Aisling Duffy Wins Lifetime Achievement Award

Aisling Wins Lifetime Achievement Award

National Learning Disability and Autism Awards 2022

Certitude’s CEO, Aisling Duffy, was surprised at the National Learning Disability and Autism Awards with a special Lifetime Achievement Award recognising a career that spans over 30 years.

Aisling Award

Asked if she had any highlights, Aisling said

“I’ve learnt so much from people with learning disabilities who’ve made such a difference to my life… We’ve still a long way to go…this lifetime ain’t over folks!”

Aisling is consistently cited by colleagues as an inspiring, motivating leader. Her career began as a support worker, supporting people with profound and multiple learning disabilities. She first established a group where people with learning disabilities co-produced and informed how an organisation works in the 1990s, setting her leadership style as a CEO.

Alongside someone we support, Aisling meets every new colleague at Certitude, inspiring people to put the organisation’s values into action. Aisling sets the standard of every voice mattering, ensuring organisational strategies are co-developed.

Aisling’s influence also extends beyond Certitude. Through her role on the Boards of VODG and NDTi, Aisling works to improve support for people with learning disabilities nationally, ensuring their voices are heard, respected and, crucially, acted upon.

Congratulations to all of the winners and the nominees at this year’s event. 

Full details of the categories and winners can be found here.  

“London is Calling” wins Best ‘Not for profit’ Campaign award

We won!

“London is Calling” wins Best ‘Not for profit’ Campaign at the Independent Agency Awards

Our campaign was created to challenge outdated stereotypes around being a support worker and to show people what working in social care is really all about: It’s fun, takes skill and is hugely rewarding. 

The award-winning TV ad was created in collaboration with media agency, JAA and creative agency, Network.  It received huge positive feedback from London’s support worker community, as well as directly leading to 500 applications for job vacancies at Certitude.

Amongst those attending the event was Marianne Selby-Boothroyd, Director of Development who said: 

“For those of us already working in social care, we know first-hand the brilliance of being able to support people to live good lives. Thanks to the campaign, we’ve had an amazing response from people wanting to join us. Together, we continue to make a positive difference to people’s lives.”

The award was presented at this year’s Independent Agency Awards ceremony live at the Hexagon stage, during MAD//Fest London on July 5th.

Find out more about working for Certitude.

Two award ceremonies in one week!

Two award ceremonies in one week!

It’s awards week for Certitude as our people, work and communications are recognised at two prestigious awards ceremonies.

We’re delighted to be shortlisted for both the Independent Agency Awards and the National Learning Disabilities and Autism Awards, which both have their awards ceremony this week.

Our recruitment campaign “London is Calling” is shortlisted in both the Best ‘Not for profit’ Campaign, and the Freedom Award categories.  Our ground-breaking TV advert challenges outdated stereotypes and shows working in social care for what it is – fun, skilled and hugely rewarding. Our collaboration, with JAA creative agency and Network, led to a unique approach that received huge positive feedback from London’s support worker community as well as directly leading to increased applications for job vacancies at Certitude.

Winners for both categories will be announced on the evening of 5 July.

To add to the excitement, Emma Lee-Tobin, one of our Area Managers, has been nominated for the Manager Award Category at The National Learning Disabilities and Autism Awards.  The awards will take place on Friday and celebrate excellence in the support for people with learning disabilities.

“The award will celebrate a manager who has demonstrated a high level of expertise, exceptional skills in leadership and management, great support for colleagues and a positive commitment to person centred support. A manager who shows vision in developing high quality services and supporting staff to meet the ever-changing needs of the people they support”. The National Learning Disabilities and Autism Awards Website

Congratulations to all of the nominees, especially Emma who felt honoured to have been nominated, adding

“I love my job and Certitude has given me such great opportunities since I started. I understand the challenges the teams face every day but seeing the difference we can make, makes my job even more special.”

Winners will be announced on the evening of 8 July.

Follow the excitement on social media where we’ll be posting news from the events on both awards evenings.

Treat Me Right! talks with London Fire Brigade

Treat Me Right! talks with London Fire Brigade

The Treat Me Right team facilitated discussions at Hammersmith Fire Station with London Fire Brigade’s Community Engagement team.

This week, during Learning Disability Week, the Treat Me Right team at Certitude facilitated discussions with London Fire Brigade to help build understanding of the thoughts, feelings, and experiences of people with learning disabilities, autistic people and people with neurodivergent conditions when developing their policies and practices.

