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Behind the Scenes at Certitude

A day with Certitude

Are you ever curious to see what’s at the end of those coloured plastic discs you see at the till in certain supermarkets to slot into containers for local causes?

Recently I took it upon myself to actually follow through on my curiosity and to investigate behind the scenes. I went to visit Certitude, a 25 year old charity in Ealing who do amazing work supporting people with learning disabilities.

My visit took me to Certitude’s supported housing where up to 17 residents are housed. I met Naoise, a resident at Certitude who quizzed me on Donald Trump, Special Needs Education, Theresa May and Brexit. I was truly impressed by seeing the quality of support and care offered to the residents.

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Aisling Duffy, the Chief Executive of Certitude, told me the secret to Certitude’s success was its holistic approach which coupled volunteering with socialising and connecting residents to local support groups. Not only does Certitude support its residents, but it also supports the families and carers of those who are coping with learning disabilities.

I also saw a separate housing unit for older residents just off Ealing Common. In these times of austerity and budget cuts we have seen how the Government has slashed support for the elderly. Yet at Certitude I saw how the elderly weren’t simply written off because of their age.

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Instead they were treated with the respect and support that they deserve. Certitude created an environment which fosters personal independence whilst keeping professional support on hand if the residents need it.

As I left Certitude I went off to the annual SEND fair at Ealing Town Hall organised by the Ealing Parent Carer Forum. Not only was it heartening to bump into Certitude at the fair- whose residents were manning a stall- but it was also a delight to see up to 250 visitors and exhibitors from across a range of services offering support to the young people of Ealing who are coping with various disabilities.

With the current funding pressures facing services it is more imperative than ever that the government does not make cuts to those services who serve those with the most complex needs.

The moral of the story then must be that next time you’re in Waitrose in West Ealing or Asda in Park Royal and see the option to donate to Certitude there should be no hesitation to do so.

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Dr Rupa Huq , Ealing Central and Acton

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