Operations manager vacancy
Celebrating 20 years of Turning Point Scotland
Talking Point Podcast
Video explainers
New photography exhibition challenges perceptions of poverty
Podcast: Going for glory at the Homeless World Cup
Podcast on latest drug-related deaths figures
Blog: reaction to latest drug-related deaths figures for Scotland
Latest podcast visits 218
20th anniversary special podcast
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon addresses the crowd on the 20th anniversary
The First Minister’s visit to Turning Point Scotland – in pictures
Turning Point Scotland – the first 20 years
FIRST MINISTER CELEBRATES 20 YEARS OF TURNING POINT SCOTLAND
Turning Point Scotland gives evidence to Westminster inquiry into drug misuse in Scotland
Turning Point Scotland Housing First: Then, now and future explainer video
Latest Talking Point podcast, Episode 2: Housing First now available
Dumfries & Galloway service raise cash to fight skin cancer
Major milestone for TPS Connects
218 explainer video

Operations manager vacancy

We are on the look out for a new operations manager to look after our Justice services. Do you think you have what it takes? Have a look at our vacancy page for the job description and application details.

Celebrating 20 years of Turning Point Scotland

Celebrating 20 years of Turning Point Scotland

You can now take a trip down memory lane to see how Turning Point Scotland has grown, developed and evolved since 1999.

Check out the timeline charting our history until the present day and add your own memories, thoughts and comments

Talking Point Podcast

Talking Point Podcast

Talking Point brings you interviews and conversations from across the social care sectors we work in, discussing the latest trends and issues affecting homelessness, drug & alcohol misuse, justice, learning disabilities and more.

Visit http://www.buzzsprout.com/342488 or visit Spotify
https://open.spotify.com/show/4Qk0uBC8zCtyHQkaF6nT4h to download or subscribe.

*Image by Ryan McGuire from Pixabay

Video explainers

Video explainers

Want to find out more about what we do as an organisation and the different support we offer but short on time?

We are creating a series of bite-sized video explainers to give a short snap shot of our work in different sectors of social care.

So if you have just a few minutes to spare, these provide a brief overview of how we help people.

You can find them in the video section of our website
http://www.turningpointscotland.com/videos/ or on our dedicated YouTube channel
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpzFdYn_z1RpEuQ9tQU3Ccw

New photography exhibition challenges perceptions of poverty

New photography exhibition challenges perceptions of poverty

A group of people from Turning Point Scotland have photography work on display at the Mitchell library in Glasgow.

Hannah, Kevin, Maria, Mick, Natasha and Sammy are students of Turning Point Scotland’s Connecting Citizens Programme. They co-curated an exhibition with the Open Museum as part of the course.

The group decided to tackle a subject that is close to their heart and want the public to be more aware of.

They said:

‘We had the whole of Glasgow Museums collections at our fingertips – we could have chosen anything from art to ancient Egypt, but we wanted to focus on something contemporary and relevant – something we all had experience of.


We started by looking at objects related to poverty in the Glasgow Museums collection. We discovered that they were not up to date. Does poverty in still exist in Glasgow? Look around and you will see it does.

We also looked at photographs in the collections and that gave us the idea to go out into our communities and take our own. You have probably seen similar scenes around Glasgow – we are trying to challenge the way that they are now seen as ‘the norm’.’

Elaine Addington, Open Museum Curator, Glasgow Museums said:

‘People should go see the display firstly because the photographs are brilliant and an absolute credit to the students who took part.

Also they will be images that probably resonate with the viewers own experiences of Glasgow, but will hopefully make them question their willingness to accept this as the norm. The group were thrilled that the work is being shown beyond Turning Point Scotland’.

Podcast: Going for glory at the Homeless World Cup

Podcast: Going for glory at the Homeless World Cup

The Homeless World Cup kicks off July 27th in Cardiff, hosting more than 500 players representing over 50 countries.

Scotland travel to the Welsh capital hoping to complete a hat-trick of victories after wins in 2007 and 2011.

