Improving communication, improving lives
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The Keeping Safe Talking Mats resource is a visual framework that has been developed and trialled over 3 years. It provides:

  • A listening space for people with learning disability to raise concerns
  • A structure for staff to find out what people are thinking about their lives, and raise issues that can be difficult to discuss.

We have produced a poster that describes the development of the resource and where we have got to .  Please click here to view CM poster 20150825

The Scottish government learning disability strategy keys to life has 4 strategic outcomes for  people with learning disability in 2015-2017

  1. A health life
  2. Choice and control
  3. Independence
  4. Active Citzenship

Using the Keeping safe resource allows people to  think about , reflect on and have their say in these areas. We have loved training staff working in learning disability across Scotland to use it. The feedback on how it is being used is  very powerful, so watch  out for more blogs that will show how it has helped people with a learning disability  have a say in changing and determining their lives.

To help us meet the growing demands of our social enterprise we are a looking to recruit another associate to join the team. This person can be part time but no less than 3 days a week.

The key roles are:

  • To work with the Talking Mats team to provide high quality training throughout the UK and occasionally abroad
  • To be involved in developing and carrying out consultancy and project work
  • To contribute to developing and taking products to market
  • To increase sales and promote Talking Mats
  • To contribute, as agreed, to the day-to-day running of Talking Mats Limited

Salary offered will depend on skills, experience and what you bring to Talking Mats. The range offered will be between  £25,000 to £35,000. For detailed job description and person specification click here 20151007 TM Associate job description

The closing date for applications is noon on Wednesday 28th October  and the date for interviews will be Thursday 5th November

If you are interested and think you would like to join our dynamic team please send a cover letter with your CV to or  Also, don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need any other information either by email or phone us on 01786 479511

Stirling Council hosted a meeting this morning (2nd October) to discuss Stirling’s response to the Syrian refugees crisis. It was a great meeting with good speakers outlining the Scottish response and also the Stirling response to welcoming families from the refugee camps. There were about 150 people in the hall buzzing with ideas and we were given plenty of time to discuss in groups our thoughts and ideas.

One of the key issues overlying those such as housing, education, health, faith and community support was communication. How we can help people whose first language is not English and who may also have difficulty expressing themselves because of trauma?

Already there have been responses from translation services, the local Islamic Centre and the University. Another possibility is the use of Talking Mats to help people consider their options and express their views. We have used Talking Mats in other situations where English was not a first language, for example in clinical situations with Polish patients and also in our work in China a few years ago. We found that once the person understood the basic structure of Talking Mats we were able to communicate amazingly well. We have a number of symbol resources that might be helpful and, as a social enterprise, are keen to offer our services.

Like everyone in this morning’s meeting, we look forward to welcoming and supporting the Syrian families who are coming to Stirling.