About Equal Futures
Equal Futures is a charity which was founded by a group of parents with a relative with a learning disability or autism spectrum disorder. We refer to these individuals as our focus people, and due to the unique viewpoint of our founders as parents, we are committed to supporting the family as a whole. Just like our founders, we want to support adults aged 16 and over with a learning disability or autism spectrum disorder to lead a good quality of life.
Many families feel isolated; unsure where to ask for help.
Most people with a learning disability will have social care services to provide support for daily living. But there is often a lack of understanding in these services that people want more than this.
Equal Futures was created to support families. We can build short-term Smart Circles of Support or self-sustaining lifelong Circles of Support around individuals and their families.
Everyone wants friends too – this is where Equal Futures can help.
We recognise the importance of social connections for a good quality of life. Consequently, we offer 1-to-1 befriending for people with a learning disability or autism. This involves matching the focus person with an adult volunteer befriender. The befriender will then accompany the focus person to activities, clubs, and events in their local community, where they can make social connections.
We also offer regular social events for our focus people and their families. Social events are supported by our volunteers and emphasise our welcoming Equal Futures Community in which everyone can feel a sense of belonging.
We provide support for people aged 16 and over and work across 10 local authority areas: Glasgow, Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scottish Borders, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, Perthshire, East Ayrshire, North Ayrshire, South Ayrshire.
We do not require a formal diagnosis of a learning disability or Autism Spectrum Disorder as we know this can be a difficult process for families.
A group of family members in Scotland were inspired and impressed by this organisation and what it offered; aware from their collective experience that identical concerns and needs are present, but not addressed, in Scotland.
PLAN Canada was set up by relatives of people with disabilities in response to their concern for the future of their family member, for the time the relatives would no longer be able to support them. Fundamentally, their concerns centred on the quality of life that their relative might experience and on the contribution that their relative should be allowed and enabled to make to their community.
With encouragement and support from PLAN Canada, in October 2002, Equal Futures registered as a company limited by guarantee and a charity with a founding Board of Directors. Since then, five of the Board members have become lifetime members committed to setting up networks for their relative with a disability.
Equal Futures joined The Thera group of companies in 2015.