Flexible Homeless Outreach Support Service staff member James Maclean coaches the Scotland team and spoke to our Talking Point podcast before the tournament got underway:

https://www.buzzsprout.com/342488/1452082-episode-6-homeless-world-cup

This podcast is also available via Spotify

*Image by Greg Montani from Pixabay

Podcast on latest drug-related deaths figures

Podcast on latest drug-related deaths figures

As Scotland experiences another rise in the number of people lost to a drug-related deaths – 1,187 up 27% on last year – this episode of Talking Point looks at the context behind the data and what we can do in response with Trish, Practice & Development Lead for Alcohol & Drugs, Turning Point Scotland and Phil, a TPS Connects volunteer:

https://www.buzzsprout.com/342488/1417126-episode-4-harm-reduction

Blog: reaction to latest drug-related deaths figures for Scotland

Blog: reaction to latest drug-related deaths figures for Scotland

PatriciaTracey, Practice & Development Lead for Alcohol & Drugs, Turning Point Scotland:

“Year on year we’ve seen a horrifying rise in the number of people lost to a drug-related deaths.  This year we see this number reach 1,187, up 27% on last year.  But it was horrifying last year too when 934 people died, an 8% rise and 105% higher than in 2007.  And the year before that when we lost 868 people.  After so many years of reporting so many deaths, these numbers start to lose meaning.  Turning Point Scotland employs 1,300 people across around 180 locations spread across the country; the number of people who died from a drug-related death this year represents nearly our entire workforce.

Each year, when these figures are published we are confronted with an uncomfortable truth that we manage to, if not ignore then at least keep to one side; our approach to problematic drug use is failing. 

In recent weeks I’ve found cause for (cautious) hope that there might finally be a shift in our thinking, where I might not have expected to find it.  The Daily Record published a bold front page calling for the decriminalisation of drugs.  In his evidence to the Scottish Affairs Committee Inquiry into problem drug use in Scotland, ACC Steve Johnson stated his support for Glasgow’s planned safer consumption site as well as reform of the Misuse of Drugs Act (1971) that shapes our legal framework.  In our evidence to the inquiry we called for an approach to drug policy and legislation that is based on the evidence of what works and what does not.  Just a couple of weeks ago, the Conservative Party launched a Drug Policy Reform Group that promises to “…provide a policy forum promoting evidence-based assessment and discussion of drugs policy.  Our overall aim is to facilitate authoritative and informed consideration of current prohibition policies and any reforms which could reduce the public harm caused by drugs.”

It seems that we might be ready to start asking some big important questions.  I sincerely hope we are, but this cannot distract us from the urgent need for leadership, change and action on the ground NOW.  There is much that we can do within the current framework, if the will is there, because this is not just about drugs policy or drug services.  We need to look across our criminal justice, homelessness, mental health, education, social work services.  We all need to ask ourselves how we can do better for the people who are falling through the net of our public services. 

I really believe that we could have prevented the vast majority of these deaths.  I know that we are missing opportunities every day to keep people alive.  I hope that we’ve finally reached the point where we act, with real commitment and conviction, to stop the deaths.”

Latest podcast visits 218

Latest podcast visits 218

In this episode you can visit 218 and hear how Turning Point Scotland’s innovative women’s service has been addressing the underlying reasons why women end up in the justice system with Sandra, service manager, Amy, support practitioner and Catrina, one of the women staying in residential. 

https://www.buzzsprout.com/342488/1396471-episode-4-218

20th anniversary special podcast

20th anniversary special podcast

Our latest podcast features highlights of the day Turning Point Scotland celebrated 20 years since it became an independent social care provider and developer on the 1st July 2019.

Chief Executive Neil Richardson, Craig MacKenzie, staff member and former service user, and First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon MSP addressed the crowd at Head Office (apologies for slight disruption to sound quality caused by high winds on the day)

https://www.buzzsprout.com/342488/1392451-episode-3-20th-anniversary-special

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon addresses the crowd on the 20th anniversary

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon addresses the crowd on the 20th anniversary

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP thanks Turning Point Scotland for our contribution to social care over the last two decades at the 20th anniversary event at Head Office.

Turning Point Scotland – the first 20 years

Turning Point Scotland – the first 20 years

This short animation celebrates the 20th anniversary of leading social care provider and developer Turning Point Scotland

FIRST MINISTER CELEBRATES 20 YEARS OF TURNING POINT SCOTLAND

FIRST MINISTER CELEBRATES 20 YEARS OF TURNING POINT SCOTLAND

Nicola Sturgeon MSP thanks leading social care organisation for two decades of supporting adults

Scotland’s First Minister has commended the important work of Turning Point Scotland on the 20th anniversary.

Nicola Sturgeon MSP joined a large crowd of people at the organisation’s Head Office in Govan, Glasgow including those being supported by the organisation, staff and invited guests.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

“I’m very pleased to be able to join staff, board members, volunteers and service users at Turning Point Scotland to celebrate their 20th anniversary.

