I’m always thinking of new ideas

I’m always thinking of new ideas.

Jamille talks about his passion for writing spy and detective novels and the albums he enjoys reviewing on his radio show

I’ve been living in Brixton for over 20 years. Every Tuesday I do the Connected words workshop with Connect and Do. We experiment with loads of writing – poems, short stories, and different writing techniques.

I recently met Jake and others, from Connect and Do, in real life for the first time as we’d mainly been meeting for workshops online during the pandemic. But I met them in person at an Art in the Park session. I’m quite a creative person and enjoy exploring different activities. I was initially doing the 20/20 project with The Young Vic in March 2020. It was meant to be a play, but after lockdown started it was turned into a film. That led to me joining Connected Words in 2020, then art classes and Art in the Parc.

With Connected words we work on a different topic for 2-3 weeks, this last week we’ve been working on connecting to the page. Just writing things down for 20-minute bursts. Mine were bits of rants about things I was thinking about in my life, on the radio or in the news. It can be a good way of expressing your feelings. I do write longer things too.

Since 2016, I’ve been writing about a secret agent character I created called Dean Marshall. I also volunteer for mosaic clubhouse as a member and have written 6 short stories with instalments which have been published in their newsletter called “In the Mo”. I’m now starting to create an expanded adventure into a short novel. I’m always thinking of new ideas. I’d previously written an idea for a TV series based on a detective called Lucy. I then explored the character further to get her and Dean Marshall to meet in one of my previous short stories and now her story has become a separate series of adventures.

I love detective and spy novels. I’ve just finished reading a Jack Reacher book by Lee Childs and I also listen to podcasts about spy stories.
I tend to start my stories by brainstorming ideas and then see where it takes me and do more research if I need to. Once I was writing a story that was about the protection duty for the queen where I researched the commonwealth.

I’ve also written a children’s book about Terry the monkey. I wrote it for my cousins. I used to tell my brother stories about animals, so it just came from that and I did a little bit about it on a children’s radio show with children’s music.

I still do my own podcasts and radio show on Spreaker called Pixel FM.  I set it up in 2020. At the moment I’m doing a regular feature where I review different albums from people’s suggestions.

My favourite so far has been the Alt-J album, but I have really varied tastes in music, sometimes I like a bit of jazz, some pop rock and I really like discovering 80s and 90s music from before I was born.

As well as attracting more listeners and getting a new digital mixer and microphone, I’m always looking for DJs or artists that I can interview or feature on the show.

And I’m still working on the next Dean Marshall novel, so I’m going to really push for that to be published this year.

Jamille Pixel-FM

Follow Jamille’s Show at

New Project: Stepping Up

New Project: Stepping Up

Enjoy football? Join our free kickabout, starting the 28 January 2023

Stepping Up

Whether you’re looking to meet new people, kickaround with friends or simply just play football – our sessions are open to all.

Join us from 1pm- 4pm at Ruislip’s Goals on the 28th January 2023 and then every other Saturday.

Refreshments are provided

The Certitude Stepping Up programme is one of many new projects funded by National Lottery Community Fund. Thanks to the lottery players we have funding to run these sessions throughout 2023.

For more information about how to get involved email: SteppingUp@certitude.london


We smashed it!

We smashed it!

Thank you to everyone who walked, zipped and donated to our 12 Miles of Christmas Campaign

12 miles of christmas

Including gift aid, you raised an amazing £2083, smashing our target of £1000.

During December, teams, families, and groups of friends joined the fun to help raise funds for projects and activities that benefit the people we support.

These included:

London Fire Brigade Ealing

A team of 4 chose to hit the streets of Ealing Broadway during the snow, to raise awareness of Certitude and the work we do whilst collecting for the 12 Miles of Christmas Campaign. Thanks to their efforts, the public made donations on the day and online – raising a total of £140.

London Fire Brigade Croydon

Croydon’s blue watch chose to set up cableway from their training tower, across their station yard.  They aimed to complete 12 miles of people climbing the tower and descending the cableway on their specialist rope rescue system.  They calculated those 16 round trips would equate to a mile, and then spread each mile across their duty watches.  Over 10 consecutive days they not only completed their 12 miles, but they also raised £507!

