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Our Impact 2019/20

As the year drew to a close, coronavirus had already become part of our day to day lives. “Living through unprecedented times” seems to be the common catch phrase we hear so often nowadays, but the scale of the pandemic challenge on the work of FitzRoy to keep the people we support safe cannot be overestimated. Never in its almost 60 year history, has FitzRoy faced such a challenge on such a scale.

The people we support are some of the most vulnerable in our society and consequently the most susceptible to the risks and dangers of Covid-19. Keeping them safe is our number one priority and this impact report demonstrates some of the extraordinary lengths our staff are prepared to go to ensure everyone we support is properly protected and cared for. But despite the challenges, life has not been put on hold.

This report is full of wonderful stories of how lives are transformed through the meticulous love, care and attention that is given to every individual across our services. We may be living in uncertain times, but our commitment to enable the people we support to be the best they can be, will always remain as a constant.

With very best wishes,


Martin Kyndt, Chair of Board


Transforming Lives

We provide support for people with learning disabilities, physical disabilities and autism, and some of the people we support have additional mental health needs. The people we support are at the heart of everything we do and the decisions we make.

Our values

We see the Person
FitzRoy began with one mother’s belief that her child deserved better, and still today we see the unique value in every person we help.

We are Brave
We stand beside people with learning disabilities and their families, and together we face our challenges wherever we find them.

We are Creative
We dare to imagine a world where people are treated as equals, regardless of their disability.

“John goes from strength to strength. His confidence has grown and he lives the life he deserves. FitzRoy staff are caring, compassionate and aware of John’s needs and eccentricities. On behalf of John, we commend all the staff and thank them for their professionalism, dedication and loyalty.”
Dave (John’s brother)
Transforming lives

Impact Summary

89 services supporting 815 people

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Impact of Coronavirus

There is no doubt that coronavirus is a crisis for the social care sector. At FitzRoy we took decisive action early on, and set up a clear communications and decision-making process.

  1. We tested our processes and systems, identified gaps and areas of risk.
  2. Gathered data from every service, so we could identify and assess risks to staffing levels, and the vulnerability of staff and the people we support in terms of underlying health conditions.
  3. Our Coronavirus Risk Dashboard was completed daily by managers so we could see staff level risk, infection rates and PPE levels at a glance.
  4. Committed to buying whatever PPE we needed to keep our staff and the people we support safe. A staff member was deployed as a dedicated PPE project manager, in charge of sourcing and distribution.
Car supplies
Coping with lockdown

Coping with Lockdown

When the social distancing measures were put in place, we had to close our day services to protect the people we support. We looked at how we could support them at home, especially while they are so isolated from all their usual activities.

“The only way we could do this was by delivering the day service activities to them! We have been taking them puzzles and games, going out for walks, sewing, baking – all the activities we would have normally been doing at our day service. We want to help them get through this difficult time and the activities we are providing are beneficial for their mental health.”
Danielle, On Track day service activities coordinator

However, lockdown and the closure of community-based activities has given staff in our services the opportunity and time to provide more active one to one support, to work creatively to establish new routines and interests, developing relationships and encouraging richer levels of engagement.

Watering can

We couldn’t do it without you

Thank you to everyone who has supported us from the very beginning of this crisis, our incredible staff, the people we support, their families and all our local supporters.

Support People with Disabilities to Flourish

Recognising potential

Before Luke moved to our Oxfordshire supported living service two years ago, he was on medication daily for his challenging behaviour. We know that challenging behaviour is often linked to frustration about not being able to communicate and be understood.

Now, Luke is taking control of his life. His potential has been recognised and his aspirations are growing. He has made friends with his neighbours, gets involved with a range of activities including cooking and singing, and volunteers doing wood working.

Luke tells us we make him feel welcome and happy. His speech is improving, and his regular swimming is helping with his mobility.

