Spotlight -



Another milestone year for Turning Point Scotland as we celebrate our 20th year as an independent charity and welcome First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP to our Head Office in Glasgow to meet with colleagues and the people we support. Nicola Sturgeon gave a speech based around the difference that TPS has made in the lives of those we support and the social care arena.

Our Operations Director Wendy Spencer retired after almost 18 years’ service with Turning Point Scotland.

We launched several new services including, The Glasgow Alcohol and Drug Crisis services, our recovery service in North Ayrshire and the two housing support services in Perth and Aberdeenshire.

The GDCC also launched the Mobile IPED van which operates a needle exchange alongside other services also available within GDCC.

Current political affairs include Theresa May stepping down as Prime Minister and the appointment of Boris Johnson.



In 2018 we increased our footprint in the social enterprise arena by launching Rosie’s Orchard View in Greenock. This was also the year that we launched the Housing First Consortium and the Tenancy Sustainment service.

We held our first ever gig, Music Connects which presented a memorable night of live music and comedy featuring various acts including the people we support, colleagues and established musicians. The special live event highlighted the work Turning Point Scotland is doing around homelessness, in particular Housing First.

The event was supported by the Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning, Kevin Stewart MSP.

Marking Worlds AIDS day in December, the Glasgow Drugs Crisis Centre and the Glasgow Homelessness service held events to raise awareness of HIV and the services offered by Turning Point Scotland to those at risk of contracting the virus.

Turning Point Scotland works in partnership with Waverly Care to provide dried blood spot testing to anybody accessing the service and women accessing Turning Point Scotland 218.

People we support were welcomed alongside colleagues and speakers including Dr Andrew McAuley of NHS National Services for Scotland and Glasgow Caledonian University, who highlighted the most recent drugs trends and the current rise of HIV. Green MSP for Glasgow, Patrick Harvie supported the initiative having worked in the HIV field before being elected to the Scottish Parliament.

A highlight of the Turning Point Scotland calendar, the TPS Connects conference is a biennial two-day event for people supported by Turning Point Scotland learning disability services.

2018’s TPS Connects conference hosted 147 people and the programme included presentations about the organisation’s strategy 2018-2021, being part of the TPS Connects Committee and Make It Happen.



We waved goodbye to Shiela Fazal as Chair and hello to current Chair Dorothy McElroy. Long serving Operations Manager Christine Buntrock retired from Turning Point Scotland.

We had a successful year in the award arena, with the Glasgow’s Women’s Supported Bail service and Aberlour winning the ‘Silo-Buster’ award in the SSSA awards. Helena Horne from our Renfrewshire service was nominated by a person we support for the SCLD Exceptional Frontline Worker award and won! This was featured in the Daily Record.

Rosie’s Garden came into being and Dundee celebrated their 15 year anniversary at the RRS Discovery. Caladh House successfully relocated and the partnership with the Alcohol and Drugs Action Aberdeenshire Asset service launched.

This was also a busy time for politics as another general election occurred resulting in the SNP losing a big chunk of their seats and the Conservatives officially replaced Labour as the second most popular political party in Scotland.

You may remember that this was also the year that Luis Fonsi and Justin Bieber dominated the Charts with number 1 hit, ‘Despacito”.



Chief Executive Martin Cawley left Turning Point Scotland making way for our current Chief Executive Neil Richardson to step in.

We launched new services, HMP Kilmarnock Throughcare service and CPO Support service. Sports Connects was also launched ant Caledonian University in Glasgow.

Glasgow Homelessness Service celebrated their 15-year anniversary and welcomed a visit from Kevin Stewart MSP.

The Homelessness World Cup was on in the Summer of 2016 in Glasgow and we were STV’s official media partner for the competition. TPS Connects volunteers also got the chance to be involved with the official group of volunteers.

This was also the year that we won the tender for FHOSS and Perth and Kinross Shore Road garden project received a gold certificate award from Beautiful Perth on their 10-year anniversary.

Jane Williams from Glasgow Supported Living and Glasgow Social Opportunities helped us create a video around Huntington’s Disease which gathered over 71,000 views.

Contextually this was also the year that Andy Murray won Wimbledon and Hibernian FC won the Scottish Cup for the first time in 114 years.



A celebratory year was had as Shiela Fazal took over as Chair from Elizabeth Gray. Inverclyde Housing Support, Moving Forward and the Glasgow Supported Bail service pilot were launched.

Following our links with the University of Strathclyde and Yale in Connecticut, the we developed our own adoption of Citizenship and ran the first Connecting Citizens programme to help address the issue of community disconnection.

