Self Management Week 2024 will run from 23 - 26 September, with the theme of 'Journeys'

Self Management Week was first launched in 2010, building upon “Gaun Yersel” – the first Self Management Strategy for Scotland. The aim of the week is to bring people together and to share learning across the Self Management Network Scotland, the Self Management Fund projects and the wider ALLIANCE membership. 

During the Week, the ALLIANCE hosts and promotes a series of online and in-person events across Scotland, alongside publicity which showcases examples of good practice. Participation is free, inclusive and open to all.

Throughout July, August and September we will be running an awareness campaign on social media to raise the profile and improve understanding of self management. The theme this year is ‘Journeys’ and we hope to raise awareness of different self management journeys, highlighting the different paths self management can take people on towards achieving improved health and wellbeing, the different points individuals are at on their journey with self management, and how self management enables us to move forward in life. Look out for the weekly opinion pieces and short videos that will be posted on our website and social media platforms around this theme.

Get involved in Self Management Week.

Organisations awarded funding through the Self Management Fund are required to comply with Scottish Government's Fair Work First policy.

Fair Work First is the Scottish Government’s flagship policy for driving high quality and fair work across the labour market in Scotland. This is increasingly being implemented by applying fair work criteria to grants, other funding and contracts being awarded across the public sector, where it is relevant to do so. Through this approach the Scottish Government is asking employers to adopt fair working practices, specifically:

  • appropriate channels for effective voice, such as trade union recognition;
  • investment in workforce development;
  • no inappropriate use of zero hours contracts;
  • action to tackle the gender pay gap and create a more diverse and inclusive workplace;
  • payment of the Real Living Wage;
  • offer flexible and family friendly working practices for all workers from day one of employment; and
  • oppose the use of fire and rehire practice

Paying at least the Real Living Wage and providing appropriate channels for effective workers’ voice are mandatory while the other criteria are encouraged. Only in limited circumstances may the ALLIANCE consider making an exception to the mandatory criteria.

As a result, we are introducing checks for these two elements of the Fair Work First policy for all Self Management Funded projects. These checks are: that employees to receive at least the Real Living Wage; and that workers are provided with appropriate channels for effective voice on an individual and collective level.

Funded organisations should provide the most appropriate evidence for their organisation from the list below. You may need to provide more than one source of evidence depending on the make-up of your workforce and whether contractors/agency workers are employed to directly support delivery of the funded project.

Evidence of payment of Real Living Wage

Evidence
Grant ValueDirectly employed staffApprentices16-17 year old workersContracted and agency staff
Below £100k (cumulative)Living Wage Accreditation; or

Self-declaration
Self-declarationSelf-declarationSelf-declaration
Equal to or above £100k (cumulative)Living Wage Accreditation; or

Anonymised payroll; or

Accountant certificate
Anonymised payroll; or
Accountant certificate
Anonymised payroll; or
Accountant certificate
Anonymised copy of contract for relevant contractors/ agency workers
This table explains the required evidence for payment of Real Living Wage, according to the value of your grant.

Evidence of effective Employee Voice

Although it is encouraged in all organisations, the collective element of voice does not have to be evidenced by organisations with fewer than 21 workers. 

