Cornerstone SDS Expands Our Self-directed Support (SDS) advisory service, Cornerstone SDS, has recently announced it will be expanding its services into Moray. Based in Inverurie, Cornerstone SDS is an impartial advisory service providing information and lifechanging support to hundreds of individuals living in the North East of Scotland who are benefiting from self-directed support. Now, working with Moray Council as part of a one-year pilot scheme, Cornerstone SDS will be setting up a dedicated SDS advisory service in Moray. As part of the pilot, Cornerstone SDS has appointed a new SDS Advisor to support prospective clients across the region by highlighting their SDS options and helping them to make informed decisions about their own care and support. Michelle Flemming, SDS and Carers Officer at Health & Social Care Moray, said: “We’re excited to be working alongside Cornerstone SDS. Through the new national SDS standards, individuals should have access to independent support and advocacy, and I hope that our partnership with Cornerstone SDS will enable individuals to make informed choices, as well as give them the confidence to design support packages in personalised ways through the SDS options that best suit them.” The pilot follows a busy year for Cornerstone SDS, with the service initially contracted to operate in Aberdeenshire before being awarded funding from Support in the Right Direction (SiRD) to expand into Aberdeen City, organise peer support groups across the North East, and appoint a resident Storyteller to showcase how SDS is benefitting individuals and families throughout the entire North East. Supporting Personal Assistants In addition to expanding its advisory service, Cornerstone SDS has recently appointed a Personal Assistant (PA) Support Worker to be based in its Inverurie office. The role was created as part of another one-year pilot scheme to address a lack of engagement and support in the North East for PAs employed through the SDS structure. As a single point of contact for SDS-employed PAs in Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City, the PA Support Worker will provide confidential advice, support and, where necessary, signposting to other organisations. The PA Support Worker will also work within local community clusters to establish and support the development of peer support groups with a view to promoting the wider PA Network Scotland and identifying common themes which may be of interest at a national level. Tony Hadley, Acting Service Lead for Cornerstone SDS (pictured), says: "As a service, our primary duty is to support our clients who have opted to go down the SDS route. However, we also recognise that our clients' PAs have support needs of their own, and that their wellbeing and job satisfaction ultimately has a significant bearing on how well the needs of our clients are being met. Given the current recruitment challenges being faced by the care sector as a whole, supporting PAs has never been more important, and so we're really excited to deliver this pilot project." Want to know more? Contact the SDS team at [email protected] or phone 01467 530520 You can read more about what the people we support, our colleagues and teams across Scotland have been up to in our Spring Newsletter.