- Website & Social
- Social Impact Declaration
- Social Impact Statements
Discovery supports people with learning disabilities, autism, challenging behaviour and complex needs. We provide person-centred support packages; People with learning disabilities and their families are at the heart of everything we do and we want every person we support to have a great life, with excellent outcomes.
From intensive support for people with challenging behaviour, complex needs and profound and multiple learning disabilities to significant health needs, we always support people to be as independent as possible.
Discovery is a new social enterprise – and is a subsidiary of the Dimensions UK Group. We have been established to provide services across Somerset.
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Social Impact Statements
The Social Enterprise Mark criteria includes a requirement that the applicant can demonstrate that social and/or environmental objectives are being achieved.
In support of this, new applicants and renewing Mark holders are asked to respond to a set of social impact questions, which are designed to help them think about the social impact they create, and to articulate this clearly and succinctly.
Updated February 2020
1) What social differences and changes have you aimed to create (or supported)?
Discovery supports people with learning disabilities, autism, challenging behaviour and complex needs. We are driven by our values of ambition, courage, integrity, partnership and respect.
People with learning disabilities and their families are at the heart of everything we do, and we want every person we support to have a great life and be part of an inclusive society.
We provide fulfilling activities including greater supported employment for over 100 people with learning disabilities, working in partnership with local organisations and companies to offer an employment programme, job roles and apprenticeships.
We are giving people with learning disabilities a louder voice in society and offering greater more enhancing lives through better health and wellbeing. Ensuring health is at the centre of our support is a key focus for us.
We are building communities for those with learning disabilities, and to become an inclusive part of the local community and not to be resigned to segregated services away from circles of support.
2) What actions have you taken to address the above social aims?
We support around 600 people in Somerset with learning disabilities and/or autism.
We regularly review their quality of life, support and activities, which form their daily lives as part of their person-centred plans. We are transforming the day service provision in Somerset, and have incorporated new, innovative methods of support including: the development an award-winning supported employment offering with local companies; creating new community hubs, and activity plans for those currently in day services.
We review our supported living accommodation, looking to offer better and more appropriate housing, giving choice to the people we support in who they live with and how they live. An example of this is a new development called Apple Tree Court in Street, where everyone will have their own front door.
3) What has changed and what benefits have been realised as a result of your actions?
Individuals have more choice and control over their own lives. They are able to live more independently through being provided ‘just enough support’ as opposed to over supporting or under supporting.
We now provide supported employment for over 100 people (and growing) with learning disabilities, enabling companies to engage and benefit from those with unique and special talents, whilst undertaking their corporate social responsibilities.
Our work with people with challenging behaviour is key, and we are able to help those in crisis find a pathway forward. Working closely with commissioners, we are able to innovate and develop new models of care to respond to the local demand.
We work closely with other health care and social care providers, forging links with professionals to improve social care standards in Somerset.
4) How do you and other people know your aims are being achieved? Or how will you know?
- Annual surveys for colleagues, the people we support and their families, and then formulate action plans to deal with issues raised
- A new Council made up of people we support
- A Colleague Voice Forum and a robust complaints and compliments procedure
- A proactive communications strategy, which includes sharing stories via social and traditional media, we are revamping our website and have a stakeholder management action plan to make sure we are meeting the needs of our key stakeholders
- Recently set up a family working group to ensure we are fully engaged on a whole range of initiatives
The below questions are not mandatory, but Mark holders are encouraged to answer them where possible, to provide a fuller account of their social outcomes and the social value they create.
5) How many people have benefitted from your actions?
- We currently support around 600 people with a learning disability and/or autism in Somerset. 280 of those attend our day services.
- We are providing supported employment to over 100 individuals as of beginning of 2020.
- We provide health awareness and positive outcomes for the people we support, based around inclusion and personalisation in a society where everyone has equal opportunities to make life choices.
- We work in partnership with families and relatives of the people we support, providing community based support and developing community hubs.
6) What examples can you provide of a typical service user experience, that helps illustrate the benefits they have experienced as a result of your actions?
Our website has a range of stories and case studies, which demonstrate user experience. We regularly post on social media and have placed stories in local papers and on county-wide BBC radio and local radio stations.
7) What additional social benefits have you been able to deliver within your core services that distinguish you from other “for shareholder profit” providers?
Training for 1000 employees, including the care certificate. (Discovery anecdotally has the highest rate of care certificate holders in the UK)
8) What other social benefits have you contributed that go beyond your core delivery activities (ones that are completely unrelated to your main services)?
We are investing 50% of our surpluses into our Discovery Community Fund, supporting improvements to the health and independence of people with learning disabilities and/or autism across Somerset. The fund, which is the result of a partnership between Somerset County Council and Discovery, is awarding grants of between £500-50,000 to projects that support the health and independence of people with learning disabilities.
We are transforming our day support, developing stronger and deeper community links with local clubs, libraries, swimming pools, sport clubs, equestrian clubs, arts and crafts and other social clubs. We are creating community hubs across Somerset to develop partnerships with these clubs to offer more meaningful and life fulfilling-activities.
9) What social and environmental benefits have you created from internal operational policies and actions?
The introduction of GDPR regulation has changed the landscape for data collation and retention.
We have introduced strong quality and better practice initiatives – aimed at raising the bar of quality for those being supported with a learning disability. This bar aims higher than existing CQC inspections, meaning better quality, health and safety outcomes for the people we support. This has been supported by a significant investment in our Behavioural Support Model, introduction of Better Practice Leads and Quality Checkers (who have a learning disability).
We employ those with learning disabilities into meaningful roles within Discovery as well as helping others find supported employment externally.