|Fund:||Business Support in Scotland|
|How the money was used:||
C-Change Scotland is a Scottish charity which provides outcome-focused personalised support to people with learning disabilities, mental health issues and other additional support needs.
C-Change Scotland is a Scottish charity which provides outcome-focused personalised support to people with learning disabilities, mental health issues and other additional support needs. The charity hosts a project, dates-n-mates, which is Scotland’s national dating and friendship agency run by and for people with learning disabilities.
How we helped
C-Change wished to evaluate its overall relationship with dates-n-mates, and determine the best legal structure to take the project forward. As a result of the project’s success and geographic expansion, it was felt that remaining in-house may not reflect the ‘adult to adult’ nature of the relationship between C-Change and dates-n-mates. Concerns were also identified around the fundability of dates-n-mates as a project sitting within a larger organisation managing Self-Directed Support funds. A referral was made to consider the benefits, risks and limitations of dates-n-mates either being an independent charity, part of a C-Change group structure or remaining as a project of C-Change.
The SIB advisor led an early facilitated session with key dates-n-mates staff and C-Change’s CEO to consider aspirations for both parent charity and project; and to seek initial views on restructuring options. It became clear that while practical issues had been encountered as a result of the project structure, the parent charity and project were both committed and aligned to the same human rights based, person centred values, and there was an aspiration for dates-n-mates to continue in-house.
Following the facilitated session, the SIB advisor prepared an options appraisal, supplemented by case studies to identify applicable lessons and solutions for dates-n-mates. As access to funding was a key concern in considering the project’s legal structure, interviews with funders took place to understand their views on a potential restructuring. Dates-n-mates is committed to being member led, and this ethos was supported through a focus group enabling dates-n-mates members to voice their aspirations for the project. Findings were presented in a summary report outlining options and recommendations.
What was the outcome?
Ultimately, it was recommended that dates-n-mates remain as a project within C-Change, but with some adjustments to the current structure. This has provided clarity and reassurance that the aspiration to remain in-house can be sustainable. The recommendations provided are helping to inform the implementation of a new national managerial structure for dates-n-mates.
"Thanks very much for all your hard work on producing the report for us. It has been very helpful – including the discussion that we had right at the start – to clarify the situation and help us determine the way forward for dates-n-mates."