Learning Disability Today
Supporting professionals working in learning disability and autism services

Learning disability charities Hft and Self Unlimited announce merger

Learning disability charities Hft and Self Unlimited have announced they are to merge and become one organisation.

Both charities provide support for adults with learning disabilities in England including: supported living services, supported employment opportunities and working with personalised technology to support people with learning disabilities to be more independent.

The merged organisation will be known as Hft and will have an annual turnover of almost £70 million. It supports almost 3,000 adults with learning disabilities and has more than 3,000 staff.

Hft’s chief executive, Robert Longley-Cook, will take the same role in the merged organisation. Self Unlimited’s chief executive, Patrick Wallace, handed over on April 29 and will leave the organisation at the end of June.

Meanwhile, Self Unlimited’s trustees were elected to Hft’s board at an extraordinary general meeting on April 27, with Professor David Croisdale-Appleby, current chair of Hft, remaining in the role in the expanded board.

“Hft and Self Unlimited have parallel histories and shared values and vision for the future,” said Longley-Cook. “The merger provides us with the opportunity to support even more people with learning disabilities, whilst helping to strengthen our organisation in a challenging economic climate. We are committed to keeping the people we support at the centre of everything we do and are confident that this partnership will mean we can deliver an even better service for them.”

Wallace added: “The coming together of these two excellent charities will deliver more options for the people being supported and those requiring support in the future. Families and stakeholders want to know that organisations are sustainable and provide quality services. This partnership provides just that.”

Hft’s Royal patron, HRH The Princess Royal, will remain patron of Hft with Self Unlimited’s Royal patron, HRH Princess Alexandra, stepping down after more than 30 years’ service.

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