Major Scottish disability charities join to ‘accelerate improvements’

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Two of Scotland’s major disability charities, Enable and Sense, have joined together in an ‘overarching’ partnership to create a new group worth around £57m.

While the move falls short of a full merger, the new group says it is welcoming approaches from other organisations who may wish to join the group, which has been created to “accelerate change in improving the lives of disabled people… [and] protect and grow frontline social care services across Scotland”.

Independent analysis estimates that by working in partnership, the charities will deliver substantial savings and efficiencies available to re-invest in frontline services. The collaboration will take up to a year to fully implement, with staff and wider stakeholder consultations expected.

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The venture will see both charities share innovation, property and resources in a group structure to enable them to reach even more disabled people throughout Scotland.

Both Enable Scotland and Sense Scotland will retain their individual identities and relationships with families, disabled people and supporters, as well as their CEOs.

In a joint statement Andy Kerr, chief executive of Sense Scotland and Theresa Shearer, chief executive of Enable Scotland, said:

“Enable Scotland and Sense Scotland are joining together to further boost the quality of care and help for more disabled people.

“Our shared vision is delivering the support needed for disabled people to live the lives they choose, in their own homes and local communities.

“By bringing two strong charities together, we will accelerate change and improvement for disabled people, and for the dedicated staff who care for them.

“Ultimately, we are doing this to help share the cost of continuing to deliver quality care and support to those who need it in their own homes.”

Kerr added: “Together, Enable Scotland and Sense Scotland will extend our reach in local communities. This means we will be able to help more people, with the person-centred care they deserve from staff they trust and can rely on.

“Our investment in frontline services also means that we will help even more disabled people and their families, providing them with the support they need to live their lives the way they choose – together, that remains our number one priority.”

The charities have described the move as a proactive and innovative response to the challenging conditions facing families and organisations operating in the social care sector in Scotland.

Under the group structure, all frontline jobs will be protected and support will be offered to a small minority of affected back office staff to explore alternative career options across both organisations.

Enable Scotland and Sense Scotland are working with their recognised Trade Unions during the process.

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Joe Peskett

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