Values in Action

Steve Raw

By Steve Raw, Dosh Managing Director 



I started supporting people with a learning disability 25 years ago.  This is my second career.  My daughter, Bettina, was 9 years old at the time.  Bettina copes with a learning disability, autism, and epilepsy.  I knew what my values were (and they haven’t changed) but did I know what the values were of the organisation I was going to work for and if they had them, did they demonstrate them towards the people they support?

Several years ago, driving to the office on the M11, I was tuned into BBC Radio 5.  A listener was telling the presenter about the importance of British Values.  The presenter responds by saying what are they?  “urmm, mmmm, a pause” and after not getting a coherent response from the listener, the presenter eventually cuts to the next person.  I make a mental note not to make statements unless I can back them up and give examples.  I also think, could I name our company values and best of all could I provide evidence we live them?

I have recently  been invited by a couple of my colleagues to deliver a presentation to our team on ‘Values’.  Now is a good time to reflect before I put my talk together.

Definition for “Values”

A set of principles or standards of behaviour; one’s judgement of what is important in life.

A set of moral principles that help you to decide what is right and wrong, and how to act in various situations

A philosophy that is meaningful to the company

Related:   Giving Voices to Values – Leadership in the Raw by Meike Beckford

How they have worked in our company

Dosh (Financial Advocacy) Ltd is a company supporting adults with a learning disability to have more control and independence with their money. Dosh is a Not-for-Profit Company and I have had the honour of being Dosh’s Managing Director since 2009.  There are currently over 40 members of staff supporting 1200 people across England, Scotland, and Wales.

Our Values are a statement of intention and commitment to achieve a high level of performance for the people we support.

Our values are an internal reference and are designed to maintain a consistent approach in our work and support to people, no matter how much we grow as a company.

We have a ‘code’ which we share with each other, which includes:



Our Values

  • We care about the well-being and success of every person we work with and support
  • High standards are a way of life. We pursue excellence in everything we do.
  • We make a difference in every community we serve.
  • We respect and listen to our people.
  • We empower our people to make decisions that improve their work and benefit the people we support and our company.

Our Values are aimed towards each other and the people we support.   We do not differentiate.

Why Values?

  • Values influence people’s behaviour and serve as criteria for evaluating the actions of others.
  • They have a great role to play in the conduct of life.
  • They help in creating norms to guide day-to-day behaviour.
  • The values of a culture may change, but most remain stable during one person’s lifetime. The Dosh Values have been constant for the last 12 years
  • Defining your values and then living by them can help you and your colleagues feel more fulfilled


How we deliver them:

  • We consult with the people we support and set standards that they feel are important. Here is our: Dosh Promise – Dosh – Financial Advocacy
  • They drive our behaviour and our interactions with the people we support and each other
  • We regularly talk about our Values with each other, either on a one-to-one basis or as part of team.
  • We challenge each other – are we adhering to our values? (they are an internal reference about what is good)
  • A set of qualitive goals we strive to achieve each year (which is included in our business plan and regularly assessed).
  • We do what is right over what is easy. Here are our 8 pillars of Trust Doing what is right over doing what is easy – Leadership in the Raw



Personal Values are different for each person. These can be defined as ideas or beliefs that a person holds.

As I started my new work 25 years ago,  I had the opportunity to set up a new team from scratch which would support people to be part of their local community who had previously not left the Victorian institution where they lived.

On my first day I had decided that my benchmark would be ‘Bettina’ when it came to setting out our values.   What would I want for Bettina?  And would I be happy with the people I recruited supporting Bettina?  I have not moved from this position over the last quarter of a century.

Related:  Being Bettina’s Dad: Bettina’s Code of Conduct – Leadership in the Raw

Now define your Values:

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September 30th, 2021

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Impact, Values and Influence: Our Strategy for 2020-21

By Meike Beckford, Lead Director


While we have been busy adapting our support to lockdown conditions with Coronavirus, we’ve been a little quiet on our other projects. We are now lucky enough to have our teams set up to work from home and in between continuing our core payments and advocacy work, we have been turning our attention back to our goals for the coming year.

When we started planning for 2020-21, we thought about what was really important in our work. How do we make a difference and achieve our mission to give people more independence and control over their money? We wanted to make sure that, whatever new opportunities and developments came our way, we remained focused on our core mission.


To do this, we came up with 3 strategic themes:

Strategy banner

 1.  Impact

Making sure all our work makes a positive, valuable difference for people with a learning disability.

2.  Values

Supporting people and making business decisions that fit with our values and vision, for example to promote people’s independence and control.

