Lead Scotland's 5th national conference, 'Are We There Yet? Improving lifelong and life wide learning journeys for disabled people' was held on 9th June at Perth College UHI and was attended by over 100 professionals from across the full spectrum of post-16 learning. The conference was chaired by Dame Anne Begg and speakers included Shirley Anne Somerville MSP and Vonnie Sandlan, President of NUS Scotland. Some of the themes covered at this year's event included improving support for learners with specific impairments like hearing loss and mental health problems as well as exploring and creating more inclusive learning environments through digital innovations.
We have an exciting new opportunity for a Learning Coordinator (21 hours per week), to support young adults who are disabled and/or experience multiple barriers, with one-to-one tailored support to improve their life chances and to progress from one-to-one support into group-based provision on the next stage of the skills pipeline. The post will be home based but with travel throughout the region, so a full driving license and access to a car is essential. The closing date is on 23rd August.
We are pleased to announce we have produced a new guide detailing information about where individuals can apply to obtain funding for educational related costs. The guide will be especially useful for individuals in need of financial help towards educational costs that are not covered by public funding. The guide is split up into geographical area, so you can quickly click on the area you live in to view details of all the local trusts providing grants along with who and what they will provide funding for. For example, the Matthew Trust provides grants of up to £400 for learners over 18 living in Dundee/Fife/Perth & Kinross/Angus who need help towards the costs of studying abroad. The guide also details trusts that specifically fund learners who have additional support for learning/special educational needs and also covers grants for school children as well as for young people and adults in post-school learning. The guide has been created as a PDF but if you require it in a different format please phone 0131 228 9441 or email email@example.com
This year's AGM will take place in Perth on Tuesday 4th October. We welcome all learners, volunteers, members and stakeholders to join us on the day to reflect on and celebrate the past year. We will provide more information about the location and how to book in due course.
We are delighted to be hosting two Fundraising Interns here at Lead Scotland HQ over the summer through a Santander internship programme. Gael and Amy launched themselves into the role quickly, putting the skills they developed from their recent Business Management degree from Queen Margaret University into practice. Their first job was to develop a brand new Fundraising Pack, in order to make it much easier for people to raise money for Lead Scotland. The pack contains ideas about how to raise funds, a sponsorship and money return form as well as a poster template you can use to advertise your event/activities. The Lead Scotland head office staff were lucky to be part of a simple marketing campaign to launch the pack when Amy baked some delicious cherry scones and sold them to staff within the building, showing how easy it was to quickly raise £20 of vital funds to support our work in communities across Scotland. For more inspiration, read our article below about the exciting upcoming charity Race Night Gail has organised for Lead.
Our fantastic summer intern Gael has been very busy organising a charity race night to raise money for Lead Scotland, scheduled to take place on Saturday 1st October at Kingsknowe Golf Club in Edinburgh. Gael has managed to secure some absolutely amazing prizes for the event including a Champagne Blow Dry at Harvey Nichols, a Family Portrait Session for four, a signed photo of Rangers FC Footballer Andy Halliday, a four week gym membership, tickets to the Loch Lomond Sea Life Centre and many many more. Watch this space for further details and to book tickets, it's set to be a great night out for an excellent cause, if we do say so ourselves!
Research and Practice in Adult Literacies (RaPAL) are publishing a fantastic collection of learner stories and testimonies, documenting the significance and impact of lifelong learning on all facets of human life and interaction. We are delighted one of Lead's learners/volunteers from our Moray service features in the publication, sharing her journey as a learner and the impact it's had on her. The publication is a great resource to highlight the benefits of adult education regardless of age or circumstances and a celebration of the transformational power of lifelong and life wide learning.
This issue we're putting the spotlight on our new Befriending Project in Fife. Project Coordinator, Louise Andree has been taking referrals from Fife's social work department, local community organisations, as well as some self-referrals since the beginning of the year. The growing waiting list for the project is testament to the obvious need for befriending services in Fife to help tackle social isolation and loneliness.