“One of his support workers called me after they had been swimming and told me that Luke had stood up on his own, he’d never, ever done that before…I nearly cried.”
Theresa (Luke’s mum)
Swimming pool

Reaching out into the Community

For people with learning disabilities, gaining essential skills to increase their independence is at the heart of what FitzRoy does. Our day services play a key role in enabling us to reach adults with learning disabilities and autism in the community.

“We run a range of activities from IT to cycling, but the cooking sessions are our most popular. We have a great training kitchen with lots of accessible, adapted equipment. The group plan what they’re cooking, write up the ingredients, check the cupboards and go shopping. They go to our allotment to harvest fruit or veg that we need or want to use up.”
Chris, service manager at FitzRoy Trafford Day and Community Service
Making kebabs
“The cooking classes encourage people to try new things, lots of our members live on their own and might cook the same meal every day. We give them the chance to expand their diet and build on the range of foods that they will eat.”
Chris, service manager at FitzRoy Trafford Day and Community Service

Skills and Wellbeing

Our Rural Skills project uses horticulture to support up to 12 adults with learning disabilities to develop confidence, skills and a sense of well-being by working in a rural setting.

“Over the last year the group have been working really hard and learned new skills. They have moved beds, planted, watered and propagated. They have built a wood shelter, dug the pond out, and created a seating area next to it to provide an area of sensory wellbeing.”
Alex, Rural Skills support worker

Rural Skills has also provided a valuable and safe space during lockdown for one or two members to visit at a time, safely and socially distanced.


Opening up the World

Imagine having someone make every decision for you, and having no say over your daily life. This can often be a frustrating reality for people with learning disabilities and autism.

When a FitzRoy supporter left us a gift in their will, we were able to fund the life changing Makaton Champion training programme for support staff. Makaton is a vocabulary of signs and symbols that enables people with limited or no speech to communicate. Now we have 40 Makaton champions sharing their skills and expertise across our services.

“When Steven moved to Hall Drive five years ago, he only had a few words he used regularly. He would say ‘coat’, or ‘dinner’ and we wanted to expand his vocabulary.”
Kimberley, service manager for Nottingham supported living


“When I used Makaton with Steven, I noticed how signing at the same time as saying the word helped him remember his vocabulary, so he was talking a lot more. He used to get a lot more frustrated when he first came to FitzRoy, but the more we can understand his needs through understanding his communication, the less frustrated he gets and the happier he is.”
Craig, Hall Drive support worker and Makaton champion
Sign language

Respect and Appreciate our Remarkable Staff

Committed staff who are driven by our values are the biggest asset we have. Never has the importance of this been so stark as when we were faced with an unprecedented crisis such as the coronavirus pandemic. From the very start, our staff have gone above and beyond to keep the people we support safe and well.

The coronavirus crisis has shone a light on the skills and expertise of our social care workers, and how much we, as a society, need them. Our staff are finally getting recognition as keyworkers, along with NHS staff. We are looking at how we amplify their voice, making sure that they are heard whilst in the spotlight.

Our values in action

Staff at our Norfolk Support At Home domiciliary care service are typical of so many of our staff across the whole organisation. When Charlotte fell ill in March with suspected coronavirus, her support workers Sam, James and Emily didn’t hesitate when they insisted they go into self-isolation with her to ensure she received the best support possible.

“I didn’t want her to feel different or like an outsider – the people we support struggle with feeling like that anyway. So James and I told her ‘we also have the virus, that’s why we are staying here with you’. So many colleagues messaged James and me over those few days to make sure we were okay and see if we needed anything. They were amazing. To me it shows I am working with the right people.”
Sam, Norfolk Support at Home support worker

And the loved ones of the people we support recognise how amazing our staff are too.

