Our history

Signpost began as a volunteer project in September 2000, run by a group of parents of children with additional support needs who started a help-line in Lesley Mount's back room.

Telephone callers were offered information about local services and a chance to chat to parents who had been through similar experiences. The volunteers used the knowledge they had gained from looking after their own children, and the information they had collected about local services.

With the support of staff from West Lothian Council, and NHS Lothian, and following an intensive publicity campaign to raise awareness of the service, the volunteers soon found parents and professionals calling the help-line from all over West Lothian.

The helpline was originally funded by The Millennium Commission, a Government fund to help volunteers make a difference in their community. After a successful year, the parents formed a trustee committee and Signpost became a charity. This allowed Signpost to apply for funding from the National Lottery, from a trust fund (Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland) and from Children in Need. These three gave funding to continue the service with paid staff, and since then numerous funders have contributed to our success.

Signpost has grown from the 2 original job-share staff to five part-time staff, and operates full-time from an office at Beatlie Campus in Craigshill, Livingston, where it is close to other services used by families who have children with additional support needs.

The work of the staff is overseen by a committee of volunteer parents and professionals, who ensure that Signpost remains true to its ideals and close to its users' needs. 

Learn more about our trustees and staff

Since Signpost began we have helped hundreds of families and won several awards (such as a DSC Social Change Award & and NHS 'Health Heroes' award). Around 35% of the people who contact us each year are new, while the others are families who have often relied on our support for several years, and return to us when they need support as their children grow and their needs change. We have supported a whole generation of young people from toddler-hood to adulthood!

Become a part of our history by volunteering as a trustee - see our Jobs & volunteering page

Help us to do even more for families by supporting our work. You can donate funds for our essential services, give your time as a volunteer fundraiser, or share your experiences and knowledge as a parent or carer for a child with additional support needs. To find out more about the help we need now, contact us on 01506 431 123 or email [email protected]