Certitude 2017 Annual Review

Our Impact

Chair's report

Certitude is thriving. More and more people are getting on with their lives, happier and healthier. Against a backdrop of continuing austerity, we have increased our expertise in supporting people living with mental ill-health, learning disabilities and autism.

People are achieving more in their lives, becoming more independent, building positive, lasting relationships, growing in confidence, recovering and staying well. Every day people remind and inspire us to keep moving forward and keep improving what we do.

We have focused on how we can continually improve the quality of our support. In CQC registered services performance is very positive, with 96% rated as Good. Our Quality Checkers programme and family support are important and growing parts of our offer and we continue to invest in staff development and leadership. New housing relationships mean we can now provide more support options – including our first forensic accommodation service.

Part of moving forward is embracing technology. Throughout the year people have been using various apps and devices that put them in control of their lives and our Personalised Technology project is helping to inform future planning and investment. We have committed to Buzz - an exciting organisation-wide tool which will enable bespoke support planning and rota management, ensuring staff can focus on what is really important – people.

Community Fundraising has supported a variety of people and organisations to raise money to enhance people’s lives. The energy and creativity that people within and outside Certitude bring to help us raise money is so impressive and huge thanks go to everyone who has helped – we treasure your support.

Our success this year was only possible because of our talented, hardworking staff and volunteers. Our optimistic approach focuses on offering solutions, being innovative in developing support and working collaboratively with people and their families, partners, funders and commissioners so together we can continue making a positive difference to more people’s lives.


Eleri Ebenezer
Chair of the Certitude Board


Aisling Duffy
Chief Executive

CEO's report

At Certitude, we are inspired by people. People’s experiences, hopes and dreams motivate us to do more and do better and reassure us that our support can and does make a difference.

All of us know or hopefully have someone in our life who inspires us, who keeps us going when things get tough. Across Certitude, we see this loud and clear every day, that inspiration and support is a two-way relationship. The features in this annual review show the difference an inspired life can really make.

“As a child growing up Dad loved to hear what I had been up to, always interested in my opinion and encouraging my sense of adventure. Dad expected me from a very early age to always see the good in people, never judging and to believe that anything was possible if you wanted it enough and worked hard for it. Dad is a huge inspiration for me – there is so much that connects the values my Dad instilled in me and my work at Certitude. Conversation was and still is a very important part of our relationship. I know he is incredibly proud of me as I am of him.”

Aisling Duffy, Chief Executive

Aisling and her father

Case Studies

An inspired life is

Building the right support is about inspiring each other, looking for the opportunities in life and giving it a go. Certitude’s support to people who can find day to day life overwhelming and, at times, really difficult is based on ‘yes you can’ rather than ‘no you can’t’.


"Lauren has inspired me from the first day I met her. She has an absolute determination to succeed. She views every day as an adventure – life is for living! Lauren has grasped the chance to try out things which bring her happiness. Her days are filled up with horse riding, swimming, trampolining, or meeting up with people at her local library or café.

It made my day when Lauren swam her first full length of the pool after several determined attempts. Lauren has exceeded all expectations and has taught me to say ‘yes I can’ to things I never thought were possible."


Radiet and Lauren

An inspired life is

Being surrounded by people who understand and support you is crucial to recovering and staying well. Our mental health support for women focuses on building effective support networks and trusting friendships, inspiring each other to achieve and exceed their own expectations.



“Latoya inspires me – she helps me feel confident. I don’t like walking alone, I am frightened to go anywhere by myself, but Latoya walks with me, she encourages me and is nice to me.”



“Siobhan and I moved into our home at a similar time. I have been happy to help Siobhan, I am patient and I can tell Siobhan about different ways to stop getting worried. I hope to help others in the future.”

Siobahn and Latoya

An inspired life is

Life can be complicated and experiences like prison, substance use and homelessness can create difficult barriers to overcome to stay well and live a good life. Our intensive mental health support focuses on whole-life recovery.



“Since coming out of prison Mary was determined to change her life for the better and has come a long way this past year. Together, we set positive goals to work towards. Her attitude is so inspiring. Mary will always try her best and although some of her goals are challenging, she never gives up trying.”



“I have been in prison a few times now and I don’t want to go back. My keyworker visited me while I was there and I realised that someone cared. I trust my support team. I know they look out for me and I feel safe and secure. I now know I can make a better future for myself.”

