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Big Lottery Fund investment in Local Cornerstone

15 Jun 2018

Big Lottery Fund
A six figure investment has been made by the Big Lottery Fund in the delivery of a new social care model developed by leading social care provider Cornerstone, which aims to transform the way social care is delivered, funded, commissioned and valued in the UK. 

Delivering great social care within the UK is becoming increasingly more challenging, and many care providers are having to change or adapt if they want to survive. To address these challenges Cornerstone’s strategic plan, which is called Local Cornerstone, introduces an outcomes focused model built on truly person-centred principles.

The Big Lottery Fund has invested in this ambitious plan by making a grant of £487,612 to support its implementation. The money will be used to upskill and empower teams, allowing them to work autonomously and to be as creative and innovative as they wish in order to meet the organisation’s charitable purpose. The learning from and the more formal evaluation of this new approach will be cascaded nationwide for the benefit of other care providers, people who work in social care, commissioning authorities and most importantly the people who receive care and support across the country.

Drawing on examples of international solutions to significant business challenges, Local Cornerstone was developed for the UK to deliver a model for providing social care that is sustainable, replicable and cost effective. To achieve this, the model encompasses the following key elements:

  • Local, self managing care and support teams, of up-skilled team members who work autonomously to make decisions at a local level.
  • A social franchising element through the redirection of resources to local branches with devolved responsibility to front-line staff.
  • Adoption of a coaching and mentoring approach, opposed to a more traditional management and supervisory approach.
  • Introduction of advanced technology across the organisation, from assistive technology to improve the independence of supported individuals to significant IT improvements to meet all business needs.
  • Launch of a separate charitable entity, The Cornerstone Foundation, to focus on increasing philanthropic income and to work hand-in-hand with Cornerstone to distribute funds to provide the best possible care and support.
  • Creation of a Training Academy to introduce a transformational change programme across the organisation, equipping teams with the skills needed to work autonomously.

The overall aim of Local Cornerstone is to take the learning from the implementation of this strategy, share it with other care providers and make a significant difference by transforming the way social care in delivered within the UK.

We could not have embarked on this journey without the support of our key stakeholders and partners, which include but is not limited to the Scottish Government, Scottish Social Services Council, Care Inspectorate, University of Strathclyde and our 19 commissioning health and social care partnerships. We are delighted to have the Big Lottery Fund as a supporter, and thank everyone who plays the National Lottery for making this grant possible.

Lisa Duthie, Leader of The Cornerstone Foundation, said: “Securing this award from Big Lottery UK demonstrates their commitment to the social care sector and is an investment in the future potential systems changes that everyone agrees is required”.

Edel Harris, Chief Executive of Cornerstone, said: “We are delighted that Big Lottery UK has chosen to support our journey and to recognise our hard work and courage in embarking on such transformational change.”

Cornerstone supports adults, young people and children across Scotland by providing a range of services that include care and support for learning disabilities, physical disabilities, physical and mental Health, addiction, dementia, autism and other life challenging conditions.

Since 1980, Cornerstone has grown to support more than 2,500 people each year, delivering services within 19 local authority areas across Scotland. More information on Cornerstone can be found by visiting

The Cornerstone Foundation was established in April 2017 with the aim of making a lasting and positive difference in our community by doing amazing things for people with life challenging conditions. The Foundation works across Scotland, raising funds for people with a range of support needs to help them to live a valued life, the life they choose.