“Social care support is an investment in Scotland. That’s why we are engaging with charities, people who use services and all parts of the sector to develop a national programme to support local reform and improve outcomes for people and their communities.

“Turning Point Scotland play an invaluable role helping some of those in society who find they need support at any stage in their life, be it with housing, drug and alcohol dependency or a range of other factors. They do tremendous work and I offer them my warmest congratulations as they celebrate this milestone.”

Turning Point Scotland has a diverse portfolio of support services including for drug & alcohol use, learning disability, mental health, homelessness, involvement in the justice system, autism, early onset dementia and Huntington’s disease.

The social care service provider and developer reaches across large parts of Scotland with 36 frontline services operating across 22 local authorities from 180 different locations, mostly in the main cities and towns but stretching into more rural locations like Aberdeenshire and Dumfries & Galloway.

Following the creation of the Scottish Parliament in 1999, an independent organisation was set up from UK charity Turning Point’s services north of the border, to be known as Turning Point Scotland.

The First Minister listened as Chief Executive Neil Richardson outlined how the organisation has developed and some of the success stories in innovative practice in social care, including opening the very first Housing First service in Glasgow in 2010, supporting people with learning disabilities in their own homes and communities, following the closure of large hospitals like Lennox Castle, and also the pioneering 218 service, to address the underlying reasons why women end up in the justice system.

She heard from Craig MacKenzie who has experience of being supported by the organisation and how he had progressed into TPS Connects – a group that gives people that have received support from the organisation a chance to be part of a community and be part of decision-making within Turning Point Scotland – before he progressed into working for one of Turning Point Scotland’s services in Glasgow.

The First Minister joined Neil Richardson to unveil a plaque to mark the occasion then she met, posed for photos and spoke to staff and people that had been supported by the organisation, including a trip to the new outdoor seating area and garden, that has been created by TPS Connects members.

While it was a celebratory occasion Turning Point Scotland Chief Executive Neil Richardson called for a bigger role for the third sector in delivering public services and tackling some of the major challenges Scotland faces.

With a decorated career in policing behind him, Mr Richardson said:

“As a relative new comer to this sector I would offer the observation that for whatever reason, as a third sector organisation our voice is often stifled, our influence is limited by virtue of our position in established hierarchies and we operate within a holistic system which very often leaves us subservient to others less able or experienced to drive effective and sustainable solutions to the pressing challenges within Scotland’s health and social care sector. 

I do recognise that there is review work underway aiming to make longer term change within Adult Social Care but these blockages need to be alleviated now.

 So, let me take this opportunity to lay down a polite but earnest challenge to yourself and your government First Minister – let us do more, help us break through the constraints of our existing commissioning environment to bring our experience to bear, draw on our creativity and agility to drive and test new approaches and ways of working that may just offer some relief to an over-pressurised sector.

If we can do these this, I am confident that over the next 20 years Turning Point Scotland will continue to prosper and be the champion of world leading Social Care services.”




Turning Point Scotland gives evidence to Westminster inquiry into drug misuse in Scotland

Turning Point Scotland gives evidence to Westminster inquiry into drug misuse in Scotland

Blog post: Faye Keogh, Policy and Business Development Officer, Turning Point Scotland

I’ve welcomed the opportunity to work on our submission to the Scottish Affairs Committee inquiry into problem drug use in Scotland.  It has been a really interesting opportunity to talk with colleagues and with the people we support about some key questions; what drives problematic drug use in Scotland? What would an effective, evidence based system of treatment and prevention look like?  What gets in the way of delivering policy aims and intentions?

There was a strong feeling that we must share what we learn from delivering our services, and working with people experiencing problematic drug and alcohol use across Scotland.  Something we see consistently, that is so relevant to this inquiry, is how problematic drug and alcohol use is connected to so many other issues; it is driven by and a driver of trauma, mental ill-health, domestic violence, homelessness, offending and involvement in the criminal justice system.

We are making progress in developing a policy framework that recognises how these issues are interrelated – it is acknowledged in the Scottish Government’s new drug strategy ‘Rights, Respect and Recovery’ and in their action plan on ending homelessness, produced in response to the Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group (HARSAG) recommendations which paid particular attention to these connections.  There is much still to be done to put these intentions into coordinated practice.

