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Contact provides support, madvice and information for families with disabled children, no matter what their condition or disability.

Latest News - March 2019

Scotland's First National Transitions Conference - Live Streaming to you!

Our Talking about Tomorrow - preparing parents and carers for transition at age 16 conference is nearly here.  For those who are unable to attend or don't have a place we would like you to share in the information on the day and so we will be live streaming the event from the Scottish Youth Theatre in Glasgow on Wednesday 13 March at 10am. Here is the link to use on the day.  https://www.facebook.com/contactinscotland/videos/442995839791753 

Looking for local support groups?

Groups provide parents of disabled children with essential practical and emotional support. For details of  local groups in Scotland call our office on 0131 659 2930. 

Information requests for professionals

We support all types of health, government and social care professionals with specialist information on families of disabled children. Call 0131 659 2930 or email scotland.office@contact.org.uk to find out more.

Partnerships, policy and research reports

We work with strategic partners in the voluntary sector, health and central government in Scotland to make sure families of disabled children get a fair deal in government policies. We have a wide range of research reports and are actively involved in several policy, parliamentary and advisory groups. We are also a committed member of the for Scotland's Disabled Children coalition.

We also have been involved in a wide range of research. Browse our research section for a full list of Scottish reports.

Contact acknowledges the support of the Scottish Government through the Children and Young People and Families Early Intervention Fund (core and project funding) and funding through The Robertsons Trust.

Getting It Right For Every Child is a national approach in Scotland aimed at supporting the wellbeing and improving outcomes for children and young people. Contact in Scotland works to the values and principles of GIRFEC.  

Contact are also guided by the principles of the National Parenting Strategy.

We aim to promote and protect the rights of children in Scotland as set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). For an introduction to children's rights why not follow this Scottish Government 10 minute training course Introducing Childrens Rights to boost your knowledge.

Follow us on our new Contact in Scotland Facebook Page!

Contact Scotland E-bulletin

We produce a regular Scottish e-bulletin with up-to-date, local information for families. September 2018 E-Bulletin.

Subscribe to receive regular copies of our e-bulletin.


Office address

Contact, Craigmillar Social Enterprise & Arts Centre, 11/20 Harewood Road, Edinburgh, EH16 4NT, 0131 659 2930, scotland.office@contact.org.uk

Local contacts

Email our Scotland office for enquiries and about our events.

Susan Walls; email susan.walls@contact.org.uk for national policy, campaigning and partnership work (Monday to Friday).

Donna Tomlin; email donna.tomlin@contact.org.uk for newsletter and information (Monday, Wednesday and Thursday).

Tracey Francis; email tracey.francis.org.uk for information on the Preparing Parent Carers for Transition Project (Monday, Tuesday, half day Wednesday and Thursday)

News for Scotland

More Support for Young Carers

The new Young Carers Grant is expected to be available to young carers aged between 16 and 18 from Autumn 2019. It will consist of a £300 one-off payment, which can be applied for annually.

The grant aims to provide some financial support during a key transition period in young carers' lives to help improve their health and education outcomes as they move into the adult world. It will be delivered by the Social Security Scotland.

New National Pathway for People who use Communication Equipment

The launch of this new pathway sets out what people who need and use communication equipment and support in using that equipment can expect. This will be of help to people who have lost their voice or have difficulty speaking, as well as those providing services. For more detail visit AAC National Pathway 

First resources available from our Preparing Parents for Transition project

Local information and useful links from our transitions workshops with Lead Scotland for parents in Highland, Aberdeenshire and Clackmannanshire. NB These were up to date when published, but please be aware services can change quickly. They may not be comprehensive and are not an endorsement of any service. Information shared at the workshop in West Lothian is available from Signpost at www.signpost-online.org.uk

The Scottish Welfare Fund

The Scottish Welfare Fund provides a safety net for people on low incomes through the provision of Community Care Grants and Crisis Grants.  This national scheme is delivered on behalf of the Scottish Government by all local councils. 

Community Care Grants can be made to help families under exceptional pressure including at home if your childs health is at risk.  Crisis Grants can help people facing a disaster or emergency including for food, essential heating costs and other expenses i.e travel costs if you have a child who is ill in hospital. It can also help if you're a grandparent or other relative who has taken over caring for a child, and you're waiting on a transfer of benefits.

You may be eligible to receive a grant if you are aged 16 or over and on a low income - this does not mean you need to be on benefits. To apply for help from the Scottish Welfare Fund please contact your local council.  Please ensure you have your National Insurance number to hand

Applications open for new Independent Living Fund

Applications are being invited now to the new £5m ILF Transition Fund, to help young people with disabilities become more independent and spend more time with other people.

Grants are a maximum of £7500 for up to a year to help young people aged 16-21 take part in activities of their choice. Suggestions include driving lessons or travel training, art/music lessons or joining a club - but anything that matches the Fund's aims will be considered.

For more details and to apply for a grant visit ILF Fund or call 0300 200 2022.