Treat me Right talks with London Fire Brigade

A group of people, that are supported by Certitude, joined the discussions at Hammersmith Fire Station. The event included meeting with members of the station watch and talking about what it takes to ensure their needs are met by the London Fire Brigade and that they feel safe. Plans to also tour the station were cut short when the fire crews were called out to tackle a local fire. However, the group were still able to see a reserve fire truck during their visit.

As well as building mutual understanding, Anthony, who attended the event said
“I think that it will be great to have more discussions with firefighters explaining to communities what to do in a fire. My favourite part was finding out about how to keep safe and avoid a fire if something does happen in your home.”

The Treat Me Right! Team have been ensuring greater access and fairer treatment for people with our Learning Disability Training and consultancy for over 10 years. Organisations are realising the importance of ensuring what they do is accessible to all people in our communities. Who is better to understand that than people with lived experience who know first-hand what good or poor support and services look like. Certitude’s Treat Me Right! Manager Helen Watkins added

“We have increasingly been doing more consultancy with outside organisations about how to ensure greater access for people with learning disabilities, autism and neurodivergent conditions. This piece with London Fire Brigade is a great example of how people with lived experience can talk directly to organisations and influence at policy level.  We hope we can do more together in the future”

For further information about the Treat Me Right! services visit https://www.certitude.london/Treat-Me-Right or email HWatkins@certitude.London

What the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia means to us

#IDAHoBiT 2022

“What the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia means to us”

Despite being a diverse group of people from different walks of life, Certitude’s LGBTQ+ Network talked to us about how there are still common themes at the heart of their experiences, hopes and fears.

Visibility matters

Our first theme in our experiences is our visibility and the impact that can have. How open and ‘out’ we each are about ourselves in certain situations, how other people see us or perhaps what assumptions or judgements people can make about us, simply because we are LGBTQ+.

One network member said:

As a mother of an 11-year-old LGBTQ+ child it is really important for me to know that we as a collective, continue to raise awareness and educate others to reduce discrimination and help shape the future experiences for people choosing to ‘come out’.

Because of our personal journeys, we are all very aware of what it means to ‘come out’ and have times where we consciously choose to do so – or actively choose not to.

What does it mean to have rights?

The second theme is about LGBTQ+ rights and ‘acceptance’ of us by societies and cultures – both for ourselves in this country, and for other LGBTQ+ people all over the world. We have talked about how scary the political situation is for huge numbers of LGBTQ+ people in different parts of the world.

As one network member said “if you can be given rights, you can have them taken away

We have talked about how governments and autocratic leaders have introduced harshly discriminatory legislation against LGBTQ+ people in a cynical attempt to bolster their own popularity and rally people around an easy ‘minority target’.

We have talked about how progressive rights are not to be taken for granted – that we can move backwards as well as forwards.

We have talked about how scared this makes us feel and the fear that the situation might only get worse.

Supporting LGBTQ+ people

Another common theme in our conversations is the barriers we face as people directly supporting people in Certitude who identify as LGBTQ+. Those barriers might come from external sources (such as colleagues, families, friends, etc) or internal (our lack of confidence, lack of training and / or policies to support us).

A network member said:

“We have come a long way in getting rights for our community (at least in certain countries), but history teaches us that everything can change in an instant. It is our moral duty to support people and societies to be respected for who they are.”

Why conversations are important

In raising awareness and having discussions about subjects that are sometimes viewed as taboo, we are highlighting the increased need for acceptance and change as well as the necessity for further education and support resources.

This is why our conversations and awareness days like the International Day Against Homophobia Transphobia and Biphobia are so important. The day marks a ‘worldwide celebration of sexual and gender diversities’ and is a beacon of global unity and support for LGBTQ+ people.

The awareness day website says:

“May 17 is now celebrated in more than 130 countries, including 37 where same-sex acts are illegal. Thousands of initiatives, big and small, are reported throughout the planet.”

Seeing the volume and variety of people, organisations and places that show their support for IDAHOT is encouraging. To see so many states and international institutions, such as the European Parliament and the United Nations, officially recognise and celebrate the day is especially important because it represents their visible commitment to LGBTQ+ equality and protection.