Learning from the evidence is a key theme in our submission to the inquiry; it’s the strongest message that we hope to give the Committee.  The evidence shows us that this is a critical time, as drug related deaths continue to rise at a horrifying rate.  The evidence shows that public health outcomes across Scotland, and Glasgow in particular, are significantly poorer than demographically similar parts of the UK, a result of a complex mix of factors.  Finally, the evidence shows that there are actions that we can take to help some of the most vulnerable people in our society.  Our legal framework, and the way that it is interpreted, is currently preventing us from exploring how approaches, like Safer Consumption Rooms, could work towards addressing some of the particular challenges that we face in Scotland.

Turning Point Scotland believes that we need a legal and policy framework, based on evidence of what works, that enables us to prevent and respond to problematic drug use effectively.  We hope that this inquiry will draw attention to these issues and help move us forwards in a positive direction.

Turning Point Scotland Housing First: Then, now and future explainer video

Turning Point Scotland Housing First: Then, now and future explainer video

Brought to Scotland from America, Turning Point Scotland Glasgow Housing First began operating in 2010.

The service places homeless individuals directly into independent tenancies in Glasgow with no requirement to progress through transitional housing programmes.

This short video explainer gives an overview of how Turning Point Scotland’s adoption of the housing first approach is aiming to reduce homelessness across the country.

Latest Talking Point podcast, Episode 2: Housing First now available

Latest Talking Point podcast, Episode 2: Housing First now available

In this episode Patrick McKay and Liz Littler discuss the origins of Turning Point Scotland adopting the Housing first approach, through to the latest developments.

https://www.buzzsprout.com/342488/1367461-episode-2-housing-first

Brought to Scotland from America, Turning Point Scotland Glasgow Housing First began operating in 2010.

The service places homeless individuals directly into independent tenancies in Glasgow with no requirement to progress through transitional housing programmes.

Dumfries & Galloway service raise cash to fight skin cancer

Dumfries & Galloway service raise cash to fight skin cancer

Staff and people being supported by Turning Point Scotland have been fundraising hard for 18 months to bring specialist equipment to the region, to reduce the devastating impact of melanoma.

The handheld Dermlite machine allows GPs to diagnose melanoma and other skin cancers at a surgery appointment.  This is much quicker than a patient waiting for a clinic appointment so can speed up access to treatment by weeks or possibly months.

Normally people would have to travel to Dumfries for initial diagnosis, however, money raised to buy the Dermlite machine, based in Castle Douglas, will also reduce the distance and logistics of travelling.

Staff, people being supported, friends and families organised and attended a series of discos to raise the funds to celebrate key dates in the year like Easter and Hallowe’en.

The driving force in organising these events was Kate Kirkpatrick, Lead Practitioner in Castle Douglas services and Janice McCulloch, the service coordinator for all of the services involved.

The Market Inn Hotel in Castle Douglas whose contribution of the free venue helped greatly in raising the funds.

Kate, Janice, Charmian and Gavin met with grateful medical staff at Castle Douglas Health Centre to hand over the Dermlite machine.

Turning Point Scotland, Service Manager, Dumfries & Galloway, Angela Cameron said:

‘We are delighted to be able to make this contribution to communities living in Dumfries & Galloway to hopefully save lives by speeding up treatment and reduce the anxiety of a melanoma diagnosis.

People we support and staff have gone the extra mile to raise the money and it’s great to see their efforts finally come to fruition.

They are rightly proud of what they have achieved and as Turning Point Scotland and Dumfries & Galloway approach their 20th anniversary it is a great example of what we try to achieve every day, not just improving lives for people we support, but the whole region.

We pride ourselves on promoting Turning Point Scotland’s Citizenship approach which is the belief that people with learning disabilities or autism have a hugely positive part to play in the community and this is a great example of that.

The Scottish Government recognises that people with a learning disability do not historically have as good health outcomes as the general population.

Our reason for choosing this medical centre and the health professionals working there is because we think that in real partnership working with our team, we have bucked this trend and wanted to say a big thank you for ensuring equality of access to every part of their service whatever adjustments they needed to make for us.’

Campbell Watt, Practice Manager, Castle Douglas Health Centre, said:

‘This will be of immense benefit to the practice and to the patients. It means we can make a diagnosis on site without having to refer into secondary care, without having to refer to dermatology, which then means the patient has got a clearer understanding of treatment at a much earlier stage. This means we can minimise the number of referrals through. So it is a benefit to the patient, to the practice and secondary care.

I would like to say a sincere thank you from all of us, it is very much appreciated.’

Dr Kenneth Scott, Castle Douglas Health Centre, said:

‘Dermlite is used for looking at skin lesions. As time goes by we are seeing more and more skin conditions and some of them are malignancies. The GP needs to be able to hopefully identify these things so he or she knows which need to be sent on to the hospital for further examination and treatment.

