Summer Fete at Astley Centre in Bromley

Certitude, working in partnership with the Friends of Astley Fundraising Group, will be holding a Summer Fete at the Astley Day Centre, 39 Magpie Hall Lane, Bromley BR2 8ED on Saturday 28th July, 1-4pm.

The event will have something for everyone – from stalls and games to tai chi exercise and disco! And who can forget about a quintessential Summer BBQ along with tea and cake!

Astley Day Centre is run by Certitude, and offers support and activities for people in the local community who have learning disabilities and autism. Money raised from the event will be used to fund extra resources and activities.

Sue Burgess from Certitude, says:

“The Summer Fete is always great fun! An opportunity for us to invite the local community to Astley and see the wonderful things that happen here.

“We want everyone to have a great day, visit our stalls and support us in raising funds for Assistive Technology and Sensory Equipment for people we support.

“We hope to see many of you there!”

Good luck at the National Learning Disabilities and Autism Awards!

We are delighted to announce that we have three finalists at the National Learning Disabilities and Autism Awards, which will be taking place at ICC Birmingham this evening.

Firstly, we are pleased to announce that the Brentside and IST team are shortlisted for the Positive Behaviour Support Award for their work with Zara*. Since Certitude began supporting Zara in 2017, her team with positive behaviour support have built stronger communication and relationships using Makaton, Intensive Interaction and iPad apps such as Proloquo2Go. Zara now has many more choices in life, doing things previously thought impossible and is looking forward to her first ever holiday.

Oscar has been nominated for the Newcomer Award. Oscar joined Certitude in 2017 and has proven to be a valued team member. He works to ensure the best possible outcomes for people and does everything possible to ensure people have the best opportunities and achieve their potential. His commitment is commendable for someone so new to social care.

Lastly, we have the Harrow Staff Support Team who have been working in partnership with Harrow School. Certitude partnered Harrow Boys School in 2017, who have collaborated with the Harrow team each week since then. The boys’ youthful enthusiasm always lifts people’s mood and the noise, chaos and mess at the cooking sessions are definitely the highlight to Monday’s, and a firm favourite with people we support.

Good luck to all the finalists, you are already winners in our eyes.

*name has been changed to protect identity

We’re Big Draw winners!

We are delighted to announce that the Creative Journey’s team have won The Big Draw’s ‘Founders Choice Award’ for the event held at Redlees Studio in October 2017. 

Certitude collaborated with the artists Nicki Rolls and Lynsey Storer from Redlees Studios, along with students from Brentford School for Girls to run their first Big Draw Event last October.

Everyone was welcomed to join in;  the theme of the event was ‘Living Lines’ and people had the opportunity to leave a creative mark on a map of Hounslow. Regardless of peoples abilities, everyone contributed in putting their creative thoughts into practice and came up with some brilliant artwork.

Participants used maps as a starting point for ‘Living Lines’; a range of materials were used for drawing from traditional media such as pencil and pen and extended to wire and 3D resources. They were able to share their ideas, express their feelings, and learn new skills from each other.

We had artists who volunteered in supporting individuals who needed some guidance. One person from Hounslow stated “I am so glad I came in as I have thoroughly enjoyed myself never had I done any creative work as this before. This person, who is supported by Certitude said “I have had a great time today meeting everyone and painting”. She then displayed her work – a drawing which was a replica map of Hounslow – her house, the café she loves going to was also displayed on her map.

Nicki Rolls stated It was great to have such a high turnout! Felt there was a great creative energy and was good to see people trying out things they never done before. The girls from Brentford School helped to make it a positive, fun day.” We had around thirty people join in from all backgrounds/ages/abilities, and everyone enjoyed Miriam Spinelli’s classical and jazz music through out the day which added to the energy and ambience of the event.

Anita Sangha, Community Connector, Hounslow: “It was an absolute pleasure working together on this collaborated project with Redlees Studios and Brentford School for Girls.  I still can’t believe that we won the award – I look forward to working on future projects together.”

Andy Kee, Artist: “As art develops so do the people.”

Nicki Rolls, Artist: “All the artists at Redlees Studios are delighted to have won this national award! The day went really well and it was a lot of fun working with people from Certitude, so to win an award was just the cherry on the cake! It puts us and Hounslow Borough on the map so people can come and find out more about our studios and our creative activities.” 

Huge congratulations to all the winners and nominees.

Read the original article here.