“FitzRoy support staff are outstanding. They deserve full recognition for the vital role they play. At the best of times, their task isn’t easy. How much tougher it is now in this very difficult time. I salute them all.”
Andrea (Ross’ mum)
“It is hard not to see Darryl, but the support workers have definitely made it easier, and of course we want everybody to stay safe. I rang this morning and spoke to Darryl. He is fine and loving not having to go out. The staff told me he is blowing lots of raspberries. Thank you so much FitzRoy for looking after him so well, you are all heroes.”
Clive (Darryl’s dad)

Staff Engagement

Our values are the common thread that bind us together and help us to thrive as an organisation. This was very clear in the results of our 2019 staff engagement survey:


Our Top Scores Were


Thanks to our Patron HRH Princess Alexandra, long serving members of staff Kirsty, Karen and Ginny, and Pam who FitzRoy has supported for more than 20 years, attended the Buckingham Palace Garden Party this year.

“I was so shocked and excited when Ginny told me I was invited! I loved going on the train to London, I bought a new suit especially for the day. It was a very special day at Buckingham Palace.”
Ladies group

Thrive as a Values-Driven Care Provider

A new home where dreams come true

We have finally made the big move into a new state-of-the art home in Teddington. Staff supported the 11 residents to move from their old home Silver Birches in Richmond, where some had lived for over 40 years, to their new homes.

The new purpose-built service, using inclusive design techniques and assistive technology, consists of a five-bed supported living service, Cherry Trees, and an eight-bed registered care home, Silver Birches.

“Staff worked tirelessly to make sure the move was as smooth as possible. We are really proud of them. Having everyone settled in their new home before Christmas has been a wish come true. We have noticed a big difference in the people we support since moving here.”
Kim, Silver Birches and Cherry Trees service manager

Thank you to everyone who supported this enormous project – a new build, a huge move and a new home to make new memories and dreams come true.

Birthday cake
Boy with green game

Using Tech to Transform Lives

Over the last year tech has come into its own at FitzRoy. From piloting online care planning to rolling out Microsoft Teams, opening up face to face contact across the organisation – tech has provided simple but transformational solutions to the people we support, our staff and the way we work. These systems have already proved invaluable in helping us assess risk and quickly review the impact of coronavirus on our services in terms of staffing levels, outbreaks and PPE levels.

In 2019 we held FitzRoy’s first ever Assistive Technology Week, where we ran three ‘TechforGood’ roadshows. Around 80 managers and people we support attended and tried out different tech, heard from providers and saw first-hand how technology could benefit the people we support.

Over the last year our Assistive Technologist has received over 100 referrals from services and has provided a range of AT solutions, from one cup kettles to smart technology and bed sensors.

“It’s amazing how much assistive technology has opened up the world to everyone we support.”
Louise, Malvern service manager
Virtual goggles

Having Their Say

We hold two Nationwide forums each year for our service users to review policy and practice, raise any issues and give us feedback. This year they looked at ways they can be involved in the training and induction of new staff and how we can make the satisfaction surveys more meaningful and accessible for the people we support.

Having their say

The General Election in 2019 was an important time to make sure that the people we support had an opportunity to be heard. We ran campaigns and shared easy read materials to encourage voter registration, as well as easy read versions of the manifestos and information about the support they could legally have once they were actually in the voting booth.

“I wanted to vote as it was to do with the House of Commons. I looked at the colours so I knew who to vote for.”
Denise, Hampshire Supported Living Service
Polling station


It has been a tremendous year for Love4Life, our friendship and dating programme;

  • 120 members in the Hampshire area
  • 300 social events over the year including meals out, workshops, shopping trips, karaoke nights, discos, film nights, Zumba and cooking classes
  • The launch of our second Love4Life hub in Basingstoke
Group smiles
“Love4Life has been such a success, 92% of members said they feel less lonely because of the group and 94% said they have made new friends. We can’t wait to make the same impact from our new Basingstoke hub.”
Cader, Love4life Basingstoke coordinator

Love4Life members got creative when they teamed up with Portsmouth street artist Fark to paint a mural that celebrates the friendship and dating project. Graffiti artist Fark joined Love4Life members to spray paint a large mural, drawing together all the members’ ideas of what Love4Life means to them.

