‘The Magic Pool of Colourful Rays’ Exhibition is open!

‘The Magic Pool of Colourful Rays’ Exhibition is open!

The Magic Pool of Colourful Rays' is a new exhibition of art works produced by women at The Beth Centre in Brixton in collaboration with the Connect and Do Community Centre.

Connect & Do is all about the importance of collaboration and community; through our weekly art workshops in Brixton, as well as other creative workshops, we constantly see the benefits of creativity and working together. 

That’s why we are so pleased to be able to host this exhibition in partnership with The Beth Centre, and support independent art. We’re looking forward to a fun month and encourage anyone and everyone to come along to witness the pieces!

The Beth Centre is a women-only safe space, offering expert support to women at risk, or affected by the criminal justice system.

Two artists, Jessica Scott, printmaker, and Svetlana Atlavina, experienced ceramicist and multidisciplinary artist, were involved in the preparation of the show. The collection of artworks reflects a course of five summer art workshops with Svetlana. Jessica then took a leading role in curating a joyful display of art pieces in narration.

Art workshop participants were encouraged through full hand gestural movements, big strokes to express emotional and muscle memories from previous experiences. The constant flow of fresh creative ideas is shown through the drawings; vibrant colours, compositions and curating. Participants were surprised at how quickly their skills developed; throughout the workshops, the women experienced a new artistic attitude not only for creating art pieces, but also towards collaborations. 

The exhibition is open from from 13th February to 13th March 2020 at Connect and Do, 109 Railton Road. Opening times are Monday to Friday from 11am to 4pm. Opening night is on 13th February 5.00pm to 7pm.

For more information contact Jade Hanicotte, Community Development Coordinator at JHanicotte@certitude.london

Mayor and Mayoress of Kensington and Chelsea visit Certitude!

Mayor and Mayoress of Kensington and Chelsea visit Certitude!

The Mayor and Mayoress of Kensington and Chelsea, Councillor Will Pascall and Councillor Sarah Addenbrooke, visited people supported by Certitude on 22 January.

Chair of the Certitude Board Eleri Ebenezer, Certitude CEO Aisling Duffy and Manager Shamsuddin Burug were on hand to greet the Mayor and Mayoress and explain how they provide the highest quality of support for people.

Aisling Duffy says: “It was fantastic to have the Mayor and Mayoress take an interest in our approach and engage with the people we support. The visit was a great opportunity to show them how excellent support is being achieved in Kensington and Chelsea. With government cuts to social care, it is vital that those with the most complex needs are not left isolated and vulnerable.”

Susan, who is supported by Certitude and lives in one of the houses the Mayor visited, says: “I like it here, the Certitude staff support me well. They help me walk as sometimes I find it hard to move. We do lots of things together, like listen to music or go dancing. I baked the cakes for everyone today!”

The Mayor of Kensington and Chelsea, Councillor Will Pascall commented: “I have really enjoyed meeting people today, hearing more about Certitude and seeing first-hand the high level of support offered to people with learning disabilities. It was great to meet staff who are passionate about what they do and it is very encouraging to know that such wonderful support is available in the borough.”

You can find out more about the support we provide to people with learning disabilities, autism and mental health support needs across London here: https://www.certitude.london/what-we-do/

Treat Me Right! delivers successful training in Health Education England-sponsored project

Treat Me Right! delivers successful training in Health Education England-sponsored project

Over 800 people across 27 London boroughs received learning disability champion training from TMR! last year

Treat Me Right! was commissioned by Health Education England to provide learning disability champion training to community and advice services, including the Citizen’s Advice Bureau, and the Patient Advice and Liaison Services (PALS).

The Treat Me Right! Project has historically supported people with lived experience to work with medical establishments in order to educate staff delivering patient care in how to adapt their services to better support those with learning disabilities and/or autism. However, the team found through their work that very few people with disabilities and their families and carers knew what their rights were when accessing these services. The team wanted to make sure that individuals, families and carers knew their rights, as well as community and advice organisations, which were often the first port of call.

Between August 2018 and July 2019, the Treat Me Right! team delivered 95 training sessions in 27 London boroughs. They trained over 800 people in 60 different teams.  The training was well received by all, and follow up surveys showed that the staff who had undertaken training felt more confident in supporting those with learning disabilities and/or autism and they would change the way they communicated. 

“I have a better understanding of the challenges a person with autism faces. I'm now not afraid to ask suitable/ appropriate questions to gain a better understanding of their condition in order to see if we can make the environment more suitable.”

Training attendee

You can read the full report of the project here

An Easy Read summary can be read here.

Treat Me Right! trainers John and Anne

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

As 2019 comes to an end and we welcome in a new decade I want to take the opportunity to pay tribute to everyone at Certitude for the important role you play in people’s lives, throughout the year. 

