Outside the Box Development Support

Self Directed Support

Over the Fence

Sharing tips on how to get the support you need

Do you want to get some help to stay at home or have a better quality of life?
Do you know someone who could do with a bit more help?
Are you not too sure where to start, or how to find out more?

If so, you can help other people.

Over the Fence logo

About the project

Over the Fence is developing a website to give people who are new to social care information about how to get the support they want.

The project began in 2011 and is funded by the Scottish Government as part of the programme to develop the capacity of people who use services and her families as part of the implementation of Self-directed support.

The content is based on the experience of other people who have been in these situations. There will be links to relevant contacts and organisations providing further information and support for people who are looking for support and for their families and friends across Scotland.

The information about SDS options and other aspects of the new arrangements, such as identifying the outcomes you want to achieve and planning support around these, is an integral part of the examples and other material.

Progress over the first year or so

In 2011 we began meeting people who had recently started using social care services. We continued doing that over the following year.

The progress on this project has been slower than we expected at the start.

  • We wanted to be certain what the scope of the new arrangements would be.
  • It was hard to find enough people to take part in helping develop the examples and content until there were enough pilot projects underway.


What we’ve been doing this year

Our plan for 2013-14 was:

  • Complete the initial information-gathering sessions
  • Write the material
  • Complete the design of the website
  • Confirm the plans for the testing and piloting stages.

Over the past 6 months we have worked with 6 networks or groups who are in touch with people who use services and/or carers. So far over 50 people have been part of the information-gathering and/or focus groups.

At October 2013 the website is at the design stage.

  • Media co-op have been working on the design of the website.
  • We have tested the design, structure and contact with focus groups contacted through local user-led and carer-led organisations.
  • We have held focus groups and/or individual sessions with people to test the materials and have more sessions arranged.
  • We have identified more people to test the website when it is running but not yet publicly available.

The people who were part of the initial information gathering told us that many older people are arranging support themselves, at least at the start of the process, because they do not meet the local authority’s eligibility criteria. The feedback from the people at this stage of checking out the draft structure and material has confirmed this. The material for the website takes account of situations where people are arranging things themselves as well as those situations when someone is part of the local authority assessment and SDS process.

Benefits for people so far

The main impacts will come when people start using the website and the material on it.
There have been benefits for people taking part in the checking out stage. The benefits that people are describing for themselves and for groups are greater than we had expected and are a welcome outcome.

  • The groups can use the material we’ve developed so far with their members and people they support.
  • The discussions have helped the groups think about what support and information they need to give individual people.
  • The feedback from people who have contributed their stories and experiences is that they feel valued and know that they are helping other people.
  • We have also followed up when participants have asked about information which is helping them plan for their own future or get care and support which meets their circumstances.


What happens next?

The work on the website continues until the end of December.

During January – March 2014 the website will be available to people to help us test it. But it won’t show up in searches at that stage.

From April 2014 the Over the Fence website will be available to everyone. There will be information about the website.

We’ll also be looking at ways to make the information available to people who do not have easy access to the internet.

We will keep getting feedback and updating the material if needed during the next year or so.

How to get involved

We are continuing to look for groups or projects where there are people who are at the stage of just starting to use support services or who have recently begun using support, which can help with testing the website in early 2014 before it becomes available to the public.

Please get in touch if you want to find out more or talk about how you can get involved.


The Social Care (Self-directed Support) Scotland Bill was introduced to the Scottish Parliament on the 29th of February and is now published on the Parliament’s website.

You can access the Bill at:


You can find out more via the Scottish Government’s website at:


  • Event Flyer - Making SDS work for older people


  • Self directed Support Information sources


  • Putting Your Fingerprint on SDS - Report from SDS Bill Launch


  • Personalisation and Human Rights - a discussion paper


Further Resources

  • Self-directed support is a way of organising how people choose the social care they need. A new... Self Directed Support - General
  • New website!  We now have a Getting There website.  All of our resources, links,... Getting There
  • Self-directed support and older people About the project This project will develop an... Making Choices
  • Over the Fence logo


If you want to find out more, please get in touch.

Outside the Box
Unit 23
150 Brand St
Glasgow G51 1DH

Phone: 0141 419 0451

Email: admin@otbds.org