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.

You can talk about mental health

1 in 4 people will experience challenges with their mental health this year, yet talking about mental health can still be considered ‘taboo’. Too many people feel isolated, worthless and ashamed. Time to Talk Day is a chance for everyone to talk, to listen and to change lives.

Everyone has mental health just as we all have physical health, and both are equally important. All of us will experience times in our life when we feel less mentally well than usual, such as when a relationship ends, or we face financial difficulties. Some people become more unwell than others, but stigma creates a wall of judgement, isolation and shame for those who deserve more of our kindness. This can stop people seeking help, so it is all our responsibilities to help end the stigma by breaking the silence.

Talking about mental health isn’t always easy, but it can make an enormous difference to somebody’s life. Think about the people around you – your friends, family, workmates… does someone seem stressed a lot? Has someone’s appearance changed? Does someone seem distracted or absent? Are they using social media differently? Have you asked, ‘are you ok?’. You don’t have to be an expert to talk and to listen, and often it’s the little things that make a big difference.

I thought I was doing ok, but when someone actually asked me, everything I’d kept hidden came flooding out. It didn’t solve things, but sharing how I felt was like a huge weight being lifted. It helped me see through the fog and have hope.” Sarah

Every conversation about mental health brings us closer to a world without stigma and there are lots of ways to get conversations started. Sometimes, it’s as simple as asking someone ‘how are you doing?’, and really listening to the answer. You could talk about a mental-health related story in the news or a celebrity to get the conversation started. It can also be easier to talk side-by-side rather than face-to-face: when you’re cooking, driving or walking somewhere are all good opportunities to give it a try.

There are lots of people you can talk to about your own mental health if you are unable to talk to people around you. Some of these include:

Solidarity in a Crisis (Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham)

0300 123 1922 or text on 0778 975 6081 or 0778 975 6083

The Samaritans

116 123

Rethink Mental Illness

0300 5000 927


0300 123 3393

Your GP

You can also join a free training course with the Zero Suicide Alliance, who are committed to suicide prevention. You will learn how to identify when someone is showing signs of suicidal thoughts or behaviour, talk about it with them in a supportive manner and help them identify the services or support that might help them.

Here at Certitude we understand the value of sharing experiences and life stories and we support people to build trusting, lasting relationships with people they can turn to for support. Follow us on Twitter or Facebook today to hear more about how talking about mental health has helped people across Certitude.

Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, have a conversation about mental health today. Together, we can end mental health discrimination.

SELF comes to Hounslow

A bold photographic exhibition showing the human face of social care will be running in four Hounslow libraries throughout February 2018.

Isleworth, Feltham and Heston libraries and Hounslow Civic Centre will host ‘SELF–Portraits in Social Care’ an intimate and inspiring exhibition offering an alternative view of people working in, and supported by, social care. In total 100 images will be exhibited with 25 at each venue.

The idea came from Certitude Community Development Manager, Jake Meyer who worked in close partnership with professional photographer, Dean Belcher, to create this collection of revealing portraits. Jake explains: “First and foremost this is a show about community. The photographs illustrate the extraordinary diversity of people living in Hounslow and put real faces to the concept of ‘social care’.

Everyone featured in the SELF exhibition lives in Hounslow and is either connected with Certitude –  a social care provider supporting people with learning disabilities, autism, and mental health needs – or Age UK. People who took part were asked to reveal something about themselves that the viewer might not realise from their portrait and these thought-provoking responses are displayed alongside the photographs.


SELF Portrait Photography Workshop February 12th 2018,

2.30-4.30pm Feltham Library


The public will be able to respond to the exhibition at a 2-hour workshop hosted by Certitude and SELF photographer, Dean Belcher, at Feltham Library on February 12th. Participants will be able to explore self image through group discussions and hands-on portrait photography. To book your place, contact Ann Cartwright at ann.cartwright@hounslow.gov.uk

SELF Portrait Hounslow trail will be running between Thursday 1st-Wednesday 28th February 2018 at:

Feltham Library, The Centre, High Street, TW13 4GU

Heston Library, New Heston Road, TW5 0LW

Hounslow Library, Civic Centre, Lampton Road, TW3 4DN

Isleworth Library, Twickenham Road, TW7 7EU


Certitude Community Choir Lets off Steam!

The Certitude Community Choir – which is made of a mix of people who are supported by Certitude as well as staff and friends – hosted a carol concert for locals at the London Museum of Water and Steam on Thursday 7th of December.

Certitude supports people with learning disabilities, mental health support needs and autism across London and formed the choir four years ago to promote community inclusion. The concert raised £500 to support Certitude’s work locally.

The choir treated guests, including Ruth Cadbury, MP for Brentford and Isleworth, to a performance of festive favorites in the stunning Victorian splendor of the Steam Hall at the museum in Kew. Before, the show guests chatted to the performers over drinks and mince pies accompanied with beautiful music and singing from local artist Sarah Berresford.

Ruth Cadbury MP said of the concert “It was lovely seeing so many people there and singing along with everyone. The wonderful venue certainly got everyone into the festive spirit! It was a great night.”

Choir member Susan said, “It went very well and I enjoyed it very much. It was cold so Edward (the choirmaster) got us to move our legs and do breathing exercises. At the end the audience clapped really loudly.”

The Certitude Community Choir has performed at many local events, going from strength to strength since it was formed a few years ago. If you would like to get involved with Certitude  – either by joining the Community Choir or by volunteering or fundraising –  visit http://www.certitude.org.uk/get-involved/ for more information.

The Big Draw Event in Hounslow

Creative Journeys joined up with artists Nicki Rolls & Lynsey Storer from Redlees Studios along with students from Brentford School for Girls to run their first Big Draw Event last month at the Redlees Studios.

Anita Sangha, Community Connector Hounslow tells us more about the day…

It was our first time joining The Big Draw Festival and running an event with Redlees Studios. The theme of the event was ‘Living Lines’ and people had the opportunity to leave a creative mark on their version of a map of Hounslow. We had a brilliant turnout and it was great seeing everyone contributing, putting their creative thoughts into practice and coming up with some fantastic artwork.

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

A lady living in Hounslow said “I am so glad I came in as I have thoroughly enjoyed myself. I’ve never done any creative work like this before”. Another lady added that she “had a great time today meeting everyone and painting”. She has since displayed her artwork proudly in her home – a replica of the map of Hounslow which includes her home and the café she loves visiting.

Artist Nicki Rolls said “It was great to have such a high turnout! I 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 from all backgrounds, ages and abilities and everyone enjoyed Miriam Spinelli’s classical and jazz music throughout the day which added to the energy and ambience of the event.

Thank you to everyone who attended!

You can see more from the day here.

The Big Draw Event ran from 1st October – 31st October 2017. More information here: http://www.thebigdraw.org/