Bridgine and Mary

An inspired life is

Our coaching sessions support people who are isolated and experiencing major challenges with different areas of their life. Talking through issues helps people to see that they are not alone and increases their confidence managing day to day life.



“I am always humbled when I see people make changes to manage issues and go on to lead successful independent lives - that is what my work is about. Receiving positive feedback from people and their families has given me the motivation to keep doing the job I do.”



“The sessions with Velma were a real help to me in getting back my confidence. She inspired and encouraged me to set up the print workshop at Certitude. I am enjoying being part of the community, this has helped me enormously – I’ve overcome isolation and Velma has helped me to believe in myself.”

Velma and Audrey

An inspired life has

John and the rest of the Treat Me Right! team train health professionals across NW London to better understand the support needs and reasonable adjustments that can be made for people with learning disabilities when using health care services.



“John and I have known each other for many years. As a colleague, John inspires me – he is a problem solver and an ideas man and his work makes a real difference to people’s lives. Since Alex was born John has supported me. He makes me focus on what Alex can achieve and not what he can’t.”



“When Marianne told me Alex has Down Syndrome, I thought ‘she will be so proud of him’. I am proud that I have Down Syndrome and I push myself.I have achieved everything I wanted to. I would tell Alex to be brave and challenge yourself. You can achieve anything if you work for it.”

Marianne and John

An inspired life is

Our peer support projects continue to demonstrate the impact of people’s own experience and knowledge in helping others to transform their lives. The range of expertise and support provided from our Connect and Do Space in Brixton goes from strength to strength.



“I have been working alongside people for over 20 years and have been lucky enough to know some amazing and creative people; creative because they have managed to transform their lives. What inspires me is people’s resilience and in turn, this keeps me learning and sharing.”



“Stephanie knows such a lot and is always so flexible – she has such a wide range of knowledge. As peer supporters, this is really useful for the team, especially myself, and for people we are supporting. Everyone benefits from her knowledge, especially when we are trying to find out what’s happening locally.”

Stephanie and Rosetie

An inspired life is

We all use technology as part of our daily lives. Smart phones and tablets are everyday tools that make it easier to communicate with people around us. Buzz is an exciting project which will use this technology to create an information sharing system to help us provide better support.


“People’s day to day decisions, choices and aspirations were at the heart of everything that I did when I was a Support Worker. Helping people to live independently, find interests and have as full a life as possible were core to my role and those values have stayed with me throughout my career. So when I am working on the Buzz project or innovations with Certitude I always think of Ray. I will often ask, ‘How is what we are doing going to make a positive difference to Ray’s life?’ Ray is my ‘go to’ person for giving me purpose in what we are trying to achieve at Certitude.”


Jonny and Ray

An inspired life is

We believe that art is for everyone and all our classes and workshops are open to the local community as well as people we support. This inclusive approach benefits everyone who attends.



“I’ve known Lisa since she was born - I’m best friends with her dad. I trained as an artist but became disillusioned with the art world a long time ago. Watching Lisa painting with such innocence and joy has inspired me to get back to painting and now I love coming to classes at Connect & Do every Monday.”



“Lisa has a free and expressive style of painting which inspires those around her. She sits next to a guy in the Life Class who used to draw tiny pictures, sometimes cramming 12 images onto one page. Over the weeks I have seen his technique relax and his sketches getting bigger and more expansive. I’m sure Lisa can take some credit for this shift in style!”

Wayne, Jake and Lisa


Fundraising at Certitude has continued to flourish throughout 2016-17. We have worked tirelessly, forging new relationships with businesses and schools throughout London, while strengthening our existing partnerships to support our work and enhance the lives of people we support throughout the capital.

Highlights include an exciting partnership with Bromley solicitors, Thackray Williams and a new partnership with Harrow School. These offer not only financial support to significant strategic projects, but also give people we support the opportunity to explore their skills through experience, collaborative art projects, IT workshops and volunteer opportunities.

This year we received funding from the Bailey Thomas Charitable Trust to pilot Food for Thought, an innovative approach to provide emotional support to people with learning disabilities who have experienced bereavement, supporting them to identify effective coping strategies. Richard said: “I enjoyed Food for Thought. Talking about death and funerals was helpful. I found it useful to learn how to deal with problems when someone dies, like accepting that it will happen.”

