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Self Directed Support Scotland AGM 2017: a bridge from policy to practice

October 13, 2017

Self Directed Support Scotland AGM 2017: a bridge from Policy to Practice

Self Directed Support Scotland’s 2017 AGM, open to our membership and emerging members, is a short, highly focussed and interactive event aiming to deliver real solutions to members’ issues in converting SDS policy to practice. The programme includes:

  • Your views represented, what SDS Scotland is doing for you – Florence Garabedian, SDSS Chair
  • What’s next in SDS Vision and Funding – Karen Geekie from the Scottish Goverrnment SDS Policy Team
  • The new Transistions Fund – ILF Scotland
  • Working Lunch Workshops to resolve issues highlighted in our 2017 member survey aligned with the findings of August’s Audit Scotland report
  • Local members, SDS Options Fife (DPHS Fife) and ENeRGI, share best practice
  • Self Directed Support Scotland’s AGM
    The event is fully accessible with lunch provided and member’s reasonable transport costs reimbursed.


Florence Garabedian has been the Chief Executive of the Lothian Centre for Inclusive Living (LCiL) since 2008.   Florence’s experience is rooted in community development and user-led organisations working with minority groups at local, national and international levels.  Through LCiL and SDSS she is actively involved in the Independent Living Movement and she currently chairs the SDSS board of trustees.

Jess Wade has worked in the Scottish voluntary sector since 2004, when she graduated from the University of Edinburgh. She is currently Manager at Self Directed Support Scotland (SDSS), working with local, disabled people’s Self Directed Support organisations throughout the country. She has previously worked in a range of roles in the sector, including fundraising, volunteering and campaigning, is a Trustee of a local family support charity and was appointed to the Board of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) in 2016. She has a Masters in Public Administration from the University of York and is a long time human rights activist.

Karen Geekie is Self-directed Support Policy Lead for the Scottish Government and has been with the team since December 2016 and Scottish Government since 2003. Her previous experience is primarily in community learning and development/ adult literacy, with various roles including setting up a professional body for CLD, implementing new legislation, and developing training and support for practitioners. She is professionally qualified in CLD and actively involved with a range of community organisations outside work.

Peter Scott is the Chief Executive Officer ILF Scotland. Peter has over 20 years’ experience working in the voluntary and third sector, specifically in the area of disability. He began his career as a Support Worker in 1993 for a charity called Fair Deal. For the next 17 years, Peter undertook a number of managerial roles with various charities before becoming the Executive Director for Enable in 2008. In 2010, Peter then became Enable’s 6th CEO, before moving to ILF Scotland in 2015.

Supporting Organisations

ENeRGI provides support and information for people who have experienced, or are experiencing mental health and/or substance misuse issues as well as their carers.  We provide a Drop-in Centre, Welfare Benefits Advice, Service Self Directed Support Project, Befriending Service and a Housing Support Service.  We are a Registered Scottish Charity established in 1995 and since then have and continue to grow and develop successful, dynamic, responsive and much needed services.  Our aim is to offer support and information to all who feel they require it.  We strive to be accessible at the time and point of need.

Most people experience mental health issues at some point in their lives.  ENeRGI is here for anyone who feels they may benefit from our services.  We offer personalised, positive outcome focused support with choice, control and participation at the heart of everything we do.  We work in partnership with other projects and services to raise awareness, increase understanding, share good practice, and enable the voice of disabled people, carers and supported people to be heard in current and future service provision and development.

SDS Options Fife is an independent information, support and advice service covering the whole of Fife.

Self Directed Support Options (Fife) was set up by Disabled Person’s Housing Service (Fife) in July 2015 as a response to the need for an independent service in Fife that provided information, support and advice to people about Self Directed Support. With all new referrals and reviews for social care and support going down the Self Directed Support pathway since 2014 there was a real need for impartial information and advice.

As an organisation assisting people with disabilities with their housing options it fits well within the organisation as many disabled people looking for housing will also need support to help them manage their tenancy, meet their care and support needs, be as independent as possible and form ties with the local community which is something self directed support can help with.