The partnership approach Turning Point Scotland leads on at HMP Low Moss is helping to reduce re-offending, according to an independent evaluation. Critical success factors were highlighted which are a shared understanding and vision, a committed staff team and effective governance.

The evaluation concluded that: ‘a model of embedded, co-ordinated service provision, combining public and third sector services and skills, can provide effective and improved support to those who serve short-term sentences’.

Rosie’s Retro was recognised with winning two awards, capping a memorable opening year in business. They won an award for innovation at The Adult Learning Impact Awards at The Scottish Parliament. The gift shop staff also won the Learning Group of the Year award for South Ayrshire Council, at the County buildings in Ayr, with support from the literacy sub group funding.

The supervised injecting rooms came onto the agenda following a HIV spike in Glasgow.

Chris Archibald cycled round many of our locations exceeding 600 miles.



2014 was the year of anniversaries. As Turning Point Scotland celebrated 15 years of being an independent charity, GDCC were celebrating 20 years of service also.

The success of the Housing First three-year pilot was confirmed following an independent evaluation by Heriot Watt University’s Professor Sarah Johnsen. This report was published and concluded the initial success of the service is helping some of the most challenging people with a history of homelessness and substance misuse to sustain their tenancies. Many of these individuals traditionally don’t engage with support services but the positive relationships between staff and people using the service are helping to overcome some of the challenging issues people have faced in the past.

We have also begun working in a new partnership with the University of Strathclyde International Public Policy Institute’s new Centre for Health Policy. Deborah Padgett, Professor of Social Work and Global Public Health at NYU was invited to Scotland to address an audience of delegates on poverty, housing and homelessness.

The Housing First approach was a significant part of the discussions, which included former Chief Medical Officer for Scotland, Sir Harry Burns. The event was supported by Turning Point Scotland, Strathclyde University, Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Government.

Housing First not only expanded into Renfrewshire and East Dunbartonshire this year, but also won a care accolade.

Ian Irvine was influential in bringing the Housing First model to Scotland as the first UK pilot, earning him a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship learning visit to America and Canada. He was presented with a medal and met Her Majesty the Queen at a special reception at Buckingham Palace to mark the 50th anniversary of the Fellowship.

Alongside another 22 charities and voluntary organisations, we signed up to the Charter for Involvement which was launched at the Scottish Parliament.

John Sheridan celebrated his 25th anniversary of abstinence from drugs after 12 years of addiction.

John had worked at the GDCC since it opened. This outstanding commitment was recognised when he had the honour of taking part in the Glasgow 2014 Queen’s Baton Relay in Glasgow which took place before the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

The highly anticipated red carpet premiere of the film The Honest Heart starring adults from our Viewpoint service took place at the Odeon cinema in Kilmarnock.

“The Honest Heart” is a documentary exploring the actors’ determination to lead independent lives. The Independent Mind project (National Trust for Scotland) works with people who aren’t already engaged with the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, particularly economically and socially marginalised groups.



2013 saw new faces and new services as Elizabeth Gray took over as Chair in place of Tony Cameron, Low Moss PSP was officially launched by Cabinet Secretary for Justice Kenny MacAskill MSP and our Perth and Kinross service launched the garden project.

Turning Point Scotland was awarded a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship. Ian Irvine travelled to cities in both Canada and United States to find out how they are addressing homelessness. The trip gave Ian a chance to revisit and review the origins and development of Housing First in an international context and report back on his findings and circulate among the audience at home, through colleagues, networks and partners during seminars and events. Ian had been the driving force behind setting up the Turning Point Scotland Housing First Glasgow service following a previous trip to New York, where the concept originates from.

Turning Point Scotland co-hosted a major public health conference in Glasgow with the SCVO. The hosts were supported in the production of the conference by Knowledge Action Change (KAC) and Esprit deBois (EdB). City Health 2013 brought together academics and practitioners from agencies across public health, social services, housing and urban regeneration to highlight and debate some of the biggest public health challenges facing towns and cities.

2013 also saw Turning Point Scotland making their debut at the T in the Park charity village. Being able to offer advice, help and information about our services to thousands of people walking though the festival all weekend was an excellent way to raise awareness of the organisation and the services we provide.



Turning Point Scotland’s Housing First pilot in Glasgow is now in its third year and it continues to develop and attract attention throughout the United Kingdom and Europe.

In September 2012 Turning Point Scotland held its first international conference, ‘Housing First: Challenging Perceptions’, in order to raise awareness and understanding of the progressive approach adopted by Housing First Glasgow.