3.  Influence

Partnering with other organisations to share our knowledge and experience and speak up for the people we support.


We want to use this direction to help us make decisions about what we do over the coming year. How we decide which projects to take on, which areas to work in and how best to support people. So, this year, we’ll be asking:

Impact: how will this positively impact the people we support?

Values: how are we acting and what are we speaking up for?

Influence: how does this grow our voice to achieve our mission for people we support?

This isn’t something we can achieve alone, so we are excited to be working with our partners including the people we support and their families and circles of support; the over 200 support providers we work with across the country; social services and healthcare professionals; financial services and benefits agencies. We look forward to sharing our projects with you and welcome any ideas you’d like to share with us.

This is all working towards achieving our purpose to empower, give voice to and enable each person with a learning disability to be more independent and have more control over their money so they can live the life they choose.


Read more about our vision and purpose with the Dosh Promise.


May 15th, 2020

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Dosh support for managing your money during Coronavirus (COVID-19)

We have put together some information on how your support from Dosh will operate during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the UK and what we can do to help you buy the things you need.


Update 26/10/2020: We are gradually resuming some in person visits to people we support, where necessary. To do this safely, we are following strict risk assessment and review processes to ensure that everyone stays as safe as possible at this time.  We are restricting the number of visits we complete for now, so please bear with us while we make bookings as it may take some time before we can arrange to visit you. If you would like to request an in person visit, please speak to your Financial Advocate first.

Our aim continues to be to provide the best financial advocacy we can to each individual. We know for some people this is hard when we are not there in person, so we will prioritise those people to visit. If you are happy to stay with virtual visits for now, we can continue to do Money Plan reviews via phone and video call. If you need help accessing these, please let us know.


Dosh Advocates and office staff will continue to work and support you as best we can:

  • Your regular payments will go in and out of your Dosh account as usual
  • We are cancelling most in person visits and meetings
  • Please contact your Advocate by phone / email
  • Please request any extra transfers or online orders through your Advocate

We have some guides which you can download and we have summarised the main information below.





Options for getting cash and banking access

Speak to your bank and your Dosh Financial Advocate if you are worried about how you will access money at this time.

Some options you could consider are:

  • Request a debit card with contactless for your current personal account
  • Give others limited access to your account e.g. through an authorisation letter, or third party mandate. Speak to your bank about how to do this.
  • Look at a new account/card online e.g. prepaid card (Money Saving Expert guide here) or basic bank account (Money Saving Expert guide here)
  • Speak to your support provider about getting a cash advance, or company credit card
  • Use Dosh open credit (speak to your Advocate about this)
  • Ask Dosh Finance to make payments online e.g. for supermarket shopping and other delivery companies, or buy shop gift cards.

If you have any concerns about managing money at this time, please contact us.

For guidance from other Thera Group companies and more general resources on Coronavirus, please visit the Thera website.


March 17th, 2020

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Find people who make you better

Dosh’s Managing Director for the past 10 years, Steve Raw, is moving onto a new post within Thera Trust and so we are saying a fond farewell, thank you and good luck to Steve for his leadership at Dosh. Meike Beckford is taking over as Lead Director from 1st November 2019 and is looking forward to working with the Dosh team, people we support and partners across the UK as financial advocates promoting people’s control and independence with money.

As Steve leaves Dosh, he has been reflecting on his time with us and has written this piece on surrounding himself with ‘people who make you better’. Here is his blog post on the subject, reblogged from


I am interviewing our second candidate with Meike Beckford, Dosh’s Financial Advocacy Manager for a position with Dosh Ltd  a company I have had the honour of being the Managing Director for over the last 10 years.  It is my turn to be asked a question by the interviewee and to be honest it is not one I was expecting.  “So what do you find is the best part of working for Dosh?”  My response comes to me immediately.  I say “it is reading the stories that my colleagues send me about how they have made a difference to another person’s life”  Before each Board Meeting each team member sends me a story about their most recent work and their involvement in supporting a person to have more independence and control with their money.  I always find their stories moving and inspirational.

The Dosh team come from a diverse background and they are totally committed and dedicated to people with a learning disability.  I am truly surrounded by talent and I will be a better leader and manager for this experience.  Working for Dosh has been the highlight of my second career.

How did that happen?

I started as a Community Support Team Leader (& Support Worker) supporting people with a learning disability, after retiring from the Army in 1996. I was inspired by my daughter Bettina (who copes with a learning disability) to enter this field of work.  I wanted to make a difference and I decided the best way to do this was to seek out the best people to work with and for.  If I was going to achieve success and be successful, I would need to surround myself with talent.  I knew from experience that doing this would make me better a person and a better leader too.

