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How The Salvesen Mindroom Centre makes a difference

In 2016 the Direct Help and Support team expanded to 7 posts.  Our multi-disciplinary approach enables us to make a difference to children and young people in a variety of ways.

By offering 1:1 support we can:
• Reduce the immediate stresses for families
• Inform and empower parents and carers 
• Raise awareness of rights and responsibilities and support parents, carers and professional to uphold these
• Increase the knowledge and awareness of professionals
• Respond to increasing demand and meet an identified gap in services to families

Through active collaboration with other service providers, we:
• Share good practice and increase knowledge
• Maximise resources 
• Extend our reach
• Work together to achieve mutual aims and to influence practice

We engage with key partners to ensure that knowledge and understanding of learning difficulties is shared as widely as possible. In 2016, this work included:
• Agreeing a pilot model of working with The Yard to offer drop-in sessions to parents and carers
• Working with Edinburgh Airport to enhance their services to passengers with hidden disabilities such as learning difficulties
• Engaging with the General Teaching Council for Scotland to find ways to support teachers to include children with additional support needs

By sharing our knowledge in this way, we seek to influence and raise awareness among others to achieve improved policy and practice so that all families receive the right services at the right time. We accomplish this by working to secure:

• Better opportunities and outcomes for all those with learning difficulties
• Greater acceptance of those with learning difficulties
• Greater awareness among parents/carers, young people and professionals of what Mindroom can do for them
• Improved communication between professionals and parents/ carers 
• Increased opportunities for Mindroom to contribute our knowledge and expertise
• More education among the wider public about learning difficulties leading to increased tolerance and understanding

The Salvesen Mindroom Centre achieves its aims in a variety of ways, including:

  • Membership of national steering groups including Additional Support for Learning, GIRFEC and the National Improvement Framework 
  • Responding to Government consultations
  • Membership of 7 Parliamentary cross-party groups
  • Membership of for Scotland’s Disabled Children coalition

We also offer training opportunities so that:
• Organisations and individuals are better able to meet the support needs of children and young people with learning difficulties
• We fulfil an unmet need for expert training
• The Salvesen Mindroom Centre’s profile as an expert in the field is better understood

Direct Help and Support, our Activities in 2016   
• In 2016 Mindroom responded to an average of 22 new enquiries each month
• We were involved in an average of 26 family focused meetings each month often involving our key collaborators, including health, education and social work
• We have had a level of involvement with 27 of the 32 local authority areas in Scotland during 2016 
• We engaged in a further 150 Mindroom meetings with our key partners with a view to raising the profile of learning difficulties  
• We held an event in February, "Are We Getting It Right For Every Child?" Led by Dr Paul Hutchins and Professor Loretta Giorcelli.
• We have distributed almost 2,000 hard copies of our It Takes All Kinds of Minds 
• We received, on average, 3,500 visits to our website every month 
• We are continuing to build our reach to individuals via Facebook and Twitter   
• We have continued to deliver workshops to interested parties which have included NHS services, Education and Third Sector Agencies
• To continue to build our knowledge and understanding we attended almost 60 training courses and events