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Working with Livability The United Kingdom is going through a period of major change. Public sector spending and service delivery are being influenced by a number of factors, not least the current economic climate and the change in government. These will have a radical impact on the shape and quality of all services going forward. Social care, particularly support for disabled people, is likely to come under increasing pressure from spending cuts, as well as major changes in care quality regulation. At the same time, organisations need to be much more inclusive and person-centred in their support of disabled people throughout their lives: Children: As healthcare improves, the number of disabled children with complex needs in the UK is increasing. Young people: As specialist education raises young people’s aspirations and life expectations, we need to ensure that the transition to adult services allows continuity and continued opportunities for development. Adults: With increased life expectancy and an improved understanding of physical and psychological conditions, it is an inescapable fact that the average age of British people is increasing. More resources are going to be required to care for adults and older people.

So what is Livability’s role in supporting disabled people in the 21st century?

Livability - a reputation for innovation Although it’s a new name, Livability has over 160 years of experience in social care. As the Shaftesbury Society and John Grooms, we have been leading by example in social care and disability support for well over a century and a half. We pioneered free school education and our sheltered workshops were among the first of their kind. We broke new ground by taking disabled young people out of hospital wards and into schools. Over the years, we have seen Livability’s ideas become accepted policies and shape the way the sector develops. Today Livability is still at the forefront of supporting disabled people and our schools and colleges see young people being prepared for independent life. Our work with disabled adults is built on a deep belief in the importance of truly integrating all people into their communities. As a leading disability organisation, Livability offers a diverse range of services. We already work with one in three local authorities, helping them meet the challenges of a changing care sector.

Helping you meet your challenges Personalisation is arguably the biggest challenge facing our sector in a generation. Livability is gearing up to deliver the massive changes involved. Our staff are being trained to assist service users to engage in Self Directed Support and Person Centred Planning is one of our most important tools. As Personal Budgets start to be rolled out nationally, Livability is currently working in pilot areas with service users who already have their budgets. With a special school and two Further Education colleges, access to education and employment is one of our areas of expertise. Our flexible package range from day students to 52-week residential. We work hard to remove barriers to achievement so that our students are able to live the life they choose. Transition is another of our specialisms. Every year at our school and colleges we support young people as they explore their options, make decisions and take their first steps into adulthood. As well as our handson experience, we are at the forefront of researching and campaigning on Transitions issues. Value for money is always going to be crucial within the public sector. Our services can help you to meet your targets while remaining within your budgetary constraints.

Lifestyle choices Isolation is a major issue for disabled people. Livability’s Lifestyle Choices projects enable people to live a fuller life outside of their home. We provide individually tailored support to help people access employment, leisure or educational services in their local area.

Holidays Our accessible hotels and self-catering holiday homes offer affordable breaks for disabled people. We provide holidays for around 4,000 people a year.

Brain injury rehabilitation Livability’s Icanho project in Suffolk offers rehabilitation for those who have acquired brain injuries. Specialist staff work with individuals to help them adapt to new disabilities, relearn lost skills and work towards independence.

Education Livability runs schools and colleges which offer education, care and therapy to children and young people with complex learning and care needs. Each has a multi-disciplinary staff team which gives young people access to physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, nursing care and even wheelchair mechanics without having to leave the campus. All of our establishments focus on preparing students for independent adult life. As well as teaching life skills and confidence, we put time into the Transition process – ensuring that each student that leaves us goes on to just the right place for them.


Our well-trained staff offer flexible support to help disabled people live the lives they choose. Support can range from a few hours a week to 24-hour care. Staff respond to service users’ individual needs, and are guided by their personal support plans which set out their wishes, plans and aspirations.

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Livability operates 24 residential care homes, supporting 250 adults with physical disabilities, learning difficulties and complex needs. Each person is treated as an individual and person-centred planning enables them to maximise their independence, make their own choices and identify goals for their own lives.


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Livability – a trusted provider of disability services Livability currently provides a variety of services for councils and primary care trusts right across the country: Twenty-two London boroughs • Bedford Borough Council • Bournemouth Borough Council and PCT • Brighton and Hove Council • Cambridgeshire County Council • Carlisle City Council • Central Bedfordshire Council • Cumbria County Council • Denbighshire County Council • Dorset County Council • East Sussex County Council • Essex County Council • Gloucestershire County Council • Herefordshire County Council • Hertfordshire County Council • Kent County Council • Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council • Lancashire County Council • Hammersmith and Fulham PCT • Harrow PCT • Leeds City Council • Lincolnshire County Council • Norfolk County Council • North East Essex PCT • Northamptonshire County Council and PCT • Nottinghamshire County Council • Plymouth City Council • Borough of Poole • Reading Borough Council • Rochdale Council • Solihull PCT • Southampton City Council and PCT • South East Essex PCT • Southend on Sea Borough Council and PCT • Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council • Stroud District Council • Suffolk County Council and PCT • Surrey County Council • Thurrock Council • Trafford Metropolitan Borough Council • Wakefield Metropolitan District Council and PCT • Warwickshire County Council • West Essex PCT • West Hertfordshire PCT • West Sussex County Council and PCT • West Wiltshire PCT • Wiltshire County Council and Continuing Healthcare • Wirral Borough Council • Worcestershire PCT *correct as at May 2010

Examples of services that Livability provides: • By placing a service user with traumatic brain injuries in one of our high-needs nursing homes instead of keeping them in a specialist hospital, one Health Authority is making savings of up to £2,500 per day. • We currently offer disability training for police and fire services, and work with student nurses to give them experience of supporting profoundly disabled people. • As forward-thinking local authorities implement personalisation, we are supporting them with a range of more flexible, creative services. • We have replaced traditional Day Services with an innovative model of ‘Lifestyle Choices’: Support and assistance are provided as required to enable individuals to realise their dreams, aspirations and potential, whether in leisure, education or employment.

Livability 50 Scrutton Street, London EC2A 4XQ Tel: 020 7452 2087 Fax: 020 7452 2001 Livability is a company limited by guarantee Registered charity no: 1116530 Registered in England no: 5967087 Livability is the new face of John Grooms and the Shaftesbury Society

Working with Livability  

Our leaflet for care professionals, describing what we do and how we work.