cqc ratings


Now John has his own budget and car he is able to get out and about when he wants to.

For more than 30 years Choice Support has been supporting people to live the lives they want.

We launched in 1984 to help with the first closure of a large learning disability hospital, and we have continued innovating ever since. We were first formed as a consortium, and partnership working remains at the heart of how we operate. Increasingly our partnerships are with people supported and their families. We believe working together makes us all stronger.

Key events, year by year


  • The Lady Verdin Trust fully merges with Choice Support.


  • We replaced all our existing IT systems with cloud based technology. This simplifies our working processes, improves data security, supports growth and change. All systems are focused on enabling people we support to take greater responsibility for their own lives.
  • We began the process of merging with mcch, a social care charity that provides support and housing for people with learning disabilities, autism and mental health needs in London and the South-East.


  • Steven Rose seconded from the CEO role to lead a team of managers on a business re-engineering project. Key objectives are to personalise existing services through the expansion of Individual Service Funds, ensure that new work is more personalised and family-centric by expanding work with individuals/families receiving direct payments or individual health budgets, and developing shared lives support. The project has a £12.5 million growth target over two years.
  • Choice Support sponsors the Association of Quality Checkers (AQC), a not-for-profit membership association for disability organisations providing quality checking services.
  • We become one of the founding organisations of Learning Disability England (LDE), a union of the Housing and Support Alliance (H&SA) and the self-advocacy group People First England (PFE). LDE works to change attitudes; campaign and look at policy, offer information, advice and guidance.
  • We retained our Investor in People status and were up-rated to silver.



  • We celebrated our 30th anniversary and welcomed our first three patrons - Professor David Sines CBE, Dr Nan Carle Beauregard and Carmel Kinnear. 
  • We started merging with Lady Verdin Trust. 
  • We held our first families event in Manchester.
  • Better Lives report is published by the Centre for Welfare reform which independently evaluates Choice Support's Individual Service Fund (ISF) work personalising services in Southwark.


  • We were the first provider to sign up to the Driving up Quality Code.


  • Two reports about our work creating personalised services and Individual Service Funds (ISFs) in Southwark are published by the Centre for Welfare Reform, Better Nights and ISFs in Action.


  • Awarded Acting Together contract by CQC.
  • Awarded second National Contract with Skills for Care.
  • Pioneering work on de-registration in Southwark featured in NDTi publication ‘Feeling Settled’.


  • Signature Care and Support fully merged into Choice Support.
  • People with a learning disabilities employed as trainers.
  • New services opened in Worksop, Mansfield and Congleton.
  • Over 950 people now receive support from Choice Support.
  • Registered a new shared lives agency with CQC.
  • Became the first provider in the UK to convert a traditional block contract (Southwark) to 83 individual service funds and individual budgets.
  • Launched new challenging behaviour strategy and a range of staff trained to deliver training by the Institute of Applied Behavioural Analysis.
  • 31 people now trained as Quality Checkers.
  • Retained Investor in People status on reassessment.
  • Case study about Choice Support's work in Southwark included in a Department of Health publication released alongside the Government's Vision for Adult Social Care.
  • Training up service users as trainers on sexual health for the Josephine project.
  • Awarded first National Contract with Skills for Care.
  • Second Big Meet in Leicester.
  • Partnered with Paradigm to develop I Plan-it.


  • Took over services for 41 people in Merton and Sutton, plus further new services in Buckinghamshire, Milton Keynes, Nottinghamshire and Greenwich.
  • Celebrated 25th anniversary.
  • Won a national contract as a partner with Skills for Care and achieved funding for NVQs.
  • Commenced working with the Centre for Welfare Reform on the Citizenship in Practice project.
  • Charles Spencer appointed President after 18 years service as Chair.
  • Awarded Matrix quality standard for information, advice and guidance.
  • Regional Director, Charan Singh, awarded Lifetime Achievement In Care category at the 2009 National Care Awards.
  • Completed work on the closure of Orchard Hill Hospital, the last hospital for people with learning disabilities to close in England.
  • Launch of first training programme run by PWLD.