You can take a look at the 9 award winning events here.

Street party at the heart of the community

The bunting was out in June for this year’s Street Party in Wardley Street.

Councillor Angela Graham with Gianluca Zucchelli, Head of Service

Every summer the respite team in Wandsworth get together with the local community to close the road and throw this fundraising bash for families, friends, carers and people who use the service. The event has become a firm fixture on the local calendar and this year the celebrations were bigger and better than ever.

The Friends of Wardley Street plan the party, with staff, months in advance and this year added a live band as well as a DJ to create a lively atmosphere and attract the crowds. Everyone connected with service got involved; setting up gazebos, making cakes, sourcing raffle and tombola prizes, working on stalls or donating jewellery, plants and bric-a-brac to sell.

Catherine Austin who manages the respite team at Wardley Street said:

“I was delighted to see so many people enjoying themselves this year – including people we currently support, people we have supported in the past, families, carers and members of the public. It’s a great opportunity for everyone to make new connections, meet new people and demonstrate that people we support have an active presence in their local community and are able to make a valuable contribution to it.

“The band were great and lots of people seemed to enjoy having a bop! Everyone worked tirelessly to make it a success and it was lovely to have so much community support including from the local pub who donated tables and let us fundraise in their garden.”

Local councillor Angela Graham popped along to join in the party and help with the fundraising. In total the event raised over £600 which will be used by The Friends of Wardley Street to make a respite stay at the house even more enjoyable for guests.

No man’s an island

We are delighted that the Integrated Personalised Support Mental Health Alliance was showcased in this film as an example of best practice at the NHS Confederation between 13-14th June 2018.

With a common goal to better coordinate services and by working together with the NHS and our partners Thames Reach, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM), Lambeth Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Lambeth Council, Certitude is able to provide better mental health support in Lambeth.

Michael Clynes, Peer Supporter says of his involvement, “Everybody in the team is a hero as far as I’m concerned. No man’s an island. It just proves that with a bit of teamwork and a bit of support here and there, things can get better.”

Liz Durrant, Director of Mental Health adds, “It is such a privilege to work with great people in Lambeth to continuously improve mental wellbeing support with the community. The Lambeth community and people who work in it are passionate about people with mental health needs living the best life, filled with opportunities and hope. I’m proud Certitude can contribute to this journey of improving support together with our partners.

Michael and Ahmed capture in their words what the Alliance is all about – working together to help people live the life they want, filled with hope and opportunity. Michael always inspires me to see the good in people and really demonstrates what team work is all about. Ahmed has achieved great things in his life and instils hope in others. We’re lucky to know them both.”

We are proud to be part of this wonderful collaborative and look forward to continuing to work together.

You can watch the inspiring video about this new initiative below:

To find out more about Lambeth IPSA, read our booklet here, or visit the website here.

Certitude on the Radio!

We were thrilled to feature on the Eddie Nestor Drivetime Show on BBC Radio London on 11th June!

Mick Wood, Registered Manager in Richmond and Mrs Trisha Burgess, whose son Dominic is supported by Certitude, were interviewed on the Eddie Nestor Drivetime Show, talking about the role of a Certitude Support Worker and the kind of things they do to support people to enjoy a good life.

From meeting people with a whole range of life experiences, contributing to local communities, flexible working and lots of training and development opportunities, if you’ve ever wondered whether becoming a Support Worker might be something you would enjoy, then listen below to see what Mick has to say about the role!

For more information about roles we have available, check out our current vacancies here!

Treat Me Right! Gets shortlisted to represent North West London in NHS’s 70th birthday Parliamentary Awards

Our Treat Me Right! Project has just been nominated for a Parliamentary Award and winners will be announced in early July.

It has been chosen from hundreds of applicants to represent North West London in the prestigious competition which marks the NHS’s 70th birthday.

About the awards

Launched in February, the NHS70 Parliamentary Awards asked MPs to find and nominate those individuals or teams they thought have made the biggest improvements to health services in their constituencies across ten categories. The Treat Me Right! Team was nominated by Virendra Sharma MP, Mark Field MP, Nick Hurd MP, Boris Johnson MP, and Tulip Siddiq MP.

From over 750 entries, senior experts chose four nominations in each category, which exemplify the best of what the NHS and its partners do day in, day out.

As regional champion in the Care and Compassion Award category, Treat Me Right! will now vie with other regional winners from across England for a national award. The award will be presented at a special ceremony in the Palace of Westminster on the 4th July.