Ian Brand

Ian, whose brother is supported by Certitude, walked 100,000 steps throughout the month of December, exploring a new area every day and raised £495.

Team Seema

Our very own Fundraising and Corporate Partnerships Manager, Seema Sharma, took part with her family and friends and raised over £400! They walked from Harrow to Watford Topgolf for a quick game and then walked the entire way back again- 13 miles in total! Between them they raised £570!

Sophie and Josh

Sophie Lester, our Family Support Manager, walked the 12 miles with her son Josh who really enjoyed wearing our Certitude beanie to keep warm! Family members of the people we support also kindly donated to Sophie’s page taking her fundraising up to £150!

How will the money be spent?

Every penny of the money raised will help people we support to discover new skills and become more connected in their communities.  At Certitude, we host a variety of community projects across London that are designed to enhance the skills, confidence, friendships and connections for people.

These include our coproduced Connect and Do programme of monthly arts, crafts and music sessions, our music club Sonic Sound Club, our community choirs as well as community activities at The Gate (based in Hammersmith) that support people to do expressive art and music. We also support cooking, gardening and exercise activities at people’s homes.

2022 Excellence Awards

2022 Excellence Awards

Recognising the exceptional and inspiring work from Certitude colleagues and teams during 2022

Colleagues from across Certitude were welcomed on Tuesday 13 December, to our first in-person Excellence Awards ceremony since 2019. In his first year as Chair of Certitude’s board, Scott Greenhalgh welcomed everybody to the Shaw Theatre in London, adding that he was delighted to be “Coming together to celebrate the many colleagues across Certitude who make a difference every day”.

With over 130 nominations this year, there have been some truly exceptional and inspiring work from colleagues and teams during 2022.

Chief Executive, Aisling Duffy added “Loving is one of Certitude’s pillars, and I’ve seen this reflected so beautifully in so many of the nominations this year. A powerful love for the work we do, the people we support and the difference we make. And because of that love we’re braver to take on the challenges in our work.”

And the winners are:

We work smart

Colleague Award
Eni Ogun

Leader Award
Funmi Oduye

Team Award
Learning & Organisational Development team

We are inclusive

Colleague Award
Helen Watkins

Leader Award
Izabela Nowak

Team Award
Yew Tree Lodge team

We make a difference category

Colleague Award
Joel Webb

Leader Award
Beatrice Appeaning

Team Award
Beyond Prison Team

The People’s Choice Award

Izabela Nowak, Area Manager, Ealing

Congratulations to Izabela, for getting the most votes in our special new award that’s voted for by colleagues at Certitude

The Michael Rosen Award

Team Martin and Yvette

Presenting the award, Sheila Rosen said:

“The winners of this year’s Michael Rosen Award embody all the things that make Certitude so special. People coming together to make a real difference, to inspire hope, to overcome challenges, barriers and triumph, and perhaps most importantly, to celebrate love. The Judging Panel considered this team to be very worthy winners”

Well done to all the nominees, runners up and winners, and thank you to Sheila Rosen and family, without whose support our awards would not be possible.

Human Rights Day 2022

Human Rights Day 2022

Certitude joins over 150 organisations in signing a letter which demonstrates to political leaders #WhyOurHumanRightsActMatters to us all.

In a letter, coordinated by the British Institute of Human Rights (BIHR), we have joined together to call for

“a world in which our political leaders commit to our universal protections, not simply those it finds acceptable” 

2022 Human RIghts Day Letter

Dear Prime Minister and Political Leaders,

This Human Rights Day, as the global community celebrates the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), we write with heavy hearts that the UK Government’s approach to our domestic law risks taking us further and further away from the legal protection of human rights here at home. This Human Rights Day, the United Nations is calling for action to counter scepticism of, and rollbacks against, human rights, by establishing that human rights are never relative and must always be upheld as what unites all of humanity.