Help is at Hand for Parent Support Groups with queries on the General Data Protection Regulation

A helpline has been set up to help charities get ready for new data protection legislation.  The Information Commissioner's Office has launched an advice line to help small organisations prepare for a new data protection law, the General Data Protections Regulation.  Dial the helpline on 0303 123 1113 and select option four to be diverted to staff who can offer support.

The Contact Scotland September e-newsletter is now available.

Read the Contact a Family Scotland September e-newsletter.

To sign up to receive the Contact Scotland e-bulletin just click on  subscribe now.

If you would like to share local information that would benefit other families, just email details to donna.tomlin@contact.org.uk.

Local events


Talking About Tomorrow - Preparing Parents and Carers For Transition

Wednesday, 13 March 2019, 9.30am-4:30pm, Scottish Youth Theatre, 105 Brunswick Street, Glasgow
Contact, Lead Scotland, Gillespie Macandrew and ARC Scotland are holding a conference for parents and carers of young adults with disabilities and learning difficulties which aims to provide information and support about transitions.

This event is free to parents and carers and Contact can help with travel and/or care costs if necessary.

A limited number of places are available to professionals at a cost of £75 per delegate. Register for the conference here.


iCan - connecting young people with cancer

A new peer support group has been set up to help connect young people living with cancer in Scotland. 

The iCan network is for peer to peer support for younger adults (18-45) with or affected by cancer. It is a digital space to meet and talk to individuals who have or are going through similar experiences. They will also host face-to-face meet-ups in Glasgow.

If you are interested in finding out more email iscotscancer@gmail.com

South Lanarkshire

New Sibling Support Groups for young people aged 9 -15

Every Tuesday evening, Holycross High School, 51 New Park Street, Hamilton

Covey Befriending are running support groups every Tuesday night for siblings aged 9-12.  Those eligible to attend must have a sibling with an additional need; experiencing social isolation at home or in the community, lack of confidence and/or just needing time out from home. Sessions are activity based however throughout the weeks they will do some topic work around their needs. Covey will also be starting a group for older siblings aged 13-15 in June.  For more information please contact Karla Fletcher, Covey Befriending on 07384 258907.

Shetland Isles

Shetland Parent Carer Support Group

Meetings held on the last Tuesday of the month at Voluntary Action Shetland, Market House, 14 Market Street, Shetland

A great opportunity to come and talk about your caring issues and share your knowledge, experiences with other carers. For further information call Karen Hannay on 01595 743923.

Parent support group events

If you are a parent who runs a support group in Scotland or are considering starting a local group and would like information to help you get going then please don't hesitate to contact us.

You can join our Local Group Network and we can provide you with factsheets, newsletters and respond to your group enquiries or you can contact us about holding an information event in your area. Just email Donna for further information at scotland.office@contact.org.uk


Volunteering for Contact 

  • Our volunteers have a defined place in the structure of the organisation and are treated equally within Contact 
  • We recognise the individual skills each person brings to the organisation.  We encourage volunteers to develop and build on existing skills and knowledge.
  • We endeavour to involve volunteers from a wide range of backgrounds and abilities and ensure our volunteering opportunities are as accessible as possible.
  • We recognise the benefits volunteering brings to the volunteers themselves, to service users and to paid staff.

We appreciate the benefit volunteers can bring to our small team and if you w ould like to help us provide the best information and services to parents of disabled children in Scotland then we would love to hear from you. 

If you would like find out more or explore possibilities for volunteering then please email scotland.office@contact.org.uk or call 0131 659 2939 to talk to a member of our team.


Going forward - Preparing Parents for Transition

Our new transitions website goes live today!

Developed with parents, for parents, it's a guide through the journey to adulthood for disabled young people in Scotland. Please share and help us make sure this essential information reaches as many parents as possible. www.talkingabouttomorrow.org.uk  #TalkingAboutTomorrow"

New Transition Fund now open for applications

Applications are being invited NOW to the new £5m ILF Transition Fund, to help young people with disabilities become more independent and spend more time with other people.

Grants are a maximum of £7500 for up to a year to help young people aged 16-21 take part in activities of their choice. Suggestions include driving lessons or travel training, art/music lessons or joining a club - but anything that matches the Fund's aims will be considered.

Young people must be between 15 and 21 years of age; have lived in Scotland for the last 6 months; have proof of disability or impairment; have less than £26,250 of personal savings; and receive little or no support from social work services or through self directed support. Grants cannot be used for things another organisation already funds, for example personal care or supervision.

For more details and to apply for a grant go to http://ilf.scot/transition-fund/ or call 0300 200 2022.

First transitions workshops take place

Parents Workshop Nov 2017

Future proofing for families through our autumn workshops

"Pure gold dust" was how one parent described the information on offer at one of our workshops this autumn - the first in our 2-year project Going Forward - preparing parents for transition.