To find out more visit: What is May 17? ~ May17.org (dayagainsthomophobia.org)

New Chair of the Certitude Board

New Chair of the Certitude Board

We are delighted to announce that Scott Greenhalgh has been appointed as the new Chair of the Certitude Board.

Scott joins as Certitude launches its bold new forward strategy, Plan Big Be Local, which sets out its high ambition for people and the organisation, focussed on delivering high-quality support designed alongside individuals, families and communities.  

Scott is an experienced Chair, Board member and investor, has worked extensively across the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors and serves as Trustee of a number of charities. 

 Scott says: ‘I am delighted to be joining the Board of Certitude. I am a huge fan of the organisation, its ethos and mission, and am very much looking forward to supporting Certitude’s continued success.’ 

Scott was the inaugural Executive Chair of the UK’s first long-term social impact investment fund, Bridges Evergreen which backed mission-led businesses in the UK, including those that delivered health and social care. He is a former non-executive director of Shaw Healthcare, the largest employee-owned care business in the UK and a former England Committee member of the National Lottery Community Fund where he oversaw the £210m early years programme A Better Start. He also chaired the Royal Foundation’s Early Years Steering Group that supported the work of HRH The Duchess of Cambridge.  

Aisling Duffy, Chief Executive of Certitude, says: ‘I am delighted to welcome Scott to Certitude. He brings an impressive breadth of experience alongside a huge passion for our work which will be invaluable in supporting us to turn our new strategy into reality’. 

Introducing our Vitality 10k Runners​

Introducing our Vitality 10k Runners​

London’s Vitality 10k takes place on 2 May 2022 in Central London and we are excited to announce our team of amazing runners who are fundraising on behalf of Certitude.

To support our runners, click on their name below to be taken to their JustGiving page.

We had a chat with some of our runners to find out a bit more about them and what motivated them to run in support of Certitude…

Introduce yourself.
I’m a Life Enabler (Support Worker) at Certitude, where I’m supporting individuals with learning difficulties to achieve their goals and to be included in the community.

Why did you decide to run the Vitality 10k?
I want to be able to support people with learning difficulties.

Why did you choose Certitude as your charity of choice?
Because of the good job that they are doing and I believe in their values.

What does running in the Vitality 10k mean to you?
This is a good opportunity to show the great job that Certitude is doing, their values and projects.

How has your training been going? Any tips for other runners?
I feel motivated, I’m training by running and cycling. The thing that I found most helpful and important is the continuity, and the cross training.

Look at the training as a game, that way you can enjoy it and it will make you feel better.

What’s been the hardest moment in your training and how did you overcome it?
The hardest moment for me is keeping focused on training cardio. I try to plan my training sessions and keep motivated.

Support Angel 

Introduce yourself
I am the Facilities Manger at Certitude. My main role here is to lead the facilities department/team which includes the reception desks in the central offices. Due to the nature of facilities and the organisation’s work, I also quite often end up collaborating with colleagues from other departments as well, which I always find to be a nice addition to my days.

Why did you decide to run the Vitality 10k?
I have run several times in the past and have also taken part in other activities to help raise funds for charity. Over the past two years I have mostly worked from home, and my motivation to run has decreased slightly, so when I was presented with the opportunity to run the Vitality 10K, I was excited and signed up straightway. As I understand it, the Vitality is a popular run in London, and I am proud to be a part of it.

Why did you choose Certitude as your charity of choice?
Since joining Certitude, I have run in a couple of half marathons to raise funds for the charity. I am always amazed to see the work that everyone does here. Certitude is one of the most friendly and caring organisations that I have worked for throughout my entire career. For me, it was always going to be my first and only choice.

What does running in the Vitality 10k mean to you?
This is very important as I’m going to be able to raise funds and represent Certitude, it really means a lot to me. I never shy away from a challenge; couple this with the cause and it all makes me really want to push myself and work hard to get ready for the run.

How has your training been going? Any tips for other runners?
I was doing well but tested positive for Covid a couple of weeks ago. I am currently still recovering but going to get back to running this week. My main tip is to run every day, no matter how long for; consistency is key, and it all sets the foundations as you build towards your goal. Try to finish 10K runs at least couple of times during the days leading up to run and then take one or two rest days before the actual run so your body is in its optimal condition. Avoid any fast food and regularly drink as much water as possible, but especially for the final five days; making sure your body is well hydrated is always important. Finally, I’d say be mindful of any symptoms of illness or fatigue you may have, listen to your body, and try deal with them as soon as possible.