Voice ChannelLevelEvidence
Line Management Relationship (i.e. effective 2-way dialogue through 1:1 relationship).IndividualWritten confirmation from trade union/worker representative(s) that there is opportunity for regular 1:1 open and two-way dialogue between line managers and their direct reports; that this dialogue exists separately to standard performance review processes; and that worker-manager working relationships are effective.
This could also be supported by evidence of regular engagement survey that supports this; and/or in Organisation’s KPI’s.
Staff /Engagement SurveysIndividualWritten confirmation from both management and trade union/worker representative(s) that an appropriate survey is regularly undertaken and can demonstrate that feedback is provided to workforce and actions created and implemented to address this.
Suggestions SchemesIndividualWritten confirmation from both management and trade union/worker representatives that a scheme exists and examples provided of improvements made as a result.
Intranet/Online PlatformsIndividualWritten confirmation from both management and trade union/worker representatives that an internal platform exists that allows worker contribution to strategic discussion and examples provided where input is acknowledged and acted upon.
Staff Forums / NetworksCollectiveWritten confirmation from both management and trade union/worker representatives that network(s) and/or a forum exists, meets regularly, supports open dialogue and is action focussed. Examples of actions progressed should be provided.
Trade Union Recognition/ Collective BargainingCollectiveCopy of Recognition Agreement is provided.
Access is provided to trade unions / Pro union Membership attitude is demonstratedCollective1) Trade union(s) confirm that access is granted to recruit and organise members.
And/or:
2) Workers are aware that the employer is happy for them to join a union of their choice (e.g through induction materials, clause in contract).
Joint Consultative Committee/s (JCC)CollectiveWritten confirmation from both management and and trade union/worker representative(s) that JCC/s exist and examples of issues covered.
European Works Councils (EWCs)CollectivePapers from EWC demonstrating membership and active participation.
This table explains how the different channels of voice can be evidenced. At least one channel at both levels (individual and collective) should be provided as evidence for organisations with 21 or more workers. For organisations with fewer than 21 workers, evidence of at least one individual level of effective voice should be provided with your employer declaration form.

The Self Management Awards 2024 are now closed to nominations

Who do you know that made a difference for people in Scotland this year? Maybe someone you know has shown exceptional self management in the face of adversity, or a project has provided exceptional support for you to self manage. Celebrate their achievements at the Self Management Awards by nominating the people and projects you know who have contributed the most to self management in Scotland over the past year.

Self Management in the Community – in partnership with the ALLIANCE Links Worker Programme.
The shortlist for this award will open to public vote.

Self management is about working in partnership with services that can support individuals to be in the driving seat and have a meaningful role in decisions affecting them. This award is an opportunity to highlight projects, local communities or individuals who have worked to create improvements to support people to live well within their community.

This could be initiatives or activities that encourage community empowerment, grow community capacity or encourage local communities to adopt self management approaches.

This award is open to individuals, public libraries, local groups, organisations, projects and people working across health, social care and the third sector.

Moira Anderson Foundation’s Positive Steps project was the 2023 winner of this Award. Positive Steps offers a range of support for adults with long term conditions, including individual support, complementary therapies, a 12-week self management programme and peer support.

Self Management Resource – in partnership with ALISS (A Local Information System for Scotland)
This award recognises the resources (on and offline) that genuinely add value to the lives of individuals, enable staff working in health and social care to deliver services more effectively and provide invaluable information, support and advice on self management.

Previous winners have included a Flare Card for people living with Crohn’s and Colitis to help them recognise flare symptoms and seek appropriate support, tailored online resources to support children and young people living with Long Covid and our 2023 winner was SWAN and their support group for autistic women and non-binary people as they go through the process of diagnosis.

Self Management Digital Innovator – in partnership with the ALLIANCE Digital Hub.

Digital tools have changed the way many people self manage and can provide support that would not be otherwise possible. What have you seen this year that has stood out as an innovative in the use of digital technology?

This award is for individuals or organisations who have found innovative ways of helping people self manage using digital technology. Examples of innovation could be finding new ways of working digitally, creative uses of existing technology, or reaching out to new audiences through digital means.

2023 winner Long Term Conditions Hebrides (LTCH) provides inclusive activities to help vulnerable people help themselves. Digital technology has transformed the way LTCH supports its members, allowing them to expand their services to benefit more isolated people living in rural communities on the Western Isles and beyond.

Self Management Champion – in partnership with Humans of Scotland.

This award celebrates people who are helping to encourage and inspire others to self manage and spread the self management message, along with anyone who has made positive change to their lives by taking a self management approach; living their life better, on their terms.

Who do you know that encourages individuals to self manage? Who has championed ideas that add value to your work or life? Do they campaign in a way that raises the profile of self management as key role in recovery journeys? Will their story inspire others?

