One of Scotland’s leading social care organisations is marking a decade and a half supporting people who traditionally have been disadvantaged.

Turning Point Scotland was set up as an independent charity and devolved itself from parent organisation Turning Point UK, following the opening of the Scottish Parliament in 1999.

To mark the occasion, 15 stories 15 years is a new publication now available, with inspiring stories and first hand experiences from people supported by Turning Point Scotland.

The charity supports people with learning disabilities, autism, homelessness, drink and drug addictions experiencing mental ill-health, neurological conditions and those with a history of offending.

Originally services were concentrated in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. Turning Point Scotland now has a presence in nearly half of Scotland’s 32 local authorities, in 180 locations around the country.

The steady growth continued even after the financial crisis in 2007 and global economic downturn.

In 1999 it had around 15 projects but this has increased to 35 services. Turnover has gone from 4.5 million in 1998 to 25 million in the last financial year. At the beginning Turning Point Scotland employed just 180 staff but now the figure is closer to 1200.

The Glasgow Drug Crisis Centre even pre-dates the creation of the Scottish charity, marking 20 years old this year. The work of the 218 service, established in 2003 for female offenders, was highlighted by the Commission on female offenders in 2012 led by Dame Elish Angiolini QC. Turning Point Scotland’s Housing First service has hosted many visits by countries in Europe as part of the innovative service to find homes for people experiencing homelessness.

Chief Executive Martin Cawley said:

“Firstly I’d like to pay tribute to the hard work and efforts of everyone who has contributed to Turning Point Scotland’s success through the years, including past and present staff, managers, board members and volunteers.

My predecessor Netta Maciver led Turning Point Scotland through the early years of establishing itself as an independent charity, and I’d also like recognise the vision and courage the Board took to devolve the organisation from its large, well established UK wide parent charity and go it alone.

We are all immensely proud of how the organisation has continued to respond to the extremely challenging economic climate and prosper, even during the period of austerity.

There are many great stories to tell in terms of people becoming more independent, progressing into recovery and achieving some of their hopes and aspirations for a better future.”