If you see a spot that is changing, itching or bleeding, get it checked out. Some of the nastier lesions, if you catch them early enough you can cure them.

The combination of North European skin and Mediterranean holidays is what is causing a lot of trouble as well as sun bed use.

When I was a child the dangers of skin exposure were not understood. In those days we didn’t have tropical holidays which are now routine and therein lies the problem. It has become fashionable to have tanned skin.

The increasing accessibility and use of sun beds is also a major factor. We would advise people to stay away from them.’

Dr Kelly Martin, Castle Douglas Health Centre, said:

‘We can look at a lesion and previously we may not be sure what it is. This can help identify what it might be and then if we are concerned we can send the patient on a fast track to referral and get it dealt with on a faster basis.

Lots of times it’s nothing or no symptoms and it’s just a freckle or a mole that has changed and it hasn’t gone back to its normal shape, then you should get seen.

If you are worried, come and get it checked out, you are not wasting anyone’s time.

Prevention is the best advice we can give, to wear at least factor 30 sun cream for all skin types between March and October when out in the sun.’

Major milestone for TPS Connects

Major milestone for TPS Connects

Extra special achievement as Turning Point Scotland ahead of 20th anniversary celebrations

An initiative to tackle loneliness, isolation and exclusion has welcomed the 300th member.

TPS Connects is a community of people that have used Turning Point Scotland’s services. It was set up to give people a chance to socialise, actively participate in planning activities and events, as well as to have their voice heard.

Anyone that has used Turning Point Scotland’s 37 services can join, take part and enjoy a range of conferences, events, sport and music groups in a safe, welcoming environment.

Irrespective of whether people have been supported for learning disabilities or drug & alcohol misuse for example, they can participate alongside each other as equal members of the community.

It goes beyond the support they have received and the involvement and inclusion is helping to sustain mental-health and well-being of the members.

Few organisations in Scotland provide support to people for so many complex needs and now Turning Point Scotland is breaking down barriers in this pioneering approach by bringing them together in a forum where they are all respected and included.

 ‘I’ve made new friends for the first time in years’ – Phil

‘It’s great to be trusted and to be able to trust others’ – Gary

‘It gives me the chance to voice my opinions on what I like and don’t like and I contribute to the running of TPS Connects’ – Jane

‘Because it’s peer led, it’s a great opportunity to make us feel important’ – Leanne

The TPS Connects community get opportunities to meet with members of the Turning Point Scotland Executive Team and Board members and both offer and are asked for their opinions about the support and services the organisation provides, as well as the recruitment process for members of the senior management team.

Aileen Reid, Inclusion & Access Co-ordinator, Turning Point Scotland said:

‘We are absolutely thrilled that hundreds of people have been able to get involved with TPS Connects. The one thing everyone has in common is that they have used Turning Point Scotland’s services at some point in their lives, so there is a real spirit of equality fostered. But your past and background is not relevant, it is about taking part in whatever way you feel comfortable with.’

TPS Connects would not exist without volunteers who take responsibility for the running of activities. Turning Point Scotland is a better organisation because of what we have learnt through TPS Connects.’

Craig Winter, Director of Business Development, Turning Point Scotland said:

‘We could scarcely have imagined when we set out at the beginning that TPS Connects would have grown into what it has now. That success is all down to the commitment, energy and dynamism of the members, as well as Aileen and colleagues.

It is fitting in our 20th anniversary year that we have surpassed 300 members. TPS Connects embodies everything that Turning Point Scotland stands for, inclusion, involvement and opportunity for all. It has really helped shape our direction of travel as an organisation.’

While celebrating the first 20 years of supporting people with some of the most complex needs in Scotland, the organisation is looking forward to the next 20 years and beyond in the digital age.

To highlight the ethos, values and principles of TPS Connects, a short animated video and podcast has been created, the first in a series of innovations as Turning Point Scotland embraces the digital future.

Explainer video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMiY2RDCOtY

Podcast http://www.buzzsprout.com/270094

218 explainer video

218 explainer video

What is 218? We believe that there are more effective ways to reduce reoffending than short term prison sentences.

Turning Point Scotland 218 provides an alternative to custody for women in the justice system.

We provide programmes of intensive support and group work to empower the women to address the root causes of their offending.  

With a view to support them to break the cycle of offending which results in the ‘revolving door’ syndrome of maintaining their involvement in the criminal justice system and prison service.