The event was designed to give delegates a real insight into how the pilot was developed, the benefits to people being supported and to look ahead to the future.

We launched Renfrewshire Housing Support and Caladh House came into being.

Rosie’s won two awards including one for Rosie’s Wedding Stationary and another for excellence in business.

Contextually, 2012 also saw Alex Salmond and David Cameron sign Edinburgh agreement to officially launch the Independence referendum campaign. Chris Hoy, Philip Hindes and Jason Kenny won gold in the team sprint and Anna Watkins and Katherine Grainger won gold women’s double sculls at the London Olympic Games.



Following a sharp rise in the number of female offenders in Scotland’s only female prison Cornton Vale the Commission on Women Offenders report made 37 recommendations to improve the treatment of women in the justice system.

Chaired by Dame Elish Angiolini QC, the Commission looked at programmes that offered support for addiction, mental or physical health issues, and family trauma, as a more effective route out of reoffending than a short term custodial sentence. Turning Point Scotland’s 218 service was highlighted as being an example of alternatives to custody. In the lead up to the Commission’s report the Cabinet Secretary for Justice Kenny MacAskill visited the service in Bath Street in Glasgow. Previously the Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee had visited 218. Staff were commended for the work that was being done to break the cycle of offending which results in the ‘revolving door’ syndrome that characterises many female offender’s relationships with prison, by addressing the cause of their offending behaviour.

Also in 2011, the North Lanarkshire service was created and the first TPS Connects Conference was held.

This year also saw a landslide victory for the SNP in the Scottish Election with a mandate to hold an independence referendum.



2010 was a major year for political change.

As Vinaykant Ruparealia stepped down as our Chair, we gained a new Prime Minister in the form of David Cameron as the Conservatives won the General Election. The Government from top down brought in measures to bring down the U.K.’s budget deficit.

Criminal Justice and licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 came into being which is a Bill to make provision about sentencing, offenders and defaulters; to make provision about criminal law, procedure and evidence; to make provision about criminal justice and the investigation of crime (including police functions); to amend the law relating to the licensing of certain activities by local authorities; to amend the law relating to the sale of alcohol; and for connected purposes.

The 218 independent evaluation was also carried out by Southbank University. The main findings included:

  • The management of the service worked proactively to develop practices, policies and processes that are responsive and flexible and that are grounded in good practice for women offenders.
  • Integrated social and healthcare aspects of the service providing a more holistic approach
  • A cost benefit analysis suggests that for each £1 invested in the service there is the potential to save £2.50 across health care, criminal justice, social care, the economy and in costs to wider society

Finally, Aberdeen Social Enterprises rebranded to Rosie’s Social Enterprises and the first ever Housing First service user got their keys in December.



In 2009 we celebrated the 10th anniversary of Turning Point Scotland being an independent charity with the Minister for Community Safety Fergus Ewing launching anniversary celebrations for Head Office

This was also the year that we said goodbye to Colin Ray as the Chairperson of our Board of Trustee’s and former Chief Executive, Netta McIvor. However, in doing so we welcomed Vinaykant Ruparealia as our new Chairperson and Martin Cawley as our new Chief Executive.

2009 saw the humble beginnings of Head Office’s Business Development and Improvement team, ORCA, Glasgow Alcohol Rehabilitation service, Turnaround Residential, Weavers Mill, the new Autism services launched in D&G and the first ever service user involvement group launched! This was called ‘Onwards and Upwards’ which is essentially a pre-cursor to our modern day TPS Connects.

We managed to turnover £26,000,000 despite the aftermath of the financial crisis.

What do you remember most about 2009? Perhaps the devastating final split of Manchester born Rock band, Oasis.



The Scottish Government launched the new national drug strategy ‘The Road to Recovery’.

It was thought the number of people with problematic drug use in Scotland totalled over 50,000, resulting in 421 drug-related deaths.

40-60,000 children were affected by the drug problem of one or more parent.

Turning Point Scotland had been operating a number of different drug services since before the independent organisation was set up and could offer considerable experience in the field, with both harm reduction services to reduce the risk posed by drug use and also community recovery services to support people into recovery, reaching people in Moray, Ayrshire and the Scottish Borders as well as Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeenshire.

But drug & alcohol dependency is a significant issue for people in Turning Point Scotland’s homelessness and justice services.

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill met with staff, services users and stakeholders of the new Turnaround service at the official launch.

Turning Point Scotland publically made their commitment to tackling stigma around mental ill-health signing the ‘see me’ pledge.

