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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Lifeline thrown to vital service


Funding will keep it operational for at least a year

An Aberdeenshire group is keeping a vital service alive after it closed earlier this year.

AB15 is funding the epilepsy service part-time for a year with the group due to re-start on May 10.    

Epilepsy Scotland, which runs the support group, was forced to shut down the service in February of this year because they had been using their reserves to keep the service going and that was not sustainable.  

The funding provided by Derrick Thomson and Bob Keiller at AB15 will give Epilepsy Scotland time to engage constructively with Local Authorities (LAs) and local health boards to hopefully secure longer-term funding for this vital social support service that works in conjunction with clinical care to improve confidence, mental wellbeing, and tackling social isolation.   

Epilepsy Scotland CEO, Lesslie Young, says “We are delighted that Derrick and Bob  have provided support to their local community in this way. It was an enormously difficult decision to shut down our Aberdeenshire Support Group earlier this year, because of the essential service it provided. However, it was always our intention to secure funding to restart the face-to-face group.   

“The generosity of Derrick and Bob is remarkable and warmly welcomed.  However, the reality is, social support services delivered by third sector organisations contribute significantly to clinical and social care delivered by the NHS and LAs by improving the wellbeing of service users.

"Being able to better manage their epilepsy results in improved confidence, better mental health, and being less socially isolated which in turn results in clinical services being used less, ultimately saving the NHS time and money.

"This intrinsic link between clinical care/social care and social support is why we feel strongly the NHS and LAs, who know this to be true, should be acknowledging their responsibility and contributing significantly towards the cost of this service.   

“We will be engaging with LAs and local health boards over the next year to secure longer-term contributions from them for this absolutely essential service.” 

Derrick at AB15 said: “We are very happy that we can provide this support at a critical time for this amazing organisation and that it goes someway to keeping that vital support alive.” 



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