Our Human Rights Act is built on the foundations of the UDHR. Our Human Rights Act sets out each person’s protections, and the responsibilities of those with governmental power to make real the vision of the UDHR; for us all to live in equal dignity.

As we face a cost of living crisis forcing millions of people into vulnerability and further discrimination, many having to choose between heating or eating, the last thing anyone needs is for a government to strip away our fundamental legal protections.

Human rights laws are, necessarily, uncomfortable for governments because they set limits on the exercise of power, limits which are for the benefit of people. No UK Government need fear this; and rather than harking back to Magna Carta and rose-tinted history, should embrace the fact that our Human Rights Act provides universal protections for everyone and ensures those with public power are accountable.

As civil society groups working hard to protect people’s human rights, and to support people through the cost of living crisis, we want a world in which our political leaders commit to our universal protections, not simply those it finds acceptable. We call on the UK Government, and all political leaders, to share our commitment to everyone’s human rights, and ensure our Human Rights Act is here to stay.

Yours sincerely,

Human Rights Day Signatories

The Big Connect – A Bright Sunshiny Day

The Big Connect

'A Bright Sunshiney Day' as we had a fantastic turnout for the Lambeth Big Connect

The Big Connect

'A Bright Sunshiney Day' as we had a fantastic turnout for the Lambeth Big Connect

Last week, we had a fantastic turnout for the Lambeth Big Connect.

144 people joined us in Stockwell to take taster sessions from our peer- led Connect and Do programme of arts, music, crafts and writing activities.

People were able to try graffiti art for the first time as well as experiment with projects such as sewing a bag, making beaded earrings and bracelets, lino printing Christmas cards and trying creative exercises in the newly released Connect and Do Workbook 2.


Connect and Do Graffiti

Peer facilitator, Donato, led a music session where people where able to express themselves using a variety of traditional percussive and handmade string instruments. Caught in the moment, Pauline, one of the members stood and sang an impromptu carol of hope. Performance artist Andy was able to test out his new act “Russell” where people were able to add their handwritten thoughts and written expressions on his peg outfit whilst he wandered through the event.

Peer facilitators shared how much they enjoy being able to help people discover and develop new skills.  The event attracted people from across London, and many spoke of just enjoying being able to sit and connect with others – a constant buzz of people talking about what was going on in their lives whilst enjoying the vegan lunch.

There were heart-warming scenes of reconnection too. The Sewing Bee group, who had continued to support each other during lockdown, were full of excitement to see each other. They presented one member of the group with a bear in memory of her mother, who had recently passed away. Each part or the bear was carefully made from pieces of her mother’s clothing.

The day ended with a rousing choir session around the piano with Edward. People joyfully coming together to sing popular classics like “I Can See Clearly Now” and “Hit the Road Jack”, with regulars and newcomers enjoying the chance to share their voice. It was, indeed, a bright, sunshiney day.

Get involved…

And if you missed all the excitement, you could join in on our monthly programme of activities. Find out more here

Thank you to all our wonderful staff and peer facilitators who continue to make the Connect and Do programme such a success. The variety and creativity are what keeps people connecting from all over London. And if you too are interested in being a peer facilitator and want to find out more, email connectanddo@certitude.london

What it’s like to have ADHD

What it’s like to have ADHD

Maria talks about her experience living with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) as part of ADHD Awareness Month.

I was diagnosed with ADHD in my 20s when my five-year-old son was also diagnosed with the same conditions and prescribed Ritalin. I was also diagnosed with Asperger’s – another neurodivergent condition. I was given some basic advice to follow on my own, along with the same information that was available 20 years ago. It wasn’t much.

I’d already been dealing with it all my life, without any medication or support, so I never truly stopped to learn more about it. However, since joining Certitude, I ‘ve learnt a lot more about these conditions. Most importantly, I have finally begun to accept them.

My ADHD symptoms always made me feel different and it’s a relief to finally understand where they come from. It is liberating to learn about mine and other people’s neurodivergence and realise that I’m not alone.