Standing alongside people and sharing some of life’s most difficult and uplifting moments, happiest and darkest times and everyday experiences. Loving what we do, the people and families we support, the jobs we have, the difference we make. Being brave enough to challenge and do what is right – for the person not the system. We accompany people in all sorts of adventures, trying new things, learning skills, harnessing hope and strength to take advantage of the possibilities ahead. We share the joy when things turn out better than hoped, sadness when life throws what can feel like unbearable challenges and laughter as we enjoy simple pleasures together. What a wonderful privilege this is.

I want to thank all our wonderful staff, volunteers, board members, supporters, donors and partners for the thoughtful, kind and often inspiring support you provide throughout the year. So many of you have worked over the festive period sharing wonderful moments of hope, joy and happiness – Thank You.

I hope the coming year brings everything you wish for yourself and your loved ones. At Certitude, we will continue to work together to do what is right so more people can live the lives they choose and bring their own unique brilliance to our world.

Happy 2020!

Aisling Duffy

Chief Executive

Certitude supports call to improve mandatory training

Certitude supports call to improve mandatory training

Certitude supports open letter to the Department of Health and Social Care calling for improved training on learning disabilities and autism.

The Department of Health and Social Care is developing new mandatory training for health and social care staff about learning disabilities and autism, reasonable adjustments and communication methods. In an open letter to the Minister of State, Learning Disability England have urged the department to ensure the training is not a “wasted opportunity” and that it is shaped in partnership with people with learning disabilities. 

Certitude supports the open letter. For over a decade, our Treat Me Right! programme has delivered awareness training to health and social care professionals and other businesses across London, so they can better understand the experiences of people with autism and learning disabilities and make reasonable adjustments to the way services are delivered.  The training is delivered by people who know first hand what good and poor support looks like – because they themselves have experienced it.

You can read the full open letter on Learning Disability England’s website here.

The Treat Me Right! team delivered awareness training to Dr Rupa Huq MP last year

Our pop-up shop in the Glades, Bromley is now open!

Our pop-up shop in the Glades, Bromley is now open!

We are beyond excited to announce that our pop-up Christmas shop is open in The Glades Shopping centre in Bromley!

The pieces being sold have been made by people who attend Certitude activity centres in Bromley, with generous contributions from the Arc in Ealing.

People we support will be serving customers in the shop and showing off their crafting skills as they support customers to make their own personalised bracelets and Christmas wreaths in our in-store workshop.

Items on sale include handmade Christmas cards, bookmarks, festive decorations, ‘living’ Christmas wreaths, mosaics, pottery, soaps and more – many are made from natural or recycled materials, so they’re kind to the environment too!

Come along and support us by buying some unique gifts at affordable prices, whilst promoting Certitude’s work and the fantastic achievements of the people we support. We are open weekdays from Thursday 5th December to Friday 20th December,  10am to 4pm, located upstairs, opposite Lush, next to the Crystal Palace shop –  just look out for the yellow banner. 

Thanks to everyone who has helped us in setting up this exciting initiative! We hope we can develop this further by opening regularly for other ‘occasions’ throughout the year.

Social Care Providers Certitude and Yarrow to merge

Social Care Providers Certitude and Yarrow to merge

Combined organisation will be the largest not for profit provider of support for people with learning disabilities, autism and mental health needs in London.

Combined organisation will be the largest not for profit provider of support for people with learning disabilities, autism and mental health needs in London.

We are delighted to announce that Certitude and Yarrow have entered into formal discussions with the intention of Yarrow joining Certitude as a wholly owned subsidiary in April 2020. 

Certitude and Yarrow have been supporting people with learning disabilities and autism for over 30 years and share a commitment to delivering high quality, creative and innovative support across the capital. The combined financial strength and stability of the new Certitude group will ensure this progressive support for people and families continues. 

Certitude supports around 1500 people with learning disabilities, autism and mental health needs predominantly in west and south London boroughs while Yarrow supports 167 people with learning disabilities and autism in west and north London boroughs. The expanded Certitude group will be the largest not for profit provider of support to people with learning disabilities, autism and mental health needs in London. 

Aisling Duffy, as Chief Executive of Certitude will continue to provide strong and effective leadership across the group. Yarrow’s Chief Executive, John Crawford will become Director of Integration to manage the smooth integration of Yarrow with Certitude. 

“This is a tremendous opportunity for everyone connected with Certitude and Yarrow to benefit from the natural synergies which exist between our organisations. I am really pleased to be welcoming Yarrow - which shares our passion for making a positive difference to people’s lives - into the Certitude group.

Expansion across London is part of Certitude’s forward-thinking strategy and our comparable philosophies and similar approach means this merger makes good sense for both parties. Our collective London presence will provide greater opportunities to engage commissioners, communities and businesses in delivering great, inclusive support and staff across the group will benefit from an expanded peer network to share expertise and support."

