How does the Council budget really affect people? Listen to Steve’s story

Steve is in his late sixties. He has a learning disability and suffers from mental health problems. He has spent most of his life in psychiatric institutions. During the decades he spent detained on locked wards he suffered both physical and sexual abuse.

In the last 15 years his life has improved dramatically. He now lives in his own flat but needs support workers to be with him at all times.

He is supported by a small voluntary sector organisation. The funding for this is provided by Edinburgh Council. In the last few years this funding has been cut by 25%. Budgets have been slashed, offices closed and his support workers’ wages have fallen by over £2000 in the last 8 years. The organisation now struggles to recruit new staff to provide the service on which he depends. Continue reading

20,000 lose out because of tightening eligibility criteria

In a new report, LDAS have uncovered the hidden effects of social care cuts in Scotland.  Over 20,000 older people, people with learning disabilities and others  are no longer getting vital social support since the start of the 2007 economic recession.   By examining Government statistics and comparing them to the growth in the elderly population we have found that many people who might previously been eligible for social care services are no longer getting help.   Continue reading

Fight to save the Engine Shed set for victory

Rumours are beginning to emerge from deep within Edinburgh Council that a change of approach to supported employment in Edinburgh will be announced in September.   After much discussion and a lot of campaigning, councillors from Edinburgh seem to be proposing a Status Quo approach for the next year.  During that time, careful thought will be given to how new developments can be married with the existing structure of services to ensure that people continue to get support.  Serious attention is likely to be given to whether competitive tendering is an appropriate way to manage supported employment services and a more constructive approach will be looked at.  Continue reading

Engine Shed safe (for now)

An under-threat charity which provides training opportunities for young people with learning difficulties has been granted a temporary stay of execution. The Engine Shed, which runs a cafe and bakery, is set to lose its vital £211,200 annual funding from the city council, in a move which has sparked outcry amongst parents and supporters. But a meeting later this month where its fate was to be rubber-stamped has now been postponed until September. Click here to read full article from the Edinburgh Evening News. Click here to sign the petition to save the Engine Shed.

Save The Engine Shed

A renowned training scheme which has transformed the lives of young people with learning disabilities is being threatened with closure. The Engine Shed, a social enterprise business which has been running for nearly 25 years, is set to lose its vital £211,200 annual funding from Edinburgh City Council.                                 The move has sparked an outcry from parents who say that working for the charity – which runs a bakery and popular cafe in St Leonards – has been a life-changing experience for their children. The institution offers three years’ training to 30 vulnerable young adults at a time, equipping them with skills and confidence to find a mainstream job.                                                                                      But a shake-up of employment training for the disabled by the city council means it faces being stripped of its 
funding.

Click here to read the full article from the Edinburgh Evening News. Click here to sign the petition to save the Engine Shed.

The case of Stuart Devlin: the real impact of social care cuts

Local Authorities across Scotland are seeking ‘personalisation’ of social care services. However in many cases this is being used as cover for the implementation of cuts. Learning Disability Alliance Scotland looks at one such case;

Stuart Devlin is a 30 year old man who was born with Cerebral Palsy and learning difficulties. Despite the disadvantages he faces every day of his life, he is determined to make the most of his life. Continue reading