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.

Certitude Domiciliary Care Services receive ‘Outstanding’ rating from the CQC

Following a recent inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), Certitude is delighted to announce that our SFL Domiciliary Care Agency has been awarded a rating of ‘Outstanding’.

At the time of the inspection there were 106 people being offered a service in twenty-four supported living schemes across five London local authorities. You can read the full report here. You can also read a summary of the report here, and an Easy Read version of the report here.

Everyone at Certitude is immensely proud of this achievement as this comes in addition to the fact that every one of our other registered services across London is rated as ‘Good’. Only 2% of adult social care providers in England receive an ‘Outstanding’ rating from the CQC and this award is a huge testament to the hard work, dedication and commitment of managers and staff to ensure the support we provide every single day is safe, effective, caring, responsive and well led.  Certitude has continued to invest in the quality of our support to people and families throughout this challenging period of funding for providers and commissioners.

We would like to thank all of those involved in helping to make this achievement happen including managers and staff, and the people we support, their families and carers who generously give their time to support our continuous improvement and development, as do our Board of Trustees, Partners and Commissioners.

Mary Schumm, Director of Learning Disability Services and Registered Manager of SFL Domiciliary Care Agency, added;

We know that maintaining standards and improving services will continue to take lots more hard work but we are determined not to rest on our laurels and will always aim to deliver the very best quality care for the people we support and their families”.

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


Aisling Duffy
Chief Executive


Certitude chosen as Glades Shopping Centre’s Charity of the Year!

Certitude is thrilled to have been chosen as Glades Shopping Centre’s Charity of the Year 2018-19.

A year of fundraising events and activities kicks off in Bromley in April, when Glades are hosting our launch of the latest edition of our SELF: Portraits in Social Care exhibitions.

The exhibition provides a snapshot of people we support in Bromley. When people had their photo taken, we asked them three questions:

  • What do you see when you look in the mirror?
  • How would you describe your face?
  • Tell us something about yourself.

Self is about emphasising the things we have in common, over the storylines that pull us apart. Sam Mason, Community Fundraiser and project lead for SELF says:

It’s so powerful to strip away labels, focusing instead on self-identity and what’s going on inside all of our minds.

An astonishing 20m people a year walk through the Glades’ doors, more than the population of London, New York City and Paris combined! What better way to raise awareness of learning disabilities and autism, and the different lives of people we support.

Glades staff members are going to be taking on challenges throughout the year, raising funds for assistive technology in Bromley. We’ll also be training their staff in Mental Health First Aid and Learning Disability Awareness. People we support will be quality checking their facilities for accessibility and we’ll also be arranging work experience opportunities as part of our Step Forward initiative. It’s going to be a rich and collaborative partnership, great for both parties and we can’t wait to get started!

SELF: Portraits in Social Care will be running from 12th April – 5th May. Click here for more information.

Harrow School students join Certitude residents for online cookery project

Pupils from Harrow School are combining forces with local people with learning disabilities to cook up some fun new recipe videos to be shared on social media.

A group of sixth formers from Harrow School regularly visit local people with learning disabilities who are supported by social care provider Certitude to live in a house near the school. This is part of an ongoing relationship to build closer connections with the local community.

Now the two groups are coming together to share their newly acquired cookery skills in a series of accessible short recipe videos to be posted on social media.  The films, will be fun and informative and designed to encourage people with learning disabilities, teenagers and anyone else to get into the kitchen and start cooking healthy meals for themselves.

Alice Rankin, from Certitude who organises the joint activity with the school says:

“The boys bring a lovely dose of youthful energy to the house and it’s a joy to see them cooking together with the people we support every week. Everyone gets along really well and I think both groups benefit from meeting and engaging with people they wouldn’t usually meet in their everyday lives. We thought it would be interesting and useful to share this happiness and know-how in some short videos of simple-to-make recipes.”

On the menu for the first session of filming, which is scheduled for Monday 26th February, will be a cookies and microwave mug cakes.  Everyone will be sharing the roles of cooking, presenting, filming and editing.

Director of Shaftesbury Enterprise, Harrow’s charitable, outreach and partnership programme Tim Dalton says: “Harrow School is delighted that some of our Sixth Form volunteers are working with Certitude. The boys love going to the house and have really enjoyed the activities – especially the cooking. There is a wonderful atmosphere at the sessions and great relationships have been formed over the last few months.”

You can see the results of the filming collaboration by following @Certitude on Twitter and liking them on Facebook or searching Certitude on YouTube towards the end of March.

Collaboration at the heart of the matter

At Certitude, we believe everyone has the right to a good life and enjoy supporting people with complex mental health needs to achieve this.

Belief that people with severe and enduring mental health needs can live a great life is fundamental, but our learning in Lambeth has also taught us that so is collaboration.

The Lambeth Integrated Personalised Support Alliance (IPSA) is an alliance of organisations that have come together in Lambeth to transform the lives of people with serious long-term mental health issues. It offers people who currently go into long-term, expensive hospital rehabilitation wards or registered care homes the chance to live more independently in their own flat in the community. The aim is to help people who use the services recover and stay well, participate on an equal footing in daily life and make their own choices.

The alliance is made up of five partners including ourselves, Thames Reach, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM), Lambeth Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Lambeth Council and is part of a collaborative approach in the borough bringing together voluntary sector providers, health professionals, commissioners and the people using the services.

As part of the alliance, Certitude has the privilege of providing a specialist service that assists people to develop the skills and confidence needed to live in their community. We provide personalised support aimed at helping people to recover, stay well, and to benefit from more independent living. People are supported by skilled staff and have access to integrated clinical and social support when needed to help them manage their recovery and cope with periods of crisis. Usually within 6 months of receiving support, people will have the necessary skills and confidence to step down to lower support or independent housing.

*Dan became unwell when he was 18 and was admitted to hospital due to experiencing symptoms of psychosis. Dan was supported through a number of locked acute and rehabilitation services over a 7-year period across London and told us he had lost hope of ever living in the community or near his family. Lambeth IPSA believed in the possibility of Dan living in the community and worked collaboratively to support him to move to Turrets, an accommodation service we provide, and then on to more independent living where he lives today. Dan is testament to the possibilities created when systems can work together to support people with severe and enduring mental illness to live great lives in their community.

*We have changed the person’s name to protect his anonymity.