Celebrating World Poetry Day – Poems by Lindsay

LindsayI have been writing from the tender age of 8. My love for creative writing bloomed when I was 11 years old – so it took at least 3 years to find out what my talent was!

I have won 3 creative writing competitions, but I am not here to talk about creative writing. I’m here to talk about poetry… well, to write some really!

Here goes, and I hope you enjoy it.

Spring bloom Smiles


Spring blooms awaken.

New born lambs wobble as they walk.

The morning is brighter.

Winter goes to sleep.

Dark mornings start to shut down.

Brighter nights come in.

Again everyone smiles.

The mood in the air changes.

Creating new laughter.



A dream costs nothing.

It tastes like my favourite chocolate.

It’s the place where I had my first kiss.

I gave birth to many ideas in many of my dreams.

An angel who I once knew came to comfort me and told me they still cared and took away the bad energy.

A dream is something we have.

It comes as time goes by.

A dream comes when your heart creates a new wish.

The shoe fits always because in dreams there are no if’s or but’s.


Dis and Ability

support 1

Disability is a barrier that stands before us.

Ability builds and creates a positive journey throughout our life.

Dis is an add-on that creates a label.

But when ‘dis’ is gone, ability is born

Lifting the barrier letting the journey begin.

Happy World Poetry Day from SCLD!


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Person Centred Working with Mainstay Trust


Clare Mills, Learning and Development

I recently spent 3 days delivering Person Centred Planning training to managers and Senior Support Workers alongside SCLD’s Learning & Development Manager, Susan Forrest. The course ran over 3 days at Mainstay Trust in Glasgow, with space between each day to allow the staff team time to put their new skills into practice, and to share their experiences the next time they met.

The team hoped the training would help them to include the people who use Mainstay Trust in their planning process. This would result in support plans that reflect the independence, rights and personalities of service users. It would also help staff to build better relationships with the individuals they support.

The team also hoped the training would help to set up organisational structures and processes that took full account of their service user’s views and experiences and promoted choice and independence.

The training allowed the group time to explore their own values and to relate those to the values of inclusion. Everyone demonstrated a clear understanding of how to apply what they had learned, and developed their approaches throughout the course, promoting inclusive and respectful practice.

We spent 1 day focusing on the MAP process. The MAP process provides a platform to make plans where changes needs to happen, but where individuals (and their support teams) are unsure of what that change might be.  It demonstrates a way of helping individuals to understand their own gifts and talents and to think about their hopes and dreams. As well as the serious tools, we had fun along the way – learning how to use drawings on a large scale (graphic facilitation) to support person centred planning processes.

We also spent time looking at smaller tools. ‘Solution circle’ and ‘4 + 1 questions’ were particularly well received tools.  ‘Solution circle’ is a tool which aims to help you solve problems with the help of others in just 20 minutes. ‘4 + 1 questions’ is a tool which supports learning in different situations and works particularly well with teams who support individuals.

The training finished with a ‘Team PATH’ for Mainstay Trust.


The group decided on a vision and planned towards it. Margaret Ann Robinson, Personalisation Manager at Mainstay Trust told us:

“The MAP and PATH training has certainly influenced how I look at putting together support plans, but also to see the whole person’s life and make the most of their talents and abilities. Using the MAP and PATH tools allows staff a valuable insight into a person’s needs that can sometimes be missed using conventional methods. It allows staff to ask the questions that make a difference.  Simple outcomes can sometimes make such a major difference in people’s life and don’t just tick boxes on pieces of paper.

I am now in the process of putting together a training plan (based on the work we did with MAP and PATH) which outlines our ambitions for the next few months.  It is a motivating tool as well as a useful tool for outlining goals and objectives, and its principles are realistic. The MAP and PATH training is an excellent tool for bringing the best laid plans to fruition!”

We wish Margaret Ann and the Mainstay Trust team all the best with their newly learned skills. The only way is up!

what have we learned

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Dates-n-mates interview on STV

This blog was written by Holly Millar from dates-n-mates Scotland. dates-n-mates is Scotland’s national dating and friendship agency, run by and for adults with learning difficulties. They have approximately 150 members across the country.

Dates-n-Mates new logo jpeg

On Friday 13th  Liz, John Paul and I went to the STV studios to be interviewed about dates-n-mates and what we do. When we arrived we were made to feel welcome and Liz and the person who works for STV news explained what to do.

Before we were interviewed, Liz explained what the news reader would ask us: how dates n mates got set up and why, how many members there are, how we got the idea in the first place, what the barriers to finding love and friendship are, and what is stopping people with learning disabilities having the same as everyone else. We did not have time to have our hair or make up done by the STV lady but I put some on myself!

The news reader came out and introduced himself to us and explained that the interview would be recorded as live TV but wouldn’t go out until 8.30pm and 10pm that night. This meant that we couldn’t stop the recording – we just had to answer the questions as best as we could!