Louise is recruiting and training volunteers to meet this demand and has made some successful matches already. The first volunteer to come on board was Lauren Yeoman, who has been supporting her befriendee since May. Here she talks about what led her to get involved with Lead Scotland as a volunteer and what her experience has been like so far:
"I found myself for the first time in years in a settled and content period of my life, work was going great, my relationship was amazing and I had an amazing group of friends and family around me. Having been through hard times, when you look back and reflect it inspires a lot of emotions - one of which for me was how lucky I am. Lucky to have come out of the other side and beyond lucky to have had the people I had around me who were always there.
I wanted to give something back in some way because I was in the thankful position where I could, this is when I came across the work that Lead Scotland carry out.
I've been working with Lead for a couple of months now and thoroughly enjoyed it, my befriendee is lovely and we have a lot in common, we share lengthy and easy conversation and I genuinely enjoy spending time with her! A part of me thought there would be more of a job type feel to my visits with my friend but it isn't at all - it is a pleasure. I also don't think there is any shame in admitting that doing something good with your time also makes you feel good about yourself and has increased my confidence!
I have felt nothing but supported by Louise, who is always checking I am ok and comfortable. I would not hesitate to pick up the phone to her should I need anything.
I am looking forward to a long relationship with Lead and am excited about the interesting people I am yet to meet."
If you would like to find out more about volunteering with Lead as a Befriender in Fife then get in touch with Louise Andree on 07950 771 875 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Additionally if you are interested in finding out more about our other learner volunteering opportunities in Fife, Perth & Kinross, Dundee, Moray, Aberdeenshire or North Lanarkshire then call our head office on 0131 228 9441.
The Scottish Government have put out a call for evidence in relation to an end to end review of enterprise and skills services in order to ensure public agencies are delivering the joined up support young people, colleges, universities and businesses in Scotland need. The review follows Nicola Sturgeon's commitment to undertake a full analysis of public enterprise and skills agencies in supporting Scotland's Economic Strategy, as part of her Priorities for Government speech in May 2016. If you have experience of using the services of Skills Development Scotland, Scottish Funding Council, Scottish Enterprise or Highlands and Islands Enterprise, or work within the framework of enterprise and skills support and would like to share your views, then click the below link to read more and access the questionnaire. Answers should be submitted by 15th August.
Glasgow City Council are reviewing what their equality outcomes should be from 2017 to 2021 as part of their public sector equality duty under the Equality Act. An equality outcome is a result which a public sector organisation aims to achieve in order to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and/or foster good relations between groups of people who share protected characteristics. They would like your views on their current outcomes and how you think they can be improved for the next set. The survey takes up to 15 minutes but you can opt to only answer questions that are relevant to you.
Scottish devolution is entering an historic phase as the UK Government prepare to transfer control of certain social security benefits to the Scottish Government in 2017 as part of the Scotland Act. While the UK Government will continue to control 85% of Scotland's spend on social security benefits like Employment & Support Allowance and Jobseeker's Allowance, benefits including Personal Independence Payment and Carer's Allowance will be devolved and there will be an opportunity to introduce some flexibilities around Universal Credit, which remains a reserved benefit.
The Scottish Government want to engage with as many stakeholders as possible and to fully consider the views of the people who will be directly affected by the changes. Views are being sought on how the benefits should be administered and delivered, what changes to implement and how best to use the new powers to tackle poverty and make Scotland a fairer and more inclusive place to live and work. This is a unique opportunity to have your say and we would encourage you to consider responding. A shorter summary version of the consultation has been made available to help you decide which sections are most relevant to you and an Easy Read version will become available shortly. There will also be various engagement events happening across the country to support people to get involved.
The Herald and GenAnalytics will deliver Scotland’s first ever national Diversity Awards in October 2016 in association with Bank of Scotland
These awards will recognise the outstanding success of companies, organisations, individuals, third sector organisations and community groups who are demonstrating a strong commitment and track record of achievement in ensuring that everyone in our society has the opportunity to fulfil their ambitions, aspirations and potential.
