New Directions has been active in providing Social Care in West Lothian for forty years. Initially we provided advice and support for people with epilepsy but since 2016 we have broadened our remit and support people who have a learning disability, autism, mental health, physical disability, addictions and life-limiting conditions.
The organisation has been led for the past six years by Carolyn Craig who has managed Third Sector services for thirty years. She was initially tasked with creating transformational change in the organisation.
Since 2006 we have grown by 89% percent and deliver 41,000 hours of support per year. Our main contract is with West Lothian Council but we also deliver support on behalf of Falkirk Council and City of Edinburgh. We support seventy-five people and assist people to take part in education, training, paid and voluntary work, look after their homes, their health and their money. We have close links with colleagues in health and social work.
We employ thirty-two staff who are all residents of West Lothian and provide training and a funded professional qualification. In 2021 our team benefited from 300 hours of training. During the current recruitment crisis in social care we have been able to maintain and add to our staff team. We are one of only two social care providers in West Lothian who are accredited Scottish Living Wage employers and, over the past six years, have been able to increase salaries for our Support Workers by 28%. Our most recent staff survey found that 100% of our team were proud to work for New Directions. Collectively our managers have over seventy years of experience in social care.
Our Board of Directors come from a range of backgrounds including education, health and social care and lived and family experience of disability.
As well as our social care contracts we provide added value in the form of groups, including drama and music. We host well-attended social events and, this summer, ran a community café which provided paid work experience for people with a learning disability and local high school students as well as providing good-quality and affordable food for local people.
You can read our latest Annual Review here.
Care Inspection 2023
In January we had our first Inspection since early 2020 are were delighted to be graded 5 for the quality of care and support. The Inspectors were impressed with the Support Workers they spoke with and how warm relationships were.
• People, and family members, were very happy with the service.
• There was a vibrant and friendly atmosphere within Bloom House and groups.
• Staff were respectful and took time to listen when supporting people to express themselves.
• The management team were approachable and supportive.
We have to improve our Quality Assurance Strategy which will be an exciting opportunity to revisit how everyone who has a stake in the organisation is heard.