It was great to have over 100 parents and carers register for events from Inverness to the Borders through October and November, and to work with local support groups CHIP+, PlayAlloa, the Galaxy Group, Signpost, the West Lothian Parent/Carer Alliance and B.A.N.G. (Borders Additional Needs Group).

A big thank you to our colleagues in Lead Scotland and solicitors Gillespie Macandrew for sharing your time and expertise!

We'll announce more workshops soon, plus a new date for the Perth event, which is being rescheduled.

Transition workshops now open for registration

Good news - booking is now open for the first regional workshops confirmed as part of the Preparing Parents for Transition project.

All the workshops are aimed at parents and carers of young people looking for more information about the process of transition and leaving school, and have been developed in partnership with local parent groups and support services so each one is as relevant as possible to local families.

Groups in each region chose their workshop topic from a list of possibilities, with most saying better awareness of the planning process and approaches to planning were key areas for parents.

The workshops are free, but numbers are limited. To reserve a space at whichever workshop is most convenient for you, go to http://goingforward.eventbrite.com. We've tried to make booking as straightforward as possible, but if you have any difficulty let us know by emailing tracey.francis@contact.org.uk and we'll do our best to help!

The confirmed workshops are:

  • Inverness (Monday 2 October) - Preparing for transition (this workshop is being run twice, as a daytime and evening session)
  • Alloa (Friday 6 October) - Preparing for transition
  • Inverurie (Wednesday 11 October) - Preparing for transition
  • Livingston (Monday 30 October) - Preparing for transition
  • Galashiels (Tuesday 7 November) - Powers of attorney and guardianship


Scotland transitions flyer

New project gets under way

Tracey Francis is now in place as Contact's new transitions officer, with the job of overseeing the new two-year project Preparing Parents for Transition, funded by the Scottish Government. Download the flyer for the project [PDF].

Over the summer, she will be contacting groups around Scotland to develop a series of information workshops for parents on key aspects of transitions planning and processes. She will also be putting everything in place to underpin a major consultation with families and young people, starting in September and running until December.

To be part of this, sign up now by contacting tracey.francis@contact.org.uk and you'll receive more information when everything's good to go. Or simply keep checking the website for the latest news and updates.

Scotland government logo

We acknowledge the support of the Scottish Government through a CYPFEIF and ALEC Fund grant.

Parent support groups

Welcome to our Scotland Parent Support Group Information page!

Looking for information for your support group? This section is for you if you are a support group lead or involved in running a local parent support group in Scotland.

We work extensively with groups to build knowledge, information sharing and provide sources of support to help every group thrive. As well as our information on our main UK support group webpage and via our Scotland Support Group E-bulletin, here you will find more local news, training and funding information for your group in Scotland. 

Our new transitions website goes live today!

Developed with parents, for parents, it's a guide through the journey to adulthood for disabled young people in Scotland. Please share with your group members and wider networks to ensure this essential information reaches as many parents as possible. www.talkingabouttomorrow.org.uk  #TalkingAboutTomorrow"

Family Fund - BBC Children in Need Emergency Essentials Programme

This new programme, delivered by Family Fund Business Services, supports children and young people living with severe poverty as well as additional pressures. If you work directly with families as a parent support group lead you could register to become a referrer. To find out more visit Family Fund Services Emergency Essentials

Local Information

Edinburgh - Governance Four: Setting up a Charity & Introduction to SCIO

Wednesday 30 January 4-6pm, Evoc, 525 Ferry Road, Edinburgh

A free workshop to find out what is needed to set up a charity, who can help and what paperwork templates are available to make your journey towards charitable status a smooth one. The session will cover the legal form for charities, the Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) and focus on the differences of the SCIO and why it is widely becoming the charity of choice for new organisations. to book a place visit EVOC training.


Edinburgh  - Fundraising Nuts & Bolts: Applications

Tuesday 15 January 2-5pm, Evoc, 525 Ferry Road, Edinburgh

This workshop, run by EVOC is suitable to anyone in a voluntary organisation in Edinburgh and Lothians with responsibility for writing funding applications e.g. trustees.  It would particularly benefit people who are new to writing funding applications, or people who have been writing applications and have found that many of them are unsuccessful.  Cost applicable. For more information visit EVOC Training

Remember, Contact has a list of small grant providers for parent carers from both national and local funders for many things such as equipment, bedding, holidays, clothing etc. - call 0131 659 2930 or 39 to obtain a copy.


If you are looking for training or support to help you run your parent support group then don't hesitate to contact our Edinburgh office for more information. We will post training opportunities in this section starting in 2018.

Share Your News

Your comments, information and news are important to us so if you would like to share this with other groups in Scotland or sign up to the Scotland Support Group e-bulletin then please do email me at donna.tomlin@contact.org.uk

Visit our Facebook page

Take me there now!

Visit our online advice and support or read all about diagnosis.

You can also call us if you need information or advice on any aspect of caring for a disabled child. Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 5pm.

0808 808 3555 or helpline@cafamily.org.uk