Research into independent SDS support in Scotland

We are currently undertaking a research project, ‘By My Side’, to understand more about people’s experiences of independent SDS Support across Scotland.

Commissioned by Scottish Government, the research aims to understand:

  • What types of Independent Support has worked well for people 
  • When people need to access Independent Support and what for
  • How people would like to access Independent Support 
  • If there are any gaps in local Independent Support 
  • If there’s anything that can be improved to make Independent Support work better for people.

The research is looking at all types of independent support in Scotland, including that provided by:

  • Independent SDS Information and Support services 
  • Advocacy organisations 
  • Carers’ Centres 
  • Brokerage organisations 
  • Peer support groups.

The research includes a public survey and focus groups which ran throughout March 2024.

Mark Han-Johnston presented on initial findings from the research at the SDS National Voice conference in March 2024. Watch the presentation below.


The full research report is due to be published later in 2024. Keep an eye on this page, or sign up to our newsletter, for updates.

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