Treat Me Right!

The Treat Me Right! Team, have trained frontline NHS staff to better understand the experiences of people with autism and learning disabilities, and to make reasonable adjustments to the way services are delivered where needed. The training directly helps people avoid escalation of distress and unnecessary hospital admissions.

To reach as many staff as possible (and therefore benefit as many patients as possible) the training was specifically adapted and tailored to different audiences and was co-delivered by someone who has lived experience of learning disability or autism.  One of the trainers, Ben, said, “Being a trainer isn’t about sitting down and staying still like a museum exhibit, but about really interacting with the attendees and telling my story.”

All of the MPs who nominated Treat Me Right! For an award have said fantastic things about the project.

Boris Johnson MP (South Ruislip and Uxbridge), said: “As the NHS marks its 70th birthday, these awards are a fantastic way to celebrate the achievements of the NHS. I’m delighted Treat Me Right! has been shortlisted for the Care and Compassion Award and that the judges have recognised the phenomenal work the team does.

It’s great to see such innovative work; designed with and delivered by people who have autism or learning difficulties, this scheme benefits from important insight to pinpoint reasonable adjustments for patients to help avoid any unnecessary distress. Well done again to all involved in Treat Me Right!”

Nick Hurd MP (Ruislip, Norwood and Pinner), said: “I was delighted to nominate the Treat Me Right! team for the NHS 70th birthday Parliamentary Awards.

The training they’ve delivered to NHS staff has had a real impact on minimising the potential stresses of hospital treatment for those with autism or a learning disability, and their unique methods of collaboration have produced strategies that are fully tailored to the needs of patients.

It is testament to their hard work that they have been nominated by so many of my parliamentary colleagues and I wish them the very best of luck in the final!”

Tulip Siddiq MP (Hampstead and Kilburn), said: “Brent is home to so many exceptional healthcare professionals, but I was particularly delighted to nominate Treat Me Right! for the Care and Compassion Award.

They offer a bespoke training service for frontline staff, producing hugely positive outcomes for those with learning difficulties and for the NHS as a whole.

I am thrilled that the programme has been shortlisted for this prestigious award, and it is my sincerest hope that the programme receives even more support as a result.”

Virendra Sharma MP (Ealing Southall) said: “I was proud to nominate the Treat Me Right! training programme for the Care and Compassion Award, and I’m extremely pleased to see that it has been very deservedly shortlisted.”

Mark Field MP (Cities of London and Westminster), said: “I’m delighted that Treat Me Right!, commissioned by NHS North West London CCGs is shortlisted for the national Care and Compassion award as part of the NHS70 Parliamentary Awards marking the 70th birthday of the NHS.

Treat Me Right!, designed with and delivered by people who have autism or learning disabilities provides frontline NHS staff with training to better understand the experiences of those with autism and to make adjustments to the way services are delivered.

The programme has been delivered to over 20 teams in the local area, with more than 750 staff members trained so far.

As the regional champion, the Treat Me Right! team will come to Parliament on 4 July (the day before the NHS’s 70th birthday) for the awards ceremony.

I look forward to welcoming the team to Parliament and I would like to wish them the best of luck for the national award. I would also like to take this opportunity to wish the NHS a very happy 70th birthday!”

What happens next?

All of the champions have been invited to the national awards ceremony on 4th July, the day before the NHS’s 70th birthday. We are keeping our fingers crossed for success on the night! In the meantime, a big well done to everyone involved.

SELF exhibition launches year long partnership with The Glades

More than 600 people attended our SELF: Portraits in Social Care exhibition at The Glades Shopping Centre in Bromley.

Running from 12 April to 5 May, the exhibition launched a year-long partnership with The Glades and explored the idea of self-image asking audiences to address the question: ‘what do you see when you look in the mirror?’.

Showcasing portraits by professional photographer Mike Tinney, powerful, intimate portraits of people we support, staff and volunteers were displayed side by side with a quote from each subject about their portrait; an insightful, human response to a universal question.

Among visitors to the exhibition was The Mayor of Bromley, Councillor Kathy Bance MBE, who said ‘It’s wonderful to see such real photos – so natural and beautiful. It’s lovely to see the emotion in each person’s portrait. I know some of these people from the community, so it’s wonderful to see them have their time in the spotlight

Running alongside the exhibition, photography workshops invited members of the public to have their photo taken and be a part of the exhibition.