And the organisation appointed a new Chief Executive, Martin Cawley.

‘From its infancy where we provided support to around 100 people, to today by comparison where we touch the lives of thousands of people across almost the whole of Scotland, we have much to be proud of. We have grown into one of the largest social care charities in the country with an annual turnover of some £26 million, and our positive reputation and profile is continuing to develop.’



Social care came into public focus and made headlines early in the year when a documentary aired filmed in a residential care school. It followed the lives of young people with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties.

The programme revealed examples of some of the adverse childhood experiences which put young people at greater risk of mental health issues, drug and alcohol dependency and an involvement with the justice system later in life.

Turning Point Scotland’s work in the justice sector grew and developed and following the impact of the 218 service, funding was secured to begin operate a men’s residential service Turnaround based in Paisley.

It was all change at the top as Alex Salmond replaced Jack McConnell as First Minister of Scotland.

Turning Point Scotland was involved in a major drug and alcohol conference, as the incoming The Scottish Government planned to introduce a new drug strategy for the country.

As part of this process one of the first Ministerial visits of the new Scottish Government saw Minister for Community Safety Fergus Ewing visit Turning Point Scotland’s community recovery drug services in Glasgow.

Of the services to open that year was the Mandatory Drug Assessment Service in Edinburgh.





Despite growth and development of Turning Point Scotland, with new services coming on board across the country in different areas, the reality for the organisation was that sadly some services come to an end.

The contract for Glasgow Learning Disability Services was closed and the service was transferred to other providers.

However, this year was a really important one for Turning Point Scotland in terms of listening to and learning from the people we support.

A Turning Point Scotland Service Users Council was launched with newsletters from each meeting distributed to service users.

Turning Point Scotland’s mission statement was reviewed and updated adding the critical need to make the service user voice heard and influential.



Turning Point Scotland's new home was finally complete.

Having been previously based in West Street before moving to premises in Govan Road, an old factory was demolished to make way for the existing Head Office site to be built upon and to this day serves as home to the Executive team, training rooms and support departments like HR and Finance.

The Right Honourable Lord Gill, Lord Justice Clerk, the second most high-ranking judge in Scotland, officially opened the new premises.

Another recipient of the new Make It Happen Fund was David Urquhart who had been supported by Turning Point Scotland’s drug & alcohol services, then called Northern Horizons, in Peterhead.

David travelled to Kenya to raise money for school children in Nairobi and he said:

‘The kids have very little food, no toys to play with, hardly any clothes and no form of transport to get to school and many have to walk for miles every day. However, with all this poverty they never complained and were always smiling.’

He raised over £1,000 towards their food and hoped to reach £5,000 to be able to buy a bus to take them to school.



Following on from the work established by Time Out, 218, a new service to support women, was created by Turning Point Scotland, as an alternative to custody for women in the justice system. The aim was to provide programmes of intensive support and group work to empower the women to address the root causes of their offending.

Justice Minister Cathy Jamieson MSP attended the official launch.

Although there was an instant challenge for staff as the whole residential unit had to be relocated to a local hotel due to the neighbouring Shack nightclub catching fire.

Initially set up as PITSTOP (Promoting Independence Through Support, Trust Opportunities and Progression) Aberdeenshire Housing Support was set up in Fraserburgh to offer people a way out of homelessness.

Turning Point Scotland also launched a new fund to help people achieve dreams and ambitions or just to make their lives just that little bit better.

One of the first recipients was Christine Griffiths, a service manager in Aberdeenshire. With the money she visited India and saw a drug ‘de-education’ centre in Jaipur. She described the scene:

‘Every person receives a prescription from the Doctor, for which there are no charges and no one is refused admission to the ward. The wards are very basic and none too clean by our standards but no one complains or makes a fuss, they are just grateful for help. The drug of choice is pure opium which is smoked and no one injects.’

As the organisation grew in size, Turning Point Scotland launched its first Staff Council to improve communication and create a forum where people can discuss how to improve the quality of service being provided.



Scotland went to the polls in this year as Jack McConnell was re-elected First Minister.

Leader of the Conservative Party Ian Duncan Smith had visited Turning Point Scotland’s drug use services in Dumfries & Galloway during the election campaign, alongside Scottish leader David McLetchie and Alex Ferguson MSP.

Turning to world events, Lee Trotter, working for the Inverclyde service, joined a volunteer group to see first-hand the effects of the war in Kosovo had on people’s mental health. She said at the time:

“When we arrived in Kosovo, the first thing that struck me was the strong military presence in the country. Armed guards took us to our home for the next seven days, a British Army base on the outskirts of Pristina.”