This award is open to everyone.

Empowering Self Management Project – in partnership with the Health and Social Care Academy.

This award aims to highlight the success of any self management project with an empowerment focus in Scotland.

This award demonstrates the difference such projects make to improve people’s lives, build self management capacity and help to transform health and social care. If your project has empowered individuals, groups or communities to take control over their lives and health, then this is a great way to have it recognised and celebrated alongside the people who made it happen. We want to hear from projects where people felt listened to and been able to change/influence the things that matter most to them! This award recognises projects working in partnership and the role that individuals and communities play in the design and delivery of support and services.

This award is open to any project which focusses on empowering the people it supports through self management.

Our 2023 winner was Children’s Health Scotland’s SMS:Hub, where young people with a health condition aged 9 – 17 come together for fun activities around Self Management and community, promoting friendships and social inclusion.

Sensory Impairment: Positive Self Management – in partnership with the Scottish Sensory Hub.

This award aims to raise the profile of the good self management work being done in the sensory impairment sector throughout Scotland. Do you know someone who is supporting people with sensory impairment to positively self manage? Someone who has challenged and changed disabling barriers to inclusion of, and participation by, people with sensory impairment in various aspects of everyday life? Someone who is managing their own sensory impairment exceptionally well and deserves to be celebrated?

Jennifer Murray, 2023 winner, is a remarkable individual who has made significant contributions to Deafblind Scotland. Jennifer is fully blind and has hearing loss. She has volunteered her time to provide peer support and mentorship in digital technology and made personal sacrifices to improve the lives of deafblind individuals. Jennifer’s contributions have had a lasting impact on the lives of deafblind individuals within the organisation.

This award is open to anyone with personal and/or professional involvement in the sensory impairment sector across Scotland.

Self Management through the Arts – in partnership with ALLIANCE Live.

This award celebrates people or projects who support people, to take part in, watch or otherwise use the arts to support self management.

Do you know a person or project that puts on musical theatre performances? Teaches music? Created a space for people to express themselves through drawing and painting or crafts? We want to celebrate all the work being done to bring people to the arts and bring the arts to people.

The 2023 winner of this award was Spider Arts, a community arts and wellbeing charity, for their “Calmbulance,” a fully equipped mobile art therapy studio that offers a calm and inviting space, where children and young people can explore their emotions through play and art-making and gain the confidence and skills to cope with their difficulties.

This award is open to any people or projects using the arts (including visual arts, theatre, music) to support self management.

Self Management Fund (2018-2019)

Over three Learning Day events, the funded projects within the 2018 Working Together to Strengthen Integration round worked together to come up with the best advice they would give to any new self management projects starting out. These are:

  • Learn
    • One of the strongest themes that came through in the advice for new projects was to keep learning throughout the project – learn from what works and what doesn’t, learn from the people you work with, learn from colleagues and partner organisations.
    • When starting out, use the experience of partners to help you shape your plan, but make space in your plan to make changes as you learn and let the people guide you.
  • Be Flexible
    • Being flexible in your approach allows you to implement learning as you go along, correct mistakes and make improvements. If you allow for movement in ideas and direction then you can pivot effectively if needed. Allowing the project to develop organically can take it in the direction it is most needed.
  • Communicate
    • Take time to build relationships with partners, and make the most of their local expertise and knowledge to build a strong foundation for the project. Communicate with the people you work with, and trust the process of listening and responding to what people tell you they need.
  • Check Outcomes
    • Try new things and learn from what works and what doesn’t, review your objectives regularly to ensure that they are still fit for purpose and that your project is progressing suitably. You shouldn’t be afraid to acknowledge what is not working as this is part of the process of learning from it.
  • Take Time
    • Take your time to plan the project properly, but allow time for the project to develop organically – you cannot rush any part of it! Spend time building relationships with partners and grow at an achievable pace.

You can find reports related to this event along with other Self Management Fund learning towards the bottom of this page.

