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“A Year Like No Other”

Introduction by Sam Smith, CEO

This years annual report is called ‘A Year Like No Other’.

We thought it was important to acknowledge that the year 2020/2021 was nothing like any other we have experienced. The impact of a global pandemic was not something we had planned for. We had to adapt and change as circumstances evolved rapidly around us.

And so, in recognition that it was not business as usual, we have produced a not business as usual annual report. Instead this report takes the form of a reflection, appreciation and offer of thanks for all those who helped us make it through the most difficult time.

We offer thanks to the people we work for and their families. We also give thanks and show appreciation for colleagues who ensured that people continued to stay healthy, safe and well and lead good lives, despite the circumstances. We acknowledge that we could not have continued to do our vital work without the support of volunteers, our local and online communities, local businesses and public sector organisations. Together we made it through ‘A Year Like No Other’.

We really hope you appreciate and enjoy the report. We also hope that you will work with us to ensure the hard lessons learned through this time provide a solid foundation to build a better future we can all be proud of.

Click here to download PDF version


Watch / listen to each section below

People We Work For

Thank you to the people we work for (audio recording)

Thank you to the people we work for

In a year like no other, we give thanks and recognition to the people we work for. We also give thanks for their resilience and tenacity in the face of adversity – it gave us all strength.

Aidan’s story

By Ian Saunders (Personal Development Worker)

Aidan is a young man we work for in West Lothian.

Aidan is a great observer, and a people person, he likes to be around people…instead of Aidan’s life revolving around what he wanted to do, Aidan’s life started to revolve around what he couldn’t do.

A Parent’s Perspective: Sarah & Stephen Ward

Sarah and Stephen Ward first dealt with C-Change when their 16 year old daughter, who who was diagnosed as autistic, was getting ready to leave an adolescent psychiatric ward that had been home to her for over two years.

They were at first full of fear and apprehensive about the future. Though that fear has now turned to hope.

Kieran’s Story

By Ross Dougall (Personal Development Worker)

If he wasn’t so shy at times, Kieran would tell you himself that over the last year with lockdown restrictions, it did get a bit boring, a bit repetitive. But we were all experiencing it together.

Caroline’s COVID-19 story (audio recording)

Caroline’s COVID-19 story

By Margaret Pickering (Support Advisor)

When Caroline became lethargic and had a cough, the team knew to support her to get a test. When the result came back positive, everything all happened so fast.

My feelings towards living in Lockdown (audio recording)

My feelings towards living in Lockdown

By Andrew Moodie (Film Critic and person we work for)

I don’t feel that affected by all the cafés, restaurants and shops being closed. But with the cinemas closed, with myself being a film critic, this seems to be the only downside that I can think of.

Our Colleagues

Thank you to our Colleagues (audio recording)

Thank you to our Colleagues

As the lockdown started, along with all the uncertainty, one thing that was a constant was the unwavering dedication and commitment of our colleagues in supporting every person that we work for.

Above and Beyond

Story told by Ross Dougall (Personal Development Worker)

He was willing to go above and beyond. Be away from his own family. Work his life around something that may happen…for you know, ten days or two weeks…

When the Tough Get Going (audio recording)

When the Tough Get Going

By Lynn Watson (Director Of Performance, Innovation and Compliance)

As Billy Ocean sang, “When the going gets tough……the tough get going” and boy didn’t we just!

Working Together (audio recording)

Working Together

By Marianne Meehan (Projects and FaB Team)

In February 2020, the impact of the virus we had first heard about in January 2020 was starting to filter through and we could not have envisaged how life was about to change both personally and in our workplace.

My Year Like No Other (audio recording)

My Year Like No Other

By Laura Walsh (Personal Development Worker)

I would never have thought a year or so ago that I would have lived through a pandemic me, the eager viewer of ‘The Walking Dead’ and all things apocalyptic! – let alone work through one.

A Colleague’s Perspective (audio recording)

A Colleague’s Perspective

By Robyn Andrew (Area Finance and Business Administrator)

The year has impacted on individuals personally and professionally.

Thanks And Recognition To Our Colleagues (audio recording)

Thanks And Recognition To Our Colleagues

By Lesley Sharkey – Finance and Business Team

In March 2020, when we entered the first lockdown, the Finance and Business Team (FaB) team went from working as a team in an office environment to working from our homes.

Appreciating and creating Communities

Communities (audio recording)


In a ‘Year Like No Other’ we give thanks and recognition to the communities in which we live, work, contribute to and serve.


This year Dates-n-Mates helped people connect, socialise, and feel included, with a full year of online activities. A new way for many of their members to interact and develop their friendships and relationships. And a new way for Dates-n-Mates to facilitate these opportunities.

Working In Partnership

Partnership Working has been essential.

A huge thank you to you all…we could not have got through this last year without you.

With Thanks And In Memory To… (audio recording)

With Thanks And In Memory To…

It truly has been a year like no other and  how best do we sum it up? Thinking of all the moments of declaring ‘You’re on mute’ or ‘Your camera’s off’ but hopefully from our annual report you see actually no one has been on mute or invisible.

In a year like no other, we learned that each and every one of us is a story-teller in our own right. Be it through words or photos, song, art or dance. With that we give our sincerest gratitude to all that have helped our voices to be heard. With deepest respect, we acknowledge people we work for and colleagues who have lost loved ones in a year like no other. And in memory to our own colleague, Tommy Benson, who sadly passed during this period. Tommy was a much loved friend and colleague who is greatly missed by all who knew him, especially, by Steven, who Tommy worked for.


We weathered a storm during the Year Like No Other. A storm that no one had really planned for. One without recent precedent against which to chart our voyage.

Instead, we held fast to those things that matter most, to relationships, to human decency, to honour, dignity and courage. And we found we had these resources in abundance, among the people we work for and in our communities. Amongst our colleagues who stepped out and did, whilst others locked down. Colleagues who were resourceful and generous. Who were rightly recognised as essential key workers, holding the very fabric of society together, during the most of difficult of times. 

So now, as we move on from the Year Like No Other, we need to draw lessons from our response to the storm. The strengths that people we work for, families, communities and colleagues showed during times of adversity need to be cultivated. Challenging old ways of working, we should ensure individuals flourish as we continue to innovate and learn together.

Technology played a vital role connecting us when we were cast asunder. However, we innovated in a rush; needs must. We now need to reflect and ensure that technology works for people, not the other way around, and that no one is left behind as we grow our knowledge and develop our skills.

We also need to acknowledge that we do not fully understand the full impact this pandemic has had upon us. So, we will approach the year to come with cautious consideration and vigilance for our mutual wellbeing. We recognise that people have drawn deep on their human reserves just to keep going.  

So, in this year to come we will pay particular attention to the wellbeing of the people we work for, their families and our colleagues. People will be our focus and we will try to ensure kindness informs everything we do.  

In a year like no other, thank you.

A Year Like No Other – C-Change Annual Report 2020-2021