In May we celebrated the arrival of our new Magic Carpet at the Dominion Centre in Southall, an interactive projection system that people engage with simply by moving on or over the projected images. It is helping to forge friendships through team work and friendly competition and ultimately supports developing skills that can be transferred to other areas of life.

We’ve also worked closely with architects Scott Brownrigg and Barton Willmore. Through site visits, volunteer days and meetings with people we support, they’re helping us to redesign the garden of the ARC in Ealing, consulting, designing and volunteering their time to install it, using their skills to transformative effect. This is a terrific example of the way partnerships can underpin what we do: enhancing the quality of our work hand in hand with people we support.

We are looking forward to 2017/18 with excitement, thrilled with our foundations, galvanised by the support of our communities and looking upwards under bright blue London skies.

Michael from Harrow School shows Chris and Alice online apps and social media.


Despite the challenging social care environment, the group is in a positive position with a surplus for the year of £951k before investment gains and £1.333m after investment gains.

This surplus allows the organisation to continue to invest in service improvements and developments. We have achieved this strong position by making efficiency improvements in areas which do not directly impact people we support and used economies of scale to streamline our services and to maximise the outcome for each pound spent. Total turnover is £31.490m (£27.391m in 2015/16), the increase is primarily as a result of the full year effect of new contracts awarded in 2015/16 as well as new services opened in 2016/17.

Total expenditure was £30.539m (£27.845m in 2015/16) due to new contracts and service improvements and developments. Staff costs represent 76.8% of turnover and considerable efforts were made during the year to ensure we manage all our costs as effectively as possible. We had overall investment gains (less actuarial losses) of £0.382m.

This strong financial position means we are able to continue to further develop and improve services for people and families we support.





Rental Income



Contractual Income



Other Income



Grants and Donations



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Investment Management Fees



Total Expenditure




Certitude is governed by a Board of voluntary non-executive directors which meets on a regular basis. They define the strategic direction of the organisation and offer support and guidance to the Leadership Team.

Eleri Ebenezer


Dr Patricia Connell-Julien

Nick Dimbleby

Bayo Emanuel

Professor Sally Glen

Dianne Greyson

Kate James

Chair of Quality, Performance & Compliance Committee

Philippa Laughton

Chair of HR Committee

Yasmin Miller

Connie Neish

Laura Sullivan

George Venus

Sue Wickerson

Chair of Finance & IT Committee
Chair of Audit & Risk Committee


Bernard Campbell

Michael Jones

Leadership Team

Aisling Duffy

Chief Executive

Nicholas Campbell-Watts

Strategic Director of Operations

Liz Durrant

Director of Mental Health

Cheryl Newsome

Director of HR

Mary Schumm

Director of Learning Disabilities

Marianne Selby-Boothroyd

Director of Development

Sanjay Shah

Director of Finance, IT & Housing

Thank you

Many thanks for the support given to Certitude over the past year:

The London Boroughs of Bromley, Ealing, Harrow, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Kensington and Chelsea, Lambeth, Lewisham, Richmond, Southwark, Wandsworth and Westminster.

Ealing CCG, Harrow CCG, Lambeth CCG, Richmond CCG and Southwark CCG.

Barnet Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust and CNWL NHS Foundation Trust.

Our Partners in the Lambeth Integrated Personalised Support Alliance (IPSA). Charitable Trusts, in particular the Bailey Thomas Charitable Trust.

Our Corporate Partners: Barclays, British Medical Association, Bromley High School, Direct Line, Freemasons, Gipsy Hill Brewing Company, Harrow School, Layhams Farm Shop, Lloyds Bank, Newstead Wood School, Perivale Golf Club, Prudential, Scott Brownrigg, St Peter’s Church Ealing, Swire Charitable Trust, Target Media, Thackray Williams, The London Museum of Water and Steam, Venn Group and Waitrose.

Our Community Development Partners: Action Space, Age UK Hounslow, Bethlem Gallery, Block 336, Dulwich Picture Gallery, Mears, Morley College, NCS, Redlees Gallery, The BRIT School and The Portico Gallery. Mike Tinney and Dean Belcher - photographers for the Self exhibition.

Our individual donors and everyone who has undertaken a challenge to fundraise for Certitude’s work over the past year and to all our peer mentors and volunteers for their dedication and commitment.