What’s been the hardest moment in your training and how did you overcome it?
As mentioned just above, I would say the hardest moment has been recovering from Covid. Not being well took its toll on me, from a physical and motivational perspective. But I decided to take it all one day at time, not be too hard on myself for not being well enough to train and focus on getting better and sticking to my game plan so I can hit the ground running next week and bounce back strong. I’m a very determined person.

Support Bishnu

Introduce yourself
Hi, my name is Mark Cross. I have worked at Certitude since 2010. I manage two houses supporting people with learning disabilities in Hounslow.

Why did you decide to run the Vitality 10k?
I enjoy exercise, pushing myself physically; if I can use that to raise some money that people we support can benefit from that would be great.

Why did you choose Certitude as your charity of choice?
I share the values that Certitude have and believe in the vital work they do.

What does running in the Vitality 10k mean to you?
It will certainly be a memorable experience. I am looking forward to seeing London from a different perspective amongst others pushing their limits. I am proud to be a participant and hope to finish with a decent time.

How has your training been going? Any tips for other runners?
Training has been going well generally. I have the endurance so I am mainly focussing on increasing my speed.

As for tips, I would say you must be consistent and run even when you don’t feel like it. Think about each run and what you are intending to accomplish with it and that will inform how you should approach it. Adjust your method depending on your experience.

I use a running app to track my pace and distance. YouTube has a plethora of running tips videos from running form to improving endurance, use all resources you need but most importantly – get those shoes on and simply RUN!

What’s been the hardest moment in your training and how did you overcome it?
Starting out after a long period of inactivity was tough. I hadn’t run for a few years. I had to stop after 1km for a breather as my pace was too fast and unsustainable at that point. But over time I have improved my stamina and fitness level just by being consistent.

Support Mark

Introduce yourself.
I’m Michelle and have worked at Certitude for nearly seven years in a few different roles.  I am now the New Business Manager at Certitude which is part of the Development Team.  I work with the team to ensure that we successfully deliver Certitude’s Growth and Development Strategy to increase and improve the support we provide to people. 

Why did you decide to run the Vitality 10k?
I was ‘politely coerced’ by my team! Karis asked me if I’d like to take part and when I thought about it, I found I didn’t have a good enough reason to say no. 

I started running in lockdown and unlike the Zoom quizzes and banana bread craze, this activity has actually stuck.  I’m definitely more of a plodder than a runner but I enjoy being outside and having the chance to clear my head.  When running I only think about the current run, and when will it be over?!

Why did you choose Certitude as your charity of choice?
Being part of Certitude I see the great work being done to support people to live the lives they want, and taking part in the Vitality 10k is a way for me to help support that.  We encourage people to find new interests, make new friends, get out and have fun – so I’m encouraging myself to do the same.

What does running in the Vitality 10k mean to you?
It’s going to be a great challenge for me.  I won’t find it easy, and I’ll have to work hard but that’ll make completing it all the more rewarding.  I’m looking forward to running around London and seeing all the sights/landmarks – hopefully some friendly Certitude faces too!

I also love that the Vitality 10k is about Celebrating You – “running for your head and your heart and having fun in the process”.

How has your training been going? Any tips for other runners?
Training is going well so far.  Although I only recently signed up for the run, I have my plan stuck on the fridge and I love ticking each session off with my green pen.  It’s also helps that my local running spot is in Bushy Park so it’s very scenic, even on rainy days.

Not sure I’m qualified to give out tips but I do love a podcast when running.  I find I get lost listening to the conversation and don’t notice the run so much.  RunPod with Jenni Falconer is a good one for some inspiration.  (Rhona, one of Certitude’s marathon runners last year, introduced me to that one).

What’s been the hardest moment in your training and how did you overcome it?
The hardest part is always just getting out of the door.  Once I’m outside and make a start it’s never as bad as you think it will be.  Having my plan really helps, so I know what I’m doing each day.

Support Michelle

Introduce yourself.
My name is Kevin, and I am Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) Practitioner. I work closely with people we support, as well as their families and carers to help understand what is important to them and to ensure they live safe, well and happy lives. My main focus is helping people to have good quality of life and making positive changes. I really like my role as every day is not the same and you are constantly learning new things all the time. I also get to meet a range of people across the organisation, as well as meet some incredible people we support. It’s nice to be in a role that is varied. 