Maria talks about ADHD

When asked about my ADHD, the first thing that comes to mind is that I never know when I’m going to have a bad day or moment. Regardless of how many coping mechanisms I have created and how well I can manage. I am constantly aware that there will always be times when my brain will just not cooperate. I will not be able to perform as well as I want to.

When it happens it’s a real struggle to deal with the ensuing frustration and anger; at its worst, this can lead to spiralling anxiety or a crippling depression if left unchecked.

On the other hand, I absolutely feel that my ADHD allows me to have a unique perspective on things and to “think outside the box”. It gives me an ability to continuously self-motivate to follow my goals. Most importantly my life experience with it has certainly enhanced my empathy and caring towards others.

Learning more about ADHD

ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) is a neurodivergent condition that affects a person’s behaviour. It is brain-based and mainly characterised by inattentiveness, impulsivity and hyperactivity. ADD (attention deficit disorder) is a subtype of ADHD that only affects a person’s attention and concentration levels.

While people with both ADHD and ADD may struggle to maintain concentration, those with ADHD can also achieve hyper focus, allowing them to be extremely productive in the correct environment.

Common ADHD challenges

Famous people with ADHD

ADHD does not stand in the way of living a successful life. Here are some very well-known creative, innovative, and imaginative people who have ADHD:

  • Albert Einstein: Theoretical Physicist
  • Cher: Singer/Actor
  • Emma Watson: Actor/Activist
  • Jamie Oliver: Chef
  • Jim Carrey: Actor
  • Justin Timberlake: Singer/Performer/Actor
  • Leonardo Da Vinci: Artist/Inventor
  • Mozart: Musician/Composer
  • Ryan Gosling: Actor
  • Walt Disney: Animator/Writer/ Film producer
  • Will Smith: Actor/Singer
  • Will.i.am: Actor/Producer/Rapper

Useful links

Famous people with ADHD

Celebrating Achievements of Black People in the UK

Celebrating Achievements of Black People in the UK

Lavern Dinah, from Certitude’s Intercultural Network, talks about Black History Month

On a recent trip into Waterloo station in London, I was struck by the emergence of a tall bronze structure, looming before me as I hurriedly walked towards the exit.

There was something about it, almost calling me to take a closer look. 

On closer inspection, the figures became more familiar.  I recognised the suitcases, the ‘’Sunday best’ style of dress and the family portrayed with their heads lifted with pride and a certain look of determination on their faces as they looked outwards, together.

I soon realised it was a National Windrush Monument acknowledging the bravery and contribution of the first pioneers from the Caribbean known to many as the Windrush generation. The sculpture by Basil Watson was unveiled on 22nd June to mark National Windrush Day.

If I’m honest, I felt a mixture of emotions  whilst looking at the monument. I was very proud of the pioneers and the contribution my family and others have made to the British society. 

It was great to see acknowledgment of their efforts and the many barriers they had to overcome to help me to have the opportunities in my life like working here at Certitude.

My parents have both passed away now.  I see them in this monument and the girl is of course me! I want to make them proud.  I am also determined to help support the next generation to be all they can be with the opportunities and gift they have been blessed with, and continue to soar!

A bit of history

Both of my parents, who were from Jamaica, were a part of the Windrush generation of people arriving in the UK between 1948 and 1971 from Caribbean countries. They came to the UK bringing their skills and expertise with hopes of an exciting new beginning to explore and pursue opportunities for their families to flourish. Many pioneers  were responding to the British Government’s call for workers in the transport system, postal service, and health service. At that time Britain was a country devastated by war and needed workers to help restore the post war economy.

Black History Month 2022

The month of October has been marked each year, for over 30 years now in the UK, as Black History Month.  Every year there is a theme, and this year is it is: “Time for Change: Action Not Words.” It seeks to celebrate not just past achievement but the achievements and contributions that Black people make to the UK every day. Such as Black people working in COVID-19 frontline in our hospitals, in cares services, Bus drivers, Security personnel and in the education sector.  There are others like Lewis Hamilton and Marcus Rashford who are household names using their platforms to push for change to tackle inequalities, racism and discrimination.

Celebrating Black History Month!

