Learning Disability Network London (LDN London) is an award-winning charity which has been providing services for people with a range of learning disabilities and their families in London since 1962. We work to ensure people with learning disabilities are valued as equal citizens, with the chance to make full use of their community and make decisions about their lives at every available opportunity, no matter the level of their disability.
We operate in a number of London boroughs and have significant experience in supporting people with disabilities, including people with complex needs and profound and multiple disabilities. We place special emphasis on promoting family relationships, as this is crucial to delivering successful services. The services we provide are extensive and include registered care, supported living, short breaks, community services, and domiciliary care for adults. We also provide family support and other services for children.
In January 2021, we changed our name to Learning Disability Network London Limited (LDN London). The name change came about after extensive consultation with people with learning disabilities, their families, our staff and supporters and the overwhelming response was that we wanted a name which better reflects the organisation we are today. As LDN London, we are committed to furthering our reach and to be the organisation of choice for learning disabled Londoners and their families.
We have a long history of providing services for children with disabilities and their families in Westminster.
In response to Covid19, our services for families were modified to include telephone and media based support to families affected by the pandemic. Many families were extremely isolated during lockdowns and emotional and practical support was essential during this time.
Our short breaks services were also adapted to support families in crisis due to the impact of lockdowns. In addition, we provided rehabilitative accommodation and support for people recovering from the virus and hospital admission and who were unable to return safely to their family home.
We have continued our support of Kids Can Achieve Ltd (KCA) who have been successful in securing 3 year funding from City Bridge Trust and John Lyon’s Charity. These grants will fund family workers and therapy sessions for children and families as part of their ‘Families Can Achieve’ project.
We have also developed a new post funded by us to help the parent carer / family of children with SEND to navigate the assessment process for Health, Education and Care Plans, which are critical in ensuring appropriate services are provided for the disabled child.
Over the last 12 months, much of our work supporting adults, has been centred around our battle to counter the effects of Covid19 on the people we support and their staff. As an organisation we have been on an unprecedented journey where we have rapidly adapted to emerging challenges in ever changing situations. From the outset our focus has been to keep the people we support and our staff as safe and well as possible.
We have worked together in the spirit of community and commitment. We have been constantly reminded about the creativity, passion, and kindness of our staff, who have worked diligently in keeping people safe. We are thankful that we have experienced very low rates of infection among the people using our services. However, very sadly, we have also lost people to this virus and we offer our sincere condolences to their families, friends and their support staff at this very difficult time.
Like so many health and social care organisations, we have had to change the way we do things. This has included the services we provide; the way we deliver support and the way we organise ourselves as a provider of care and support across London.
We have continued to lobby for appropriate funding for the social care sector and hope that we will see a change in funding priorities in recognition of the invaluable work it provides in safeguarding the health and wellbeing of society’s most vulnerable people.
We have also campaigned for people with learning disabilities to be treated equitably on a range of Covid related issues with other vulnerable groups. This has included access to testing and vaccination as there is clear evidence that all people with a learning disability are highly vulnerable to dying from Covid19, at rates far higher than the general population.
Given the significant vulnerabilities of the people we support, partnership working has been essential in maintaining the health and wellbeing of our staff and service users alike. We have been supported by our Health, Public Health and Local Authority colleagues, and have been united in our commitment to find our way through the effects of the pandemic together until we can reach a point of near normality.
We are also very grateful for the support we have received from our many supporters and as a result, special thanks must go to a range of people, organisations and groups who provided access to resources, financial assistance and morale boosting goods for our services and staff. These include:
…and everyone who donated to our ‘LDN Lock-in’ event
Throughout the year, the management team with support from the Board, took many decisions in responding to the challenges and in steering the organisation through the Covid19 pandemic. These include:
Finally, I would like to thank all of our courageous, committed and resourceful staff. It has been an incredibly challenging time for our staff and volunteers who have faced the uncertainty and risks of the Covid19 pandemic, whilst continuing to provide high quality person-centred support across our services.
I would also like to thank our Leadership Team who continue to work hard to deliver quality services which improve life opportunities for people with learning disabilities and their families. My thanks also go to our volunteer Trustees who bring a wealth of experience and devote countless hours in the service of our organisation.
These few pages set out a summary of our our annual accounts and what we have achieved in 2021. To download the official set of accounts please click below.