Thanks to You

Thank you to everyone – fundraisers, donors, volunteers, trusts, foundations, community groups, companies and families – who have supported us over the year.

This year a wide range of fundraising activities helped us to transform the lives of the people we support, including head shaves, skydives, running and hillwalking challenges and our first ever Firewalk. FitzRoy staff and people we support also got involved in some fantastic events.

Firewalking for FitzRoy

Our first ever Firewalk raised more than £10,000.

“Fundraising events like these help the people we support so much; I see a lot of people who come into the day service who may not have had the chance to go out and experience many things. We are able to provide them with experiences they may not otherwise be able to do.”
Toby, support worker at Petersfield’s On Track day service
Fire walking
Beverley's head shave

Beverley ‘braved the shave’

Beverley raised £1,000 towards a sensory room.

“Another service in Suffolk needed a sensory room, so I finally decided to take the plunge and help raise the funds to get one. It was actually really fun, the people we support all got involved and cut a bit of my hair, they definitely enjoyed it. Working at FitzRoy has really made me feel like I have done some good in my life, I have found my vocation, it has really changed my life.”
Beverley, service manager
“FitzRoy is a charity I care for dearly, as they support my wonderful older brother Callum, who has cerebral palsy. I have always wanted to do something to support my brother and give back to FitzRoy. Even a small change can have a big impact to others.”
Lizzie (Callum’s sister)
Sky diving
Kirsty fundraising

Kirsty’s 100 miles in 100 days challenge

FitzRoy’s Nottingham Support at Home service provides Kirsty with the support she needs to enable her to live in her own home. Kirsty began her 100 miles challenge with the aim of raising £100 for FitzRoy. Kirsty was over the moon when she raised more than £400.

“I feel fantastic to have finished the challenge, I am really proud of myself and feel like I have achieved something amazing.”

Team Bainbridge’s Ultra Challenge

For some of our amazing support workers, transforming lives day (and night) just isn’t enough for them. Thomas, Will, Louise, Hannah, Keira and Rebecca, support workers at our Bainbridge Close service in Norfolk, walked, ran and limped their way through the Peak District Ultra Challenge.

“When we saw the Peak District Ultra Challenge we thought we could get fit and raise money for FitzRoy at the same time.”
Thomas, support worker, Bainbridge Close
Team Bainbridge girls

Executive Team

Anna Galliford Chief Executive and Company Secretary
Angela Murphy Director of Operations & Business Development
(appointed March 2020)
Alison Heustice Director of Finance
Marianne Radcliffe Director of Marketing, Fundraising and IT
Roberta Wheeler Director of Human Resources
(appointed March 2020)
Liz Ambler Director of Operations & Business Development
(resigned September 2019)
Robyn Wedderburn Director of Human Resources
(resigned December 2019)

Nationwide Forum

The voices of the people we support across FitzRoy


HRH Princess Alexandra GCVO KG
Virginia McKenna OBE
Countess of Euston
Lord and Lady Tanlaw
Edward Thornton-Firkin
Andrew Grant
Nigel Atkinson
Margaret Marshall
Georgina Hovey

Board of Trustees

Martin Kyndt Chair
Matthew Moth Vice-Chair
David Evans
Lucy Hovey
Derrick McCourt
Dawn Jacobs (appointed May 2019)
Mark Sanderson (appointed July 2019)
Justin Finnigan (appointed July 2019)
Sarah Nicholson (appointed January 2020)
Andrew Gore (appointed April 2020)
Simon Mollett (resigned September 2019)
Andy Lee (resigned October 2019)
Neil Matthewman (resigned December 2019)
Paul Wood (resigned June 2019)


John Albert
David Allam
Caroline Armstrong-Jones
Stuart Barnett
Roger Cheesley
Michael FitzRoy
Simon Mollett
Michael Oakley
Helen Platts
Barbara Thomson
Lady Louise Vaughan
John Waddington
Ian White

Financial Summary

£36.1m pie chart

Download our Trustee Report & Financial Statements for 2020