Self Management Fund funded projects regularly showcase their learning and impact through ALLIANCE Live Project Insights. These short, informative videos raise awareness, share good practice and distribute knowledge to strengthen good health and social care policy and practice across Scotland.



A full report on the learning days is available to download below.

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Self Management Fund (2021 - 2023)

The Self Management Fund: Resilience, Recovery and Development Round One projects began on 1 June 2021, Round Two projects on 1 October 2022, with Round Three projects beginning on 1 October 2023 Flash reports on the first two rounds are available below.

In general, the funded projects:

In Round One, two grant types were offered, designed to:

  • Test or investigate an idea
  • Build on or develop existing work or knowledge
  • Establish a service that is new to your organisation

In Round Two, grants were offered to projects to:

  • Provide support to people experiencing multiple forms of marginalisation, including people with sensory loss; ethnic minority communities; disabled children and young people; people with learning and intellectual disabilities; people experiencing economic deprivation; and unpaid carers
  • Focus on a hybrid way of working and supporting digital inclusion for those who have been excluded from the move to digital services.

In Round Three, grants were offered to projects to:

  • Provide support for disabled people and people living with long term conditions and/or unpaid carers who experience disrupted care
  • Address the wider determinants of health so that individuals are supported to live their lives better on their own terms, progress to employment, create and develop sustainable communities, and take a leadership role in preventing ill-health.

The majority of RRD grantees are still working to deliver activities and we will share more learning as projects continue to develop.

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The learning and impact from the Self Management funded projects.

Self Management Fund funded projects regularly showcase their learning and impact through ALLIANCE Live Project Insights. These short, informative videos raise awareness, share good practice and distribute knowledge to strengthen good health and social care policy and practice across Scotland.

Learning Reports summarising each round of funding are also available to download below. [Please link resources below: Self Management Fund Reports 2009-2020 and Self Management Fund Reports 2021-]

Advice for Self Management Projects

A group of previously funded projects worked together to come up with the best advice they would give to any new self management projects starting out. These are:

Learn

  • One of the strongest themes that came through in the advice for new projects was to keep learning throughout the project – learn from what works and what doesn’t, learn from the people you work with, learn from colleagues and partner organisations.
  • When starting out, use the experience of partners to help you shape your plan, but make space in your plan to make changes as you learn and let the people guide you.

Be Flexible

  • Being flexible in your approach allows you to implement learning as you go along, correct mistakes and make improvements. If you allow for movement in ideas and direction then you can pivot effectively if needed. Allowing the project to develop organically can take it in the direction it is most needed.

Communicate

  • Take time to build relationships with partners, and make the most of their local expertise and knowledge to build a strong foundation for the project. Communicate with the people you work with, and trust the process of listening and responding to what people tell you they need.

Check Outcomes

  • Try new things and learn from what works and what doesn’t, review your objectives regularly to ensure that they are still fit for purpose and that your project is progressing suitably. You shouldn’t be afraid to acknowledge what is not working as this is part of the process of learning from it.

Take Time

  • Take your time to plan the project properly, but allow time for the project to develop organically – you cannot rush any part of it! Spend time building relationships with partners and grow at an achievable pace.
  • You can find reports related to this event along with other Self Management Fund learning towards the bottom of this page.

The ALLIANCE administers the Self Management Fund on behalf of the Scottish Government.

The Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (the ALLIANCE) administers the Self Management Fund on behalf of the Scottish Government, supporting third sector and community based organisations across Scotland to develop self management activities. Since 2009, The ALLIANCE has awarded over £26 million in funds to 432 projects. More information on the projects can be found in our Funded Projects section.

The Self Management Fund was created by the Scottish Government in response to recommendations made in the Gaun Yersel: the Self Management Strategy for Scotland (link will open in a new page). It was set up to support the development of co-produced, person centred, self management activity across Scotland. Learning from the experience of people living with long term conditions, and their unpaid carers, is central to the ethos of the fund.

