We received this by email today and would like EdSucks readers to do whatever you can to help this group. There are some ways at the end of the post. Thanks.
I am writing to you on behalf of the staff and Board of Edinburgh Development Group. As you doubtless know the City of Edinburgh Council is facing difficult decisions in the current budget round. The budget will be decided on 21 February. In the lead up to this EDG has been told that the organisation has been put forward for a 100% cut of our Council grant â€“ as a â€˜worst possible scenarioâ€™. We have been told that this scenario is â€œmost likelyâ€.
EDG is being told that it is vulnerable because it is not a direct service â€“ in spite of the fact that we signed a new Service Level Agreement with the Department of Health and Social Care only last year. We believe that the organisation has an important contribution to make to the lives of people with learning difficulties and their families, as it has done for the past 17 years.
We are the only development agency in the learning difficulty field in the City of Edinburgh. Our Service Level Agreement gives us â€˜coreâ€™ funding and enables us to attract additional funding to do other work not funded directly through the Council. For example, last year we were awarded Â£200,000 by the Big Lottery to set up the Supporting Older Families Initiative. This has allowed us to appoint two more members of staff. A more modest sum from the Council Health Development Fund enabled us to work with groups of people with learning difficulties looking at healthy eating. We recently received funding from Children in Need to work with young people with learning difficulties to encourage them to see themselves as â€˜young citizensâ€™ and to think about how they could participate in their community. These are three recent examples of â€˜added valueâ€™ to Edinburgh made possible because of our Council funding.
Through the years EDG has taken a lead in developing innovative, person centred models of best practice in working with people who have learning difficulties and their families. We have worked with young people leaving school to enable them and their families to have a genuine voice in plans for their future. We helped set up â€˜Inclusion Allianceâ€™, a buildings-free day service for people with high support needs, with whom we still share premises. We have pioneered a model of large group person centred planning for young people leaving school and their families â€“ called the Big Plan. At a time when the Lothian Learning Disability Review is consulting widely about the need for person centred, personalised services and the Scottish Governmentâ€™s Changing Lives Review is promoting the importance of social work services working in partnership with individuals, families and the voluntary sector, we believe that EDG has an important role to play in engaging with this â€˜whole lifeâ€™ approach to peopleâ€™s needs We have also taken a lead in looking at the infrastructure needed to support
the further development of individualised funding, acknowledging that individuals and families may need help in looking at they use their money and in organising the services they want. We have organised 2 Support Brokerage seminars to raise peoplesâ€™ awareness of the issues.
These are some examples of the work that EDG has undertaken. We are writing to you because you know about our work. You may have had direct experience of our work. We hope that we can call upon your support to help us fight the massive
cut that we are facing â€“ a cut that would destroy the organisation.
- You can contact your local councillor (the final decision will be made by councillors) in writing, email, at their surgery, etc. It would be helpful if you could copy any letter to Cllr Paul Edie (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Respond to the current budget consultation being run online by the Council to let them know why EDG should not be cut. See – www.edinburgh.gov.uk/budgetconsultation or email email@example.com
- Contact anyone else, including MSPs, whom you think might have some influence on the decision.