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EDG is always striving to be at the forefront in the development of innovative approaches to support and care of disabled people. With funding from Big Lottery (The National Lottery Community Fund), we are supporting groups of people to establish the first ever self-managing care co-operatives in Scotland. 

The project began on the 1st April 2017, with a Big Lottery grant and a plan to develop 5 care co-operatives for disabled people and their families over the next 3 years. Using person-centred tools and approaches we aim to ensure the families have choice and control over how and when they are supported. We have now made a lot of progress with 5 co-operatives at different stages of formation.

What participants in the project have told us


Our Future in Our Hands


The Our Future in Our Hands Co-op is made up of 8 families who are setting up a care cooperative to manage the support of 7 young adults with a learning disability. In the last year and a half they have spent time bonding, creating a charter, members agreement and memorandum and articles so they can register as a company.

Their main reasons for coming together as families are so the young people can be supported to identify and follow their dreams, pool resources and access more cost effective and bespoke support.


Parents tell us, the whole thing so far has been:


  • Very positive

  • Uplifting

  • Resilent

  • Ground breaking!


Some said:

































The young people have told us that the best bits about coming to the sessions are:
















Siblings have said things like:













Our Evaluator has said:





Women’s Group – ‘Women in Body & Mind’


A group of four disabled women have come together to provide each other with emotional support and practical advice about issues around the day to day management of their support.


The women are developing a resource about delivering quality care.

This is what they’re had to say:




































Our Evaluator says:


"After ten months of the group, some members are reporting increased confidence to make choices in their lives. They all really value the 1:1 advocacy that has been provided.


Advocacy support is vital to enable people to stay part of the project. Without this input, it is unlikely that the groups would be able to move to the point of establishing Co-operatives."




South Queensferry - Community


Our evaluator says:


"It has taken longer than envisaged to get the ‘Community Co-operative’ group off the ground, despite the best efforts of EDG staff and allies in the community. 


Bringing people together and introducing a brand-new concept to them is something that will not get quicker or easier the more often you do it, until the concept has become more embedded into mainstream practice and more widely adopted.


At the moment, each group is a new group to whom the concept is novel. Moreover, the overall amount of support required by the group will be dependent on the personalities, skills, experience and expertise of the individuals who make up the group, their circumstances, how much trust they have in EDG and how relevant they think the approach is to them."

We took this comments into account when reflecting on our work in South Queensferry and deciding a new approach for the final year (see The Plan).

This is a no-brainer for us

It is a great idea to come together and explore what might be the next steps for our daughter

The most useful thing for me has been the Co-operative plus values ... speaking together and understanding that we shared a lot of values changed the relationships between us

 It is a measure of the skills of the EDG facilitators that they have enabled the families to talk about these really difficult issues and that the majority of the parents now report increased confidence in their ability to make choices about their young person’s future support and care

Going to the group with the other young people and talking about where I will go after… (leaving home)

Being with my friends, friends I haven’t seen since I left school. Fun listening to them. Going out to Pizza Hut

Seeing other people my age who have the same situation was helpful - just being together

I find being in the group really helpful and I think one of the things I like about it is mutual support: I get support and I help other people as well, it’s not all one way

It’s quite good for my professional development – quite similar to what I have done in my job. I led the meeting. Next time I want to do more of that. I want to develop the session plan – those in the group deliver the group

I found the mindfulness session really helpful

I realise how no one has these conversations about what we will do down the line

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