Why did you decide to run the Vitality 10k?
I really wanted to take part last year but proved difficult with the pandemic. This year was another opportunity for me to take part again and felt this would give me more motivation to lose some of the extra “work from home calories”. I am so pleased the event is going ahead and is a nice chance to meet some new people. I also haven’t participated in a running event before so felt this is perfect opportunity. I would like to do marathon one day so this can be my first step towards that goal!   

Why did you choose Certitude as your charity of choice?
I have been in the organisation for over 4 years, and they have provided me with a lot of development opportunities. When I joined Certitude, I had no experience into health and social care, but the organisation seemed more interested in values and developing people. I started my journey as a support worker and was slowly supported into becoming a deputy manager. I then moved over to the Intensive Support Team (IST) and started my career as PBS practitioner. I am very happy in my role and grateful for Certitude providing me with different opportunities for me to grow/learn. I would like to show my appreciation by participating in Vitality 2022. 

What does running in the Vitality 10k mean to you?
This is something new for me and is really putting me out of my comfort zone, but I’m quite excited to push myself and embrace everything that comes my way. I’m looking forward to the event and hopefully build confidence to participate in more running events in the future. It’s also nice to be a part of group and to meet new people!

How has your training been going? Any tips for other runners?
Training is… not going so great at times- if you want any tips do not decide to move houses close to running event. However, in my free time I have been going swimming and recently did 10km in 1 hour. I think training has made me realise how important it is to be healthy and I’m trying to be more disciplined in terms of not getting take aways!

What’s been the hardest moment in your training and how did you overcome it?
I have found it hard to build motivation to exercise regularly and the last 2 years haven’t helped with this as well. I found the first time training most difficult but after a few sessions it gets easier. I have been putting in my calendar days that I am going swimming or for a jog and then force myself to go no matter what. I tend to feel better after a workout so try and remind myself this feeling. I also find it helpful having my running shoes in the bedroom, as a visual reminder!

Support Kevin

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to see updates from the runners on the day!

  facebook.com/CertitudeLondon
twitter.com/Certitude

Let’s get creative, from Garden to Plate!

Let's get creative, from Garden to Plate!

As part of our Support a Skill campaign to inspire people we support to get creative and develop their skills, we have launched ‘Garden to Plate!’

‘Garden to Plate’ aims to encourage people we support to grow fruit, vegetables and herbs, particularly during the spring, summer and autumn months from March to October, and then to get creative in the kitchen by using the food grown as ingredients in their cooking.

With funding from Support a Skill,  we are purchasing seeds, plants, gardening tools, soil and compost, cookware and utensils and ingredients for people we support. 

So many benefits

Studies have found that gardening can significantly improve health and wellbeing, with happiness levels increasing and anxiety levels decreasing after spending time connecting with nature. Gardening and being outdoors can also stimulate the senses, providing a relaxing and peaceful experience.

Through the project, we want to help to improve people’s nutrition, support people to develop healthier lifestyles and improve their mental and physical health and wellbeing.

These activities can also improve the environment and surroundings by regenerating the land and combating climate change in the process.

People we support will be able to socialise while gardening or while enjoying a home cooked meal. We also hope this can help increase people’s independence, confidence and sense of achievement.

World Autism Day: “I’m not a socially inept mathematical genius!”

World Autism Day, 2 April.

"I'm not a socially inept mathematical genius!"

It’s World Autism Day on Saturday 2 April and to celebrate we spoke to Michael, an Administrator who has been with Certitude since the merger with Yarrow.

What is your proudest achievement?

Not to toot my own horn but there are a few! I am very proud of my wonderful niece and nephew. That might be an achievement from my sister but I love them very much and am very close with them.

I have a lovely best friend and he and I are very close. I never thought I would have a friend that I am that close to. I am really happy to have a best friend. It took me 20 years or so, but I eventually got there!

I am proud of working at Certitude and really enjoy it. I would like to say thanks to my Manager who is really accepting of my neurodiversity. I am also part of the LGBTQ+ network, which is a really big thing for me as I have never been out at work before.

What are your interests?

Politics (that’s all I’m saying on that!), theatre – plays and musicals – writing poems and stories, drawing, the band Queen, The Smiths, Gilmore Girls, Harry Potter, Doctor Who.

