A new direction

At the end of September, our Board of Trustees approved a new strategic direction for Scope – one that will transform what we do as an organisation.

Scope was set up more than 60 years ago by three parents and a social worker who believed in a better society for their children. That spirit of change has always defined us. The way we are run, the services we offer and the ways we influence others have all shifted over the years. But too often, big charities like us get stuck in a cycle of doing the same things they’ve always done. We have been guilty of this. Charities have to be brave, ask difficult questions and challenge themselves. And that’s what we’ve been doing at Scope.

We spoke to service users, staff, volunteers, members, supporters and disabled people. We looked at the research and reviews we have carried out. And we thought about where our strengths are and where we can make a real difference.

The result is this strategy, which is designed to give us real clarity about what we are here to do and why. In one sense it’s simple. We exist to create a better society for disabled people and their families. But that’s a huge aim – and we have to recognise that we can’t do it all. So the strategy concentrates on six key areas where we want to make change happen.

From 2013, everything we do will be aligned with these six key themes. We have to make the biggest difference we possibly can – for our service users, beneficiaries, donors and supporters. I believe this strategy will help us do that. It promises to be a hugely exciting journey for Scope – and one that will see us change the world for the better.

Thank you, as always, for your support.

A great big fat garden stuffed with love…

Guest post from Emma Goddard – Life Skills Tutor at Scope’s Roman House

Roman House garden makeover

So, what do you get if you take, six medical scientists from Eli Lilly, a weekly volunteer called Steph, one Life skills tutor, a Employee Volunteer co-ordinator and a bus full of plants? A great big fat garden stuffed with love, that’s what.

On Thursday 11 October 2012 we kicked off the day with a big goal to transform our bungalow gardens.

It was great, all the tools were ready, thanks to employee volunteering who provided, forks, spades, shears, loppers and enthusiasm.

And off we went, in the lashing rain, chopping and lopping, like an episode of Edward Scissorhands. By lunchtime the plot was cleared, and our damp crew were off down the chip shop for well-deserved carbs. I love lunchtimes with volunteers, because that’s when the connections happen between our customers and the outside world. Also, when else do you get to ask a medical scientist if they have watched Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein…

In the afternoon it was planting up, we have chosen many light reflective plants to brighten the patch up, and over 700 spring bulbs were buried into the ground. It’s going to look amazing in February, March and April with so many tulips and daffodils.

But the highlight of the day was when our customer Jon Conway, came back from his day in town and his eyes popped out of his head! I have never seen a bigger smile.

Volunteering in Scope, Roman House, doesn’t just mean a beautiful garden, it gives our customers and staff a legacy of self-esteem and confidence. Someone thought of us, and we were worth the effort.