CrossReach is a leading and well-respected provider of social care for over 10,000 people in Scotland. We walk alongside people of all ages who find themselves facing challenging circumstances at some point in their life.

Multiple issues affect hundred of thousands of people day in, day out. Depression and anxiety, loneliness, discrimination and poverty, to name just a few.

We have been responding to these ever-changing needs for 150 years, constantly pioneering so that we can make a positive difference to individuals and to their communities.

The work CrossReach does may span the last 150 years but we are certainly not stuck in the past. As the Convener of the new CrossReach Board I am pleased to introduce just some of the activities we have undertaken over the past year which I know have changed the lives of those who choose us to support them when they face difficult circumstances.

The last few months have posed some exceptional challenges, but have also allowed for some exceptional creativity as we have done our best to keep our staff and those who use the services connected and protected in the face of an unpredictable virus.

Thank you for your ongoing support. Together we can continue to make a difference.

Thom Riddell, Convener and Viv Dickenson, CEO

The 150th anniversary was celebrated in 2019 through the launch of our exhibition, activities and local celebrations. We are so grateful for the connections made, as in 2020 these links and relationships are ensuring a strong footing for the future of CrossReach. Individuals, organisations and churches drew alongside to support us in many creative ways.

Scottish Social Services Award – ‘Making Change Happen’

Adult Care Services

We work to support adults experiencing challenges from all walks of life, without judgement and in the knowledge that we are in their corner. Our expertise is offered from a wealth of experience.

Working to see an end to homelessness

We are glad be one of the partners in the new innovative “Glasgow – Everyone’s Home” Alliance that has been appointed to work with Glasgow City Council to achieve its ambition to end homelessness through the introduction of a new, flexible whole system approach over the next 7 – 10 years.

Connection instead of isolation; journeying towards improved mental health

Having been impressed by CrossReach mental health services elsewhere in Scotland, Irvine Old Parish Church offered its premises to expand the work we do. As a result, the Umbrella Project has opened offering group members the space to socialise and talk openly about the challenges they are experiencing and professional support as they journey to improved mental health and wellbeing.

The slower pace, arising from COVID-19 restrictions, has brought an air of calm and relaxation!

This is an unexpected benefit arising from the challenging times of restricted contact with friends and family for the people supported by our Learning Disability services. Adapted service delivery has met the need for routine and activity within this relaxed pace, helping keep morale high.

Children and Families

By being there to walk alongside children and their families we can help them to build on their own strengths and resilience to overcome and achieve the outcomes important to them.

Acceptance and inclusion; celebrating the achievements and success of our children and young people.

Our education services annual prize giving provided a window for the pupils to looking back to see how far they have travelled in their personal, social and academic developments as they prepare for adulthood, citizenship and independence.

Overcoming physical distancing to safely reconnect with clients

Offering counselling online wasn’t a case of arranging a Zoom meeting (or similar) between therapist and client. To continue supporting our counselling clients safely using distance therapy required extensive research, rigorous training and risk assessments before going live with our online consultation room on the NHS Attend Anywhere platform. Having 100 volunteer counsellors sign up to this change in therapy delivery has kept many of our clients connected with their line of support during these unprecedented times.

Making voices heard

As part of the Cross-Party working group on families affected by imprisonment, in partnership with Families Outside, our Polmont Prison Visitors Centre and Family Hub facilitated the opportunity for a family member of an incarcerated person to directly raise concerns about the improvements needed in accessing medication with Humza Yousaf, the Cabinet Secretary.

The first year in the Erskine Waterfront Campus has been a successful one and the number of pupils is slowly building up. One young person who came to live in a CrossReach house said

The Pinky Promise

(You will be taken to a PDF on the carereview.scot website.)

Older People Services

We work with older people and their families to identify, shape and tailor services which support and enhance the wellbeing of each individual person - including support to realise their dreams and aspirations.

Being creative when it comes to being creative

Heart for Art classes for people that have dementia, renowned for their wide reaching benefits that include keeping people connected, a sense of achievement, keeping the mind focussed and unlocking creativity, were put on hold due to COVID-19. The team quickly rethought how to remotely support the artists and art packs were put together and distributed. Mr Hockey chose to brighten his community’s spirits by holding an impromptu outdoor exhibition of his work in his garden!

Mr Hockey's outdoor art exhibition

Therapy! – and no words are needed

It is well documented animals can have a huge impact in reducing stress and in providing a sense of pleasure, focus and wellbeing. Our Care Homes enjoy visits from a variety of non-human species and Clashfarquhar in Stonehaven has been delighted to welcome the Therapy Ponies of Scotland. Residents and staff welcomed the unusual visitors that prompted smiles and conversation. For residents preferring to stay in their rooms during the visit, there was no problem – the Therapy Ponies rode the lifts to all floors ensuring everyone who wanted to enjoy their company did.

Hello again

The generous gift of digital technology in our residential homes has undoubtedly been a ‘Godsend’ to countless residents and their families. Mr Toner, from St Margaret’s House in Polmont and his daughter generously allowed us to share this insight to the precious moments that are experienced.

Celebrating our staff

Our employees and volunteers have a long legacy of providing social care and support in Scotland, often remarking on the privilege of the work they do, and how in helping others, their own lives are transformed.

Service of Celebration 2019

4 staff were recognised for 30 years’ service and 17 staff for 20 years’ service.

Special awards

Ian Manson Adult Learner of the year – Diane Fyfe – St Margaret’s (Older People Service)

Ian Manson Award for Excellence – Heart for Heart initiative (Older People Service)

Volunteer of the year – Lynsey Drummond – Daisy Chain (Children & Family Service)

Employee of the year – Kenneth Sinclair – The Mallard (Children & Family Service)

A gracious invitation was extended by last years Lord High Commissioner, The Duke of Buccleuch through the Purse Bearer’s office, to service managers and their staff members to an evening reception at The Palace of Holyrood House. This marked the beginning of a year of exceptional events with many of the CrossReach services taking time to acknowledge 150 years of love in action and the part they still play in that today.

Scottish Social Services Award 2019 in the ‘Making Change Happen’ category partnership with Princes Trust

This partnership helps to remove the barriers to disadvantaged young people wanting to embark on a career in care by delivering high quality training, support and work experience.

Compassionate and committed workforce recognised.

We are delighted to acknowledge the support from The Assembly Trustees of the Church of Scotland and the approval of a Pandemic payment for employees. This was in recognition of the immense effort and bravery of the workforce as well as the compassion shown on a daily basis to ensure those who depend on our vital service were able to access the support that they need.

Achieving Quality

Quality is at the heart of all we do.

Customer Service Excellence

Customer Service Excellence is a Government Standard for quality accreditation. The standard tests in great depth, areas that research has indicated are a priority for customers.


We could not hope to provide all our services across Scotland without your support and that of others like you. Thank you for your time, talents, donations and prayers, we are incredibly grateful for all our supporters’ generosity.

2020 has been a challenging year but we have been overwhelmed by the response to our Emergency COVID-19 Appeal. We raised over £275,000 from individuals, corporates, grantmakers and virtual events. All money raised had a direct impact on the essential care we provided, helping supply vital resources so we could continue to help the most vulnerable people during these unprecedented times.

Rt Rev Colin Sinclair took part in the 2.6 Challenge.

(You will be taken to The Moderator's story on the CrossReach website)

Thank you from of all of us at CrossReach and on behalf of all of those we work with.

The Social Care Council would wish to acknowledge the incredible help they have received from all who have walked alongside CrossReach in so many different ways over the years and who continue to do so in a spirit of generosity and love.

(You will be taken to our Support Us page on the CrossReach website)