Aisling Duffy

"I am proud of what Yarrow has achieved, in creating an organisation which put its values into day to day practice. I genuinely believe that joining Certitude will secure all that has been achieved to date and together we will be an even more successful, dynamic organisation."

John Crawford

Eleri Ebenezer will continue as Chair of the Certitude board. Some Yarrow board members will join the Certitude board and Yarrow will also retain its own board and legal identity similar to how Support for Living and Southside Partnership operate within the Certitude group currently.  

"This merger will make us more robust in managing the challenges of health and social care funding and ensure we can direct more resources where they should be - on supporting people.

We will continue to champion the views and rights of people we support, and families and carers can be assured that their relatives and friends will continue to be cared for by a person-centred organisation that is financially secure."

Eleri Ebenezer

Celebrating success at the Michael Rosen Awards

Celebrating success at the Michael Rosen Awards

On Thursday 21 November, we celebrated our annual Michael Rosen Awards in the chic Chiswick Ballroom in West London.

Every day, our staff and volunteers make a difference to the lives of people we support. Many go above and beyond to genuinely change people’s lives. The Michael Rosen Awards celebrate the success and achievements of our people across London. Our thanks go to Sheila Rosen and family, without whose support this wonderful event would not be possible. 

It was a night of glamour, lovely food and lots of dancing. Congratulations to all our winners and to everyone who attended for making it a night to remember! 

And the winners are...

Best Colleague:  
Emma Garvey, winner 
Jasna Speedie, joint runner-up 
Charles Metrusty, joint runner-up 

Best Team 
Lancaster Avenue, winner 
Wardley Street, runner up 

Best Volunteer 
Charlotte Manning, winner 
Anthony Moureau, runner-up 

Inspiring Leader
Anthonia Morgridge, winner
Yewande Keleko, runner-up 

Transforming Lives 
Norma Dooley, winner 
Lucia Hordoan, runner-up 

Michael Rosen 
Mustapha Madoui

Certitude teams up with the Young Vic

Certitude teams up with the Young Vic

The Young Vic's theatre workshop is coming to Certitude's Connect & Do programme in Brixton

Certitude is joining forces with the Young Vic to create a brand new play. 

Beginning in November, director Audrey Sheffield and writer Nessah Muthy will be working with participants of our new theatre workshop in developing a new play, which will be shown at the end of next year. The play, commissioned for The Young Vic’s TWENTY TWENTY project, will centre around the themes of Home, Heritage & History.

“We’re so excited to be part of such a creative and fulfilling partnership,” says Aisling Duffy, CEO of Certitude. “The opportunity to explore art and work with different people is so essential to wellbeing and connection within the community, and we are sure that the workshops led by the Young Vic will be really fun and beneficial for the people we support and work with to take part in.”

The workshop will be a part of our Connect & Do programme, which hosts a range of different workshops throughout the week that are free and open to everyone. We regularly update the programme so keep an eye on what’s going on here.

Getting involved

For those interested in the workshops, The Young Vic will be performing a free show of ‘She Ventures and He Wins’, a 17th century play about “women who are tired of the old ways of dealing with affairs of the heart, and are determined to control their own romantic lives.” 

The play will be performed at Melvin Hall, our community centre in Penge on 26 November at 4:30pm. This is a great opportunity to see what the theatre company does and meet the people behind the collaboration, and we really recommend coming to see it if you’re thinking of joining the workshop.

Get in touch at connectanddo@certitude.london to register your interest or find out more!

Running for Certitude!

Running for Certitude!

On Sunday, Certitude's Bishnu and Rose, and supporter Meg, laced up their running shoes and tackled the Ealing Half Marathon.

Despite the grey weather, their bright yellow Certitude tops brightened the day, as they ran round the 13.1 mile course. 

“I was really delighted to join the run,” said Bishnu. “Although, I wasn’t completely fit for the run this year, and was on medication for the last few weeks, as soon as I saw the support and cheers from colleagues around I was so energised and couldn’t stop running.”

“The atmosphere at all time was phenomenal. Cheers from the huge number of supporters, local people and volunteers alongside the track was outstanding. It took me 2 hours 44 minutes to complete the run.”

“I have so far raised £290 on my JustGiving page and expect some more to come over the next couple of days!”

“I would like to thank the Comms and Fundraising Teams for their effort and support on the day of the event. I would also like to thank everyone who has contributed on to my page.”

Yara Alafandi, Community and Fundrasing Officer, who was on the sidelines cheering our runners on said the day was a fantastic effort by everyone involved. 

“Our runners did very well and raised over £700 for Certitude. It was also really nice to see other staff members on the day cheering our runners. It made a real difference in the atmosphere and encouraged them quite a lot.”

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