So, what can we do to get involved? Talk to the people in our communities, the people we support, their families, friends and our colleagues to see if they want to get involved in celebrating.

  • Share experiences. This might be about sharing music or food from our childhood and recipes from different black cultures.
  • Share your stories. Stories of people you admire, past or present, that contribute to British society in our communities, in our homes or at work.
Lavern Dinah, from Certitude’s Intercultural Network, talks about Black History Month

The Power of Now: National Inclusion Week

The Power of Now

Helen Watkins from Certitude’s Treat Me Right! Team talks about National Inclusion Week

National Inclusion Week was first set up 10 years ago, aiming to show organisations the benefit of inclusive and diverse workforces. This is at the heart of our work in the Treat Me Right! Team.

Our team offers training, advice and consultancy on how to make organisations, public spaces and information more accessible to people.

Every member of our team is neurodivergent, which means that we all have different kinds of minds to most people.  To be neurodivergent is to have a condition that affects the way we process information, regulate our emotions or the way we think. This means that every single one of us has a unique perspective and our own unique ways of doing things. We may share diagnoses with some people, but it is our lives, experiences and individual identities that mean that every single member of our team offers something unique.

This year’s theme:

The theme of Inclusion Week this year is “The Power of Now”.  What better way to celebrate, than to think about ways that you can make your team more inclusive today. We don’t just support people with different kinds of minds, we work alongside them too!

  • Say what you mean. I think we’d all like to think we say what we mean, but there are some phrases and sayings that are confusing. Think about not using phrases like “I’ll be back in a second” when you mean you’ll be back soon, or starting a request with “Would you…?” Or “Please…” instead of “can you…?”
  • Give people important information in more than one way. Some people will need to hear it, some people will need to read it. Some people will need time to process it, some people might need to experience it. The more ways you can share information, the more likely it is that it will be understood
  • Have a conversation about what everyone on the team needs to bring their best selves to work. We all have needs and preferences and if we all talk about them, it makes it much easier for your colleagues to ask for what they need
  • If someone is responding in a way that we might not expect, try to gently find out why. It is easy to make assumptions about people and how they’re coming across to us without thinking about why. An example of this is when people find eye contact difficult, but in some cultures, it’s a sign of rudeness and others a sign of respect. We don’t know which it is without understanding the person
  • There are people who may be very uncomfortable with grey areas, or what they see as bending the rules. For example, if someone says they need to leave early and they are told to “make it up whenever”, we may think we are doing them a favour, but it may cause a lot of anxiety!
  • Remember that diversity is strength. When we welcome and include colleagues with different kinds of minds, we get a unique perspective, just like any other kind of diversity.

And if our team sounds like your kind of team… why not join us?

We are currently advertising for a Quality Check Co-ordinator managing people an inclusive team of people who will audit the support Certitude provides.  If this sounds like the role for you, you can apply here  or contact Helen Watkins directly for further details. 

Helen Watkins from Certitude’s Treat Me Right! Team talks about National Inclusion Week

Click here for more Info on National Inclusion week 

A Sensory Room for Autistic People

A Sensory Room for Autistic People

Text SENSORY to 70460 to donate £10 towards the Sensory Room

Our fundraising team are working hard to raise funds to transform a spare room in Bromley into a sensory room.

There are three autistic people living in the house and for them the sensory room will be invaluable. A space to have their sensory needs met.

A sensory specific place allows people we support to be exposed to cognitively stimulating experiences. This helps them process sensory inputs from the environment and then learn how to react to them. The equipment will help people explore and learn about cause and effect and how their actions affect the environment. There will be lights, textured toys and patterns and equipment that make noises. There will also be tools designed to help the people living there to relax and alleviate any anxiety they may experience.

Our wish list totals to £1,600.

If you’d like to contribute you can do so by Texting SENSORY to 70460 to donate £10.

Texts will cost the donation amount plus one standard network rate message. You’ll be opting into hearing more from us. If you would like to donate but don’t wish to hear more from us, please text SENSORYNOINFO instead.

Sensory Room ©TomGuy21 - Can Stock Photo Inc.