I subsequently became a Registered Home Manager, Area Manager, Operations Manager, Regional Director, and a Director of Learning Disabilities, before achieving my dream job in 2009 as Managing Director of Dosh (Financial Advocacy) Ltd a subsidiary company of Thera Trust.

If you have the ability to work with people smarter than you, always try to be the least smartest person in the room and surround yourself with talent, because iron sharpens iron.  Jake M Johnson

The purpose of this post is to share with you how I have personally benefited from finding people who have made me better and why this is a good thing to do.

Why should you endeavour to find people who make you better?

My 5 top reasons for doing this are as follows:

  1. You want to be the best person you could possibly be
  2. They will fill gaps in both your knowledge and expertise. You can’t possibly know it all.
  3. They will teach you new things.  In Dosh this has been a daily experience for me over the last 10 years.  I often tell one of my colleagues that every time I read one of her emails I am educated.
  4. They inspire you to do great things.   (As a leader you don’t always have to be the person inspiring).
  5. They stop you from being complacent.  Talented people have high expectations.  They expect something special from you, so it is important you deliver (every day).

How do you go about finding people who make you better?

  • Never stop talent spotting.  Even when I don’t have vacancies in a team I have been responsible for, I never stop looking for people who I would like to work with.
  • One Mentor is never enough.  Which areas of your life do you want to be better at?  Once you have identified these areas, find a Mentor for each one.

“I’ve got the attitude which I still have today that if I find someone that I really admire, someone that I think, I want to be you.  I want to do the things the way you do them.  I’ve always sort of been stupid enough or brave enough to go up to them and say, will you mentor me?” Rene Carayol – Businessman, Speaker, Author and Broadcaster

  • ‘Networking: it really is all about who you know’ my life has been enriched by the people I know and I have come to the conclusion that the success I have achieved in both my careers has often been due to the people I know.  My thoughts on networking.
  • Take the time to find out peoples gifts, qualities and interests they have.  I have found doing this, especially with Dosh Team members who have an abundance of talent and creativity, has made me a better person.
  • Seek out those people who have a stake in your company, they could be your ‘customers’ and or the people you support.  I talked about how Bettina has made me a better person in my blog the people I support have also made me a better person.  How they see the world and the hard work and determination to communicate their feelings is both humbling and inspiring.

“Great vision without great people is irrelevant.” – Jim Collins, Good to Great

My 5 top tips on Talent Management

So you have found people who make you better.  How do you keep them close to you and involved in your life so you keep getting better because of them:

  1. Find out their aspirations and do your very best to help them achieve.
  2. Always put them before you.  (in my first career it was a sin if you went to the front of the queue for a meal – you eat last and sleep last)
  3. Go for democracy –   seek their advice, involve them in decision making, and then trust their judgements.
  4. Create a ‘culture’ (the way we do things around here) that people will want to be part and proud of.
  5. Part of that culture needs to recognise that failure and making mistakes can be positive and are there lessons to be learned from these.  You have a “no blame” culture and when you have that, it sets talented people free to be their most creative.

It happened

I found work that I was always meant to do and I got to do this for 10 years with Dosh.  From the 1st November (2019), I am moving to a new position within the Thera Group.  I will be their Head of Workforce Strategy and Engagement (the job title is still under negotiation as I type).  I feel fortunate to be given this opportunity as there is so much I want to achieve for people within my organisation.

As I handover to Meike our (excellent) new Lead Director and before I leave Dosh, I want to take the opportunity to thank the Dosh Board of Directors and each team member (past and present) for making me a better person.  I couldn’t do what I do without you!

November 1st, 2019

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Dosh Newsletter Autumn 2016

dosh logo

We have just published the Dosh money pack newsletter for Autumn 2016!

This edition of the newsletter was put together by Katie Scott, Dosh Financial Assistant.

Download the newsletter to read all our updates and tweet us @DoshTweets or contact us to tell us what you think.

This is a quarterly newsletter and the next one will be out in early 2017. If you have ideas for future newsletter pieces, please get in touch!


This edition includes:

Dosh logo

The Dosh team


Dosh News


Giving gifts on someone else’s behalf


Paying towards the cost of your care


Who should pay for Personal Protective Equipment?


Making a will


Warm Home Discount


Why are we scared of SDS?


Financial advocacy in action stories

November 2nd, 2016

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