I also love nature. I am at my happiest relaxing under a tree in Richmond Park or discussing etymology and other nerdy topics while relaxing with my best friend. I can’t stand football!

What struggles have you faced?

To be totally honest, there are still days (not as often these days) when I hate my ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and wish I did not have it. Sometimes, I get overly annoyed with myself when I get the simplest thing wrong and can be quite self-critical. I am getting better at managing this. It is all part of the journey that is life, I suppose.

Also, when I was younger, I used to think my autism was confusing my sexuality. I am now comfortable with being gay.

Any experiences you think others could learn from or relate to?

When I was in school I got bullied a lot – by teachers as well as other pupils. I can only walk down the stairs one at a time very slowly and one teacher told me off for not walking down the stairs properly, even though it was on my SEN statement. I feel like if someone says ‘this is part of who I am’ people should listen. People have said I should not act in a certain way or I will be bullied more; I have learned that I should not have to change my behaviour because of those bullies. It can take people with autism more time to shift toxic people from their lives. I have learned that the hard way, but I have learned.

Do you have any favourite memories?

The day my niece was born. My sister is a lot older than me and I was in Year Six at school. They asked me to come to the scan and I cried I was so happy.

Another favourite memory for me is the day I first met my best friend, it was nerve-wracking at the start but ended up being so much fun.

How are you unique?

One of my favourite quotes is: ‘Everybody’s unique, just like everybody else.’ Everybody who has autism has different traits. My best friend would probably say that I’m all heart. I am very loyal and very protective of people I care about. I don’t love many people but the people I do love I love very intensely.

What are the things that most annoy you?

It is really annoying when people assume that I can’t hold down a job because of my autism. Or if people think I have a mathematical brain like in Rain Man. I am not a socially inept mathematical genius!

I find it annoying when people assume I cannot hold down a job because of my autism, and also when people assume that purely because I have a disability I cannot look after myself. People assume that everybody with autism needs somebody to care for them, like I can’t take care of myself!

It is also annoying when people assume that people with autism are either very, very nice (shock: some of can be mean sometimes, just like everybody else) or they think the opposite – that we are very, very mean!

“A lot people think that people with autism are very black and white in their thinking, but the reality is that the way people think about people with autism is very black and white.”

I just want people to know that we’re not all geniuses, and that we don’t all need 24/7 care. I have a job at Certitude and I have a wonderful best friend and a remarkably wise-beyond-her-years niece and cheeky yet delightful nephew. I want people to know I can do everything everyone else can.

Certitude supports people with learning disabilities, autism and mental health support needs to live the life they want. 

If you want to be the difference and join our team, find out more at www.certitude.london/work-for-us

Music brings people together at the ARC

Music brings people together at the ARC

People in Ealing got together for some music therapy sessions recently – both in-person at our Activity and Resource Centre (ARC) and online. Funded by Asda Foundation, the sessions were welcomed by those still impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic who were keen to get involved in activities, have some fun and socialise with others.

It’s all about that bass

The funding from Asda Foundation meant that the Sonic Journey music group could get involved, and people we support could come together to make music using specialised equipment and instruments, both in the online and in-person sessions.

‘Sonic Journey have been a revelation to me – they bring such joy to my life.’ – Person we support

The hand drums and rain sticks, which create sensory sounds, were incredibly popular, while the headsets amplified people’s voices, making it easier to hear others. The ankle and wrist bells worked especially well for those with limited movement, and the native shaman drums were fun and easy to play, adding that all-important bass.

A welcome get-together

With disrupted routines and other challenges, the pandemic meant that people we support have been unable to take part in activities. With the lifting of restrictions, people have gradually begun some of their usual activities in a way that keeps everybody safe.

Stefanie Underhill from Asda Foundation said:

“We are delighted to be able to provide funding to help purchase musical equipment and deliver in person and online music therapy sessions for adults with disabilities. It’s fantastic to hear about the difference these sessions have made, bringing people back together after a long time apart and helping to improve mental health and wellbeing and helping people to improve their confidence. It’s been a tough couple of years and this activity is giving people a sense of belonging and a warm, safe space to make new friends.”

The sessions have proved to be a fun way for people to get back together, and there has been a real sense of belonging again as people who have had limited contact with each other finally reunited.