The studios were smaller than I thought they would be when we were shown onto the set. We took our seats and a lady came and put a microphone on each of us. The news reader asked us about Dates-n-mates and about tonight’s event – our Masked Valentine’s Ball. After 5 minutes, the newsreader then cut to a film about dates-n-mates that they had recorded during the week.  Hughie, Liz, Nicola and Derek were interviewed. Hughie talked about finding love, and Liz talked about what we do – it was great! I felt nervous at first, but it was exciting and it was great to be in the STV studios.

You can watch the feature here:



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I’d like to teach the world to draw!

Clare Mills, our Learning and Development Co-ordinator, blogs about bringing graphic facilitation skills to teachers…

At the moment I’m working with Children in Scotland  to design a graphic facilitation course tailored just for teachers. It’s largely, but not exclusively, aimed at those who work with learners with additional needs. The course is about listening, thinking, organising information and drawing (yikes!) but mostly it’s about making our communication better.

What is graphic facilitation?

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Changing places…changing lives

Our trainer Lindsay Kinloch reflects on the campaign that recently led to the 100th Changing Places toilet being opened…and what might be next.

Changing Places LogoFor those of you who don’t know, Changing Places are fully accessible toilet facilities for people with profound and multiple disabilities. Our partners at PAMIS have been working very hard from the first ‘Changing places, changing lives’ campaign conference back in 2009 at Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh, which I was lucky enough to go along to. Lots of people came to hear about the campaign, listen to inspirational speeches and sign the charters.

I was also part of the Changing Places Steering Group where we got the chance to contribute ideas and think about where the campaign might go in the future. The group was well attended and we talked about things like the kind of places Changing Places toilets should be installed in and how best to promote them and inform people about the campaign.

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Supported Employment: Home and Abroad

Picture of Cameron at reception Cameron Smith, Receptionist at SCLD, talks to us about a visit he made to the Czech Republic to find out how supported employment works there…


Supported employment is about helping people with learning disabilities and/or autism get and keep a job. It is also about supporting people to choose what jobs they want to do and find out how they can learn new skills.

My trip to Prague started with a phone call from Maura, the Deputy Chief Executive of SCLD, asking me if I wanted to join some of the Values Into Action Scotland (VIAS) team on a visit to the Czech Republic. The company who organised the trip were called Rytmus, a Czech supported employment and inclusion organisation. Previously they had come to Scotland to see how we offered supported employment services – and now they were inviting us to come and see how they do things. Continue reading

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Speak out, be heard…beat bullying

My name is LindsayLindsay2 and I am part of the learning and development team at the Scottish Consortium for Learning Disability. I would like to talk to you today about bullying and hate crime and tell you about the reasons why I decided to write a course for people with learning disabilities and autism about this.

A crime happens when a person breaks the law. A disability hate crime happens when someone commits a crime against you because you have a disability.

There are lots of different types of disability hate crime. It can mean having your personal things taken or being hurt. It can mean someone threatening you or calling you names. Continue reading

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Agnes’s Story: My life as a carer

AgnesMy name is Agnes and I am a wife, a daughter, a mother, a sister, a granny and (although I didn’t realise it at first) I am also a carer.

I am employed as an Inclusive Living Advisor with Take Ctrl (South Lanarkshire). I enjoy working as it is rewarding and it gives me time to get out of the house and feel I am helping others through sharing my personal experiences.

So now to tell you a little about our family and how caring has impacted on our lives…
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Tackling hate crime: a long game not an overnight sensation

Our training manager, Susan Forrest, blogs about the Scottish Government’s new hate crime statistics and what we should do next…

Hate Crime

Last Friday the Scottish Government released Hate Crime in Scotland 2013/14. I attended the ministerial roundtable meeting hosted in Glasgow by Equalities Secretary Shona Robison and Community Safety Minister Roseanna Cunningham.

The Ministers underlined the Scottish Government’s commitment to tackling all forms of prejudice. They welcomed the work which various agencies have done to build people’s confidence to report crimes.

The key statistic for SCLD was the increase of 12% on the previous year for disability aggravated hate crime. Anything which promotes a greater understanding of hate crime is welcome. And it is possible that this increase can be attributed to victims knowing better how to report them. But there is a big difference between knowing where to report a crime and feeling safe in the community.

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‘The keys to life': One year on


Today for Learning Disability Week we are focusing on the national learning disability strategy – ‘The keys to life’ which is just about to celebrate it’s first anniversary on 13th June.  Many of us were there at Murrayfield last June on what was a glorious day for the Scottish weather but more importantly a day of excitement for people with learning disabilities, their families and everyone who works alongside them.  Following on from ‘The same as you?’ there was understandably much anticipation about what the new strategy would say.

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