handshakeThe Lady Verdin Trust, a charity that supports adults with learning disabilities in northwest England, has merged with social care charity Choice Support. 

Formed in 1982, the Lady Verdin Trust provides services to people with learning disabilities, autistic spectrum disorders, acquired brain injury and other physical disabilities in south Cheshire. It employs more than 160 staff who provide support some 100 people and is one of the largest care providers in the area. 

Choice Support, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, started life as a small learning disabilities organisation in South London. It now works across much of England, employing about 2,000 staff to support nearly 1,200 people with varied needs. 

Following the deal, the Lady Verdin Trust will retain its identity and remain a separate charity, as part of the Choice Support group. The merger will not result in any redundancies in either Choice Support or Lady Verdin Trust.

Lady Verdin Trust’s chief executive, Chris Chennell, explained the rationale behind the deal: “Partnering with a bigger organisation like Choice Support is an opportunity for Lady Verdin Trust to continue and extend its work from a secure base. Although both organisations are in good financial shape, these are challenging times for support providers. By merging we become stronger together, which is good for everyone – the people we support, our staff, and commissioners.”

Steven Rose, Choice Support’s chief executive, added: “Choice Support is seeking partnerships with like-minded organisations, and Lady Verdin Trust is a perfect fit. We share the same values and goals, and both organisations can learn from each other. We already have services in Stockport and Congleton, so teaming up creates a bigger, more robust presence in the northwest, with economies of scale that will ensure that services can continue to thrive.”