Lothian Centre for Inclusive Living (LCIL) are hosting a consultation session for people with experience of using and managing self directed support (SDS) to recruit Personal Assistants, in order to shape a series of future workshops on SDS. LCIL want to hear about any challenges you have faced in using SDS in order to develop appropriate topics for the workshops. If you would like to go along to talk about your experience the session is being held at Norton Park Conference Centre in Edinburgh on Thursday 18th August from 10.30 to 12.30 with a light lunch being served afterwards. Transport expenses will also be provided.
The Royal Blind Learning Hub are running a seminar on assistive technology. This seminar is aimed at any staff involved in the education of children with a visual impairment. The day will cover a choice of workshops presented by technology providers including Dolphin, Enhanced Vision and Calibre Talking books.
This seminar is running on the following dates:
29th September 2016, 9.30am - 3pm
Royal Blind School, 43 Canaan Lane, Edinburgh EH10 4SG
This free one-day conference, delivered by RNIB Scotland's Employment, Learning and Welfare Services is offering a unique opportunity to hear how young blind and partially sighted people are finding the moves from school, college, university and employment.
The conference is ideal for people who:
Teach or support blind and partially sighted people at school
Provide careers advice to young people
Support them in further or higher education
Help to find employment opportunities
Care about the future employment or education of blind and partially sighted young people
Jamie Hepburn MSP, Minister for Employability & Training will be speaking at the conference and there will be workshops and information stalls to visit. Lead Scotland will also be hosting a stall at the event so come and say hello if you're there on the day.
The conference is being held at The Stirling Court Hotel on 28th October from 09.00 to 15.30.
The Looking to the Future Transitions Team at RNIB are planning an event for visually impaired S4 - S6 school pupils, college students and parents/carers of young people with visual impairments. The purpose of the event is to offer an opportunity to find out what is available in terms of education and employment, the types of support that can be accessed and the chance to network and socialise. The event will take place on 27th October at Stirling University in the form of a series of workshops and information sessions - many delivered by university students. It is open to any young people with visual impairments from across Scotland, their parents, carers and professionals. If you would like to be involved on a professional basis RNIB are holding a planning meeting in Glasgow on 16th August - time and venue to be arranged. For further information please contact Liz Redpath, Transitions Officer, RNIB Scotland on 0131 6578210 or email email@example.com.
Cairn Legal are delivering an event for parents and carers of young people with additional support needs as well as for legal, education, social work and NHS professionals working in the field of post-school transitions. The event will cover education law and the legal duties education authorities have around transitions, best practice in transition planning and how to apply for guardianship. Speakers at the event include Iain Nisbet, a solicitor specialising in education law, Scott Read from the Scottish Transitions Forum and Nicola Smith, a solicitor specialising in incapacity law. The event will be held in Glasgow on 14th September.
The Third Sector Employability Forum (TSEF) are hosting a workshop on 22nd August in Glasgow that will focus on developing the capacity of the third sector to deliver Modern Apprenticeships (MA's). Third sector organisations are currently underrepresented as MA employers, despite their potential for offering inclusive and diverse apprenticeship opportunities, so TSEF and Skills Development Scotland want to raise awareness of the programme and explore your views on challenges, barriers and enablers.
The Scottish Learning Festival returns to the SECC on 21st & 22nd September, hosted by Education Scotland. The event is free and open to all education professionals and will offer international speakers, workshops & seminars and exhibitions to inspire new ideas, stimulate conversations and forge new networks.
This prestigious three day congress in Edinburgh will inspire, motivate and energise your work. It encompasses speeches, discussions and workshops that will tackle the very real day to day issues facing disabled people from across the world. You’ll exlore solutions that will have a tangible, positive impact on peoples’ lives.
Learn from high profile speakers and workshop leaders drawn from around the world
Share best practice and best in class solutions – have a positive impact on disabled peoples’ lives
Energise and motivate yourself at a range of thought provoking workshops
Meet disability experts, build new networks and identify partners for the future
The event takes place over three days from 25th to 27th October. Discounted tickets are available to disabled people, registered charities and disabled people's organisations.