Deal secures future of Achievement Bute

Children, parents, carers and supporters of local charity, Achievement Bute, at a rally in Guildford Square on Saturday, March 14.
Children, parents, carers and supporters of local charity, Achievement Bute, at a rally in Guildford Square on Saturday, March 14.

Seventeen families on Bute are breathing a sigh of relief today with the news that island charity Achievement Bute will be able to continue providing care to disabled children.

The news comes after weeks of uncertainty, with Achievement Bute stating they would cease offering care on March 31 due to a change in the way council services are funded under Self Directed Support (SDS).

Argyll and Bute Council and Achievement Bute have now reached a funding agreement which will support Achievement Bute in developing a sustainable service in the future to support children with special needs, and their families, on Bute.

Achievement Bute chair Shona Laughland said: “This has been a very difficult time for our families and our staff, due to the uncertainty around the changes to our funding. However, the agreement reached today [Tuesday, March 24] allows us to continue to provide our service to children on Bute which our families clearly value. We would like to thank everyone in our local community who has expressed their support for Achievement Bute over recent weeks.”

Provost of Argyll and Bute, and island councillor, Len Scoullar, added: “This is the best possible outcome for the children and parents who benefit from this valued support and I thank the board and parents associated with Achievement Bute for their help in reaching this agreement.

“It reflects the principles of parental choice under the self-directed support legislation whilst enabling Achievement Bute to develop their business model.

“I’m very grateful, too, to the officers involved and have taken a keen interest in observing the progress being made to reach this successful outcome.”

Councillor Mary-Jean Devon, Policy Lead for Children and Families, said: “I am absolutely delighted at this successful outcome and offer my congratulations to all involved. A key priority of the council is to ensure care is in place for our vulnerable children, and provide them with every opportunity to enjoy life to the full.

“Safe, strong communities are built on foundations which support everyone to live active, independent lives. We can’t do it by ourselves and rely on close working partnerships to achieve our goals. We have worked hard with Achievement Bute to reach an agreement and we are delighted this mutual commitment has paid off.”