Early next week you will receive online membership renewal form. If you are the lead contact for your organisation please put some time aside to complete the process, the deadline for renewing your membership will be June 28th. Many of you will be familiar with the process from last year where you can review existing details and amend where necessary, as you spent the time inputting the information last year it should be much quicker this time around! This information will then be used for your entry on our online database so that perspective service users can find their local organisation and get in touch.

Time is of the essence as the first 5 members to complete the renewal process will receive a prize. This will be a copy of the Graham Reekie’s fantastic ‘making a lasting difference’ and everyone will be receiving our newly developed SDSS members brand kit which will include stickers for use in your offices and and exclusive ‘member organisation’ logo for use of your website and email signatures (sneak peak below!) We look forward to supporting you all in the year ahead.



What to expect in 2019-20:

  • A range of training opportunities (programme to be confirmed).
  • An exciting programme of events (including our AGM and SDS National Voice 2020!).
  • Networking opportunities with other SDSS members and key stakeholders.
  • A new and improved ‘members area’ on our website.
  • Continued improvement of our searchable database.
  • More opportunities to influence SDS implementation.
  • Further opportunities to engage with the ‘My Support, My Choice’ research.
  • Regular bulletins and newsletters with key SDS updates and resources.
Self Directed Support Scotland

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