Visitors remarked:

The pictures are beautiful; it’s so nice to see people out there & celebrated for once rather than being hidden away

It’s a shame the exhibition is only on for 4 weeks, there should be more things like this

It’s lovely to see there are so many more resources out there & things being done for people with learning disabilities, in my day they were just tucked away, not seen and not heard


Love the work that you are doing, it’s organisations like this that make me less scared for my daughter’s future

Glades General Manager, Kate Miller, added ‘The message behind the exhibition is very simple, but also very powerful. The society we live in is often quick to make assumptions and people in social care are often misjudged about their lives and capabilities.’

Following its successful launch, the exhibition will move to a permanent home within The Glades, where their 20 million annual visitors can enjoy the pictures all year round.

Fabulous news just got better! Certitude Domiciliary Care Services receive two ‘Outstanding’ ratings from the CQC

Certitude has had some wonderful news recently from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) who monitor, inspect and regulate health and social care services.

I am delighted to tell you that both our SFL Domiciliary Care Agency and SSP Domiciliary Care Agency have been individually awarded a rating of ‘Outstanding’ by the CQC.

This is an unprecedented achievement for Certitude with not only two domiciliary care services awarded the highest CQC rating a social care provider can receive, but also that every one of our other registered services across London has now been rated as ‘Good.

Only 2% of adult social care providers in England receive an ‘Outstanding’ rating from the CQC and this award would not have been possible without the hard work, dedication and commitment of managers and staff at Certitude to ensure the support we provide every single day is safe, effective, caring, responsive and well led.  We have continued to invest in the quality of our support to people and families throughout this challenging period of funding for providers and commissioners.

I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank our amazing managers and staff, as well as people we support, their families and carers, Board of Trustees, Partners and Commissioners who generously give their time to support Certitude’s continuous improvement and development.

Nicholas Campbell-Watts, Strategic Director of Operations, said;

“These Outstanding ratings from CQC follow closely on the exceptionally positive feedback we recently received from our Customer Satisfaction and Staff Engagement surveys. What’s even more exciting is that we are now rolling out some really ambitious projects – developed in collaboration with people we support, their families and our staff – to further improve the quality of support we provide.”

Our SFL Domiciliary Care Agency provides a service to 106 people in twenty-four supported living schemes in the London Boroughs of Ealing, Harrow, Hillingdon, Hounslow and Richmond – you can read the full report here. Our SSP Domiciliary Care Agency covers the London Boroughs of Bromley, Lambeth and Westminster, supporting 58 people in 16 services and you can read the full report here.

The CQC recently released their own press release about the award, you can read it here.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you would like any further information about our services.



Aisling Duffy
Chief Executive

Brentford and Isleworth MP Ruth Cadbury visits Certitude

A group of local people with learning disabilities were delighted to welcome Ruth Cadbury, MP for Brentford and Iselworth, for afternoon tea at their home on Tuesday 10 April.

Certitude, the organisation supporting people at the house, has recently been awarded an ‘outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) for the support it provides in Hounslow – an award level only achieved by the top 2% of adult social care providers.

Certitude CEO, Aisling Duffy and House Manager, Jo Watkins were on hand to greet the MP and explain how they set about creating a cosy, homely setting while also providing the highest levels of support for the people who live there.

Yvette Watson who lives at the house said: “It was great fun to meet my local MP. I showed her my book about my holiday and I enjoyed eating the cakes!”

Aisling Duffy says: “It was a pleasure to welcome Ruth Cadbury MP this afternoon and to show her how excellent support is being achieved, even in challenging economic circumstances. I hope this visit has demonstrated that – with right kind of support – everyone can live fulfilled and enriched lives.

Our staff work extremely hard but they also love what they do and baking with the whole household is a favourite pastime – which meant we could all enjoy this delicious afternoon tea.”

Ruth Cadbury commented: “I have enjoyed learning more from Certitude staff about how they support people with learning disabilities in Isleworth. It was good to hear that the people I met feel very welcome in their neighbourhood and are involved in the local community. With government cuts to social care it is crucial those with the most complex needs are not left socially isolated, vulnerable and lonely.”

Certitude staff are on hand, round-the-clock at the house in Isleworth and use traditional and high-tech ways to communicate with people who live there to give them as much control over their lives as possible. Staff also encourage local community connections through involvement in community groups, sports and activities and outings to interesting events and places.