Across all rounds of the Self Management Fund projects must show that:

  • Work is new for the applicant organisation, or present a development of an existing idea.
  • The idea has come from the people it is designed to benefit.
  • Disabled people, individuals living with long term conditions and/or unpaid carers will be enabled to take a leadership role in the design, delivery and evaluation of the project.
  • The capacity of disabled people, individuals living with long term conditions and/or unpaid carers to effectively self manage will be enhanced .
  • The principles of self management identified in Gaun’ Yersel’: the Self Management Strategy for Scotland are at the heart of the project.

Alongside these core criteria each funding round has a specific focus, the priorities of Self Management for Life are:

  • Supporting people living with, or who might be at risk of developing, long term conditions to be better able to self manage and/or reduce risk factors.
  • Supporting people who experience barriers to accessing health and social care support and services, due to geographical, social, or economic factors to feel better able to self manage through direct support or support to access services.
  • Supporting people who are waiting for a specialist health or social care intervention or rehabilitation support through enabling them to develop self management capabilities while awaiting treatment.
  • Supporting disabled young people or young people living with long term conditions or unpaid carers to understand the importance of self management and to develop skills which maximise their health and wellbeing.

The fund aims to develop practice and share learning, this is done in a number of ways though our partners in the Scottish Government and through our own Self Management Network. You can find out more about our learning by clicking the learning tab in the sidebar.

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In 2016, the ALLIANCE funded nine projects for five years in the Transforming Self Management in Scotland round of the Self Management Fund.

Below is an overview of the projects which the ALLIANCE funded for five years. To find out more about any of these projects, simply select, click or tap on one of them.

The ALLIANCE published a podcast discussing the learnings from the Self Management Fund: Transforming Self Management in Scotland – you can learn more by visiting the ALLIANCE Live Roundtable post, or listening directly from ourAnchor.FM pageA flash report is available to download below.

Findings: How does longer term funding help to sustain self management?

There were four main areas in which having secured, long term funding enhanced the sustainability of self management practice and delivery, and, therefore positively supported both the operation of organisations and individuals’ lives. These areas are time, trust, scope and delivery.

Time

Having longer term funding as opposed to the more common one to two years has brought several benefits. Knowing that funding is available for five years allowed organisations to better expand, to further embed and to create even more sustainable self management engagements. For example, across a wider geographical and socio-economic reach, while, simultaneously building up meaningful connections at both individual and community levels as a result of the longer time available.

Having more time allowed projects to respond to challenges in a reflective way. When issues arose, organisations had the capacity to evaluate the best strategy of action and to change course as required to respond to demands and opportunities. This resulted in even better opportunities for participants to self manage and helped projects to adapt and continue delivering services when, for example, the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

Trust

Longer, secure funding supported projects to drive a sustained change in attitudes and culture, which in turn allowed individuals to learn more about self management. Projects were able to support people to build up extended engagements and deeper trust not only towards the organisations they received support from but towards themselves as well as to gain acceptance that they are in the driving seat and can have control through self management.

Scope

Due to the characteristics of the Self Management Transforming Fund, organisations offered a wider variety of support as part of their projects. This meant even more diverse self management courses and opportunities, and therefore a better chance for individuals to find engagements that would suit them. Geographical and socio-economic expansion of projects brought self management to previously unreached communities and allowed individuals to feel better able to self manage on their terms.

Continuation of delivery

Across all the nine projects, people’s individual stories expressed joy at having had engagements that they could rely on an ongoing basis. This peace of mind extended to the organisations as well, as, having secure long term funding, they did not need to worry about otherwise annually reoccurring issues such as how they would be able to support individuals should they not secure funding for the year to come.

Having consistency also allowed people to explore their skills and, for example, take on elements of delivery to improve and expand the projects run, enhancing its sustainability and reach, taking self management to people not involved before.

Resources

The ALLIANCE published a podcast discussing the learnings from the Self Management Fund: Transforming Self Management in Scotland – you can learn more by visiting the ALLIANCE Live Roundtable post, or listening directly from our Anchor.FM page (this link will take you away from our website).

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