  • Took over supported living services to 43 people in Stockport.
  • Published First and Last, an account of 25 years involvement in hospital closure.
  • Implemented e-learning across the whole organisation.
  • The charity Signature Care and Support joins Choice Support group structure.
  • Quality Checkers established, employing people with learning disabilities to check and monitor services.
  • First Big Meet in Nottingham Centre Parks.


  • Commissioned to develop new services in Sutton and Merton.
  • Received a Royal Society of Arts Award for campaign against bullying and hate crime.
  • Retained Investor in People status on reassessment.


  • Commissioned to develop new services in Haringey, Bedfordshire, Milton Keynes and Nottinghamshire.
  • Won contract to provide support for 80 people in Wakefield.


  • Assisted in the closure of Highbury Hospital, Nottingham, providing new services for 12 people.


  • Moved to new head office at 100 Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7XA.
  • Celebrated 20th anniversary.
  • Awarded Investor in People status.


  • Commissioned to support 40 people to move out of a hospital in Wakefield to new supported living services.
  • Commissioned to provide support for 18 people in Leicestershire based on a supported living model.
  • Managed DoH funded Unlocking Potential project in partnership with Southwark Council and Paradigm, achieving a transition to direct payments for 22 families / people with learning disabilities.
  • Commissioned to support 18 people in 3 services in Southampton.
  • Successful ‘Women in Social Care' ESF bid.


  • Supported 28 people to move from hospital in Buckinghamshire.
  • Commenced first service directly commissioned by parents.
  • Became an NVQ Training provider in NVQ level 2,3,4 and Assessors Registered Assessment Centre.
  • Became an OCN LDAF Foundation Training Provider.


  • Took over Supported Living services in north Lincolnshire.


  • First successful Lottery bid for volunteers.
  • Three year European Social Fund project targeting employment for young adults from black and ethnic minority projects.


  • Further new services opened in Southwark.
  • ONIS/Blue River merged to form one charitable subsidiary.
  • Over 250 people receiving support from Choice Support.


  • Commissioned to develop new services in Buckinghamshire and Greenwich.


  • Commissioned to open services in Hackney.
  • ONIS and the Blue River Project join the Choice Support group.


  • Published Unlocking The Imagination, Give Us a Voice and Life Without Jargon.


  • Set up Fighting Fit Project which established Health Action Plans six years prior to the publication of Valuing People.


  • Choice Consultancy Services formed.
  • Celebrated 10th anniversary.


  • Two health authorities transfer responsibility for learning disability services to Choice Support. Camberwell HA services transferred to direct management, whilst Lewisham & North Southwark HA services transferred to newly formed charities, ONIS and Blue River, with Choice Support sub-contracts. This was the first large-scale externalisation of NHS learning disability services.
  • Established one of the first service brokerage pilots in the UK, which ran for 5 years.
  • Over 130 people receiving care or housing support.


  • Moved to new headquarters in Barry Road, East Dulwich, South London.
  • Individual Budgets piloted in the London Borough of Southwark.
  • Set up some of the first examples of supported living in the UK. 
  • Current Chief Executive, Steven Rose, appointed.


  • By now employing 11 staff and acting as managing agency for 44 properties.


  • Established as an independent charity.
  • Commenced work on the closure of Darenth Park Hospital, the first large learning disabilities hospital to close in England.


  • First project worker appointed.


  • A group of pioneers and innovators from the statutory, voluntary and housing sectors gathered together in Peckham, south London, and came up with the idea of forming Southwark Consortium (name changed to Choice Support in 1998) to help with the closure of Darenth Park Hospital, a large learning disabilities institution in Kent. This was the first such consortium to be formed in the UK.                                      

Contact us

Looking for support

Email: enquiries@choicesupport.org.uk
or telephone: 0207 261 4100

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