Turning Point Scotland’s social enterprise activity was continuing to develop in Aberdeen and the projects moved into new premises in Holburn Street. An opening party was held and local MP Anne Begg as well as MSPs Elaine Thomson and Nicol Skinner were among the invited guests.

There was a taste of celebrity too as stars from the popular TV series Brookside and Hollyoaks took part in a charity football match against a Turning Point Scotland side at the home of Maryhill Juniors FC.

The hosts were victorious on penalties after a 2-2 draw with over 1,000 fans cheering from the side lines, raising over £7,000 in the process.

In 2003 the number of staff at Turning Point Scotland has risen from 645 to 847 and Turnover was up by 64%.



Turning Point Scotland had come a long way in 3 years. A big sign of the expansion, following a more structured management set up and growing the training & staff development side of things, was the move to the site of the existing Head Office in Govan Road.

Not surprisingly the organisation was beginning to outgrow the two-room building with one toilet in West Street that had housed the original 4 members of the management team!

Netta Maciver then Chief Executive of Turning Point Scotland summed up the organisation’s ongoing transition since it left Turning Point’s governance:

‘We had started to grow up and we wanted to be more independent, but we didn’t have so much money so we certainly didn’t want to fall out with the parents!’

The very first Turning Point Scotland staff conference was held in the Normandy Hotel in Renfrew with 90 staff attending from across all services.

SVQ training had been introduced alongside a calendar of training events, to support the growing staff team, which saw 240 staff join the organisation in the one year.

Among the new areas Turning Point Scotland moved into that year included a new learning disability service in Dundee.



Following a high rate of tragedies relating to mental health issues in HMP Cornton Vale in the late 1990s, the situation regarding women in the justice system led to calls for major reform.

Turning Point Scotland introduced Time Out for women in prison to receive support for the underlying causes behind their offending behaviour.

Such was the innovative nature of Turning Point Scotland’s support that Prime Minister Tony Blair paid a visit.

It was a year of great expansion for Turning Point Scotland and the hospital closure programme continued to provide opportunities to support more people with learning disabilities.

Residents of Merchiston Hospital in Johnstone were to be transferred to new support services provided by the organisation in Renfrewshire.

New projects also opened in Ayr, Dumfries & Galloway and Inverclyde.

Turning Point Scotland’s experience supporting people with problematic drug & alcohol use lead to further services in Glasgow, Peterhead and Dumfries & Galloway.

Thanks to a National Lottery grant, Turning Point Scotland was able to extend the social enterprise activity in Aberdeen to offer picture framing, textiles & soft furnishings and plans for the gift shop.



As the new millennium was ushered in, social attitudes had been changing and social care had been evolving.

Following on from the Community Care Act 1990, Care in the Community funding was available for people with learning disabilities to be released from large hospitals and live more independent lives in smaller supported accomodation.  These large residential facilities had begun to be phased out in favour of smaller, community based options and Turning Point Scotland was part of this change.

Lennox Castle, on the outskirts of Glasgow, was one of the biggest of these kinds of establishments in Scotland. Opened in 1936 to house 1200 patients, by the turn of the millennium it was in the final stages of a phased closure programme.

One of Turning Point Scotland’s first major contracts supporting people with learning disabilities was to provide support to 50 people as part of this change.

Donald Dewar, the inaugural First Minister of Scotland in The Scottish Parliament and a key architect for Scottish devolution passed away in this year.



The eve of the millennium was an exciting time as the new Scottish Parliament sat for the first time. Turning Point Scotland came into existence as an independent charity at the time of devolution in April 1999 when third sector organisations began to play a greater part in the delivery of public services.

Our origins date back to 1964 as part of a UK organisation called Helping Hands, which soon became known as Turning Point, providing services in substance misuse, mental health and learning disability.

Netta Maciver was the first Chief Executive of Turning Point Scotland and she said at the time:

‘Turning Point Scotland will take a much more recognisable role in Scotland as the leader in the provision of high-quality services for those whose need or behaviour tends to exclude and isolate them. With your commitment we aim to provide new services based on local needs at a much faster rate.’

Turning Point Scotland initially had 180 staff and a turnover of less than £3million when it was set up as an independent charity.

In this year we launched our Dumfries and Galloway Learning Disability Services, Greyfriars Close Elgin, Rosie’s Café in Aberdeen and Link Up among others which all still operate.

HRH Prince Phillip The Duke of Edinburgh visited Turning Point Scotland’s services in Edinburgh.

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