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Active Support

Person-Centred Active Support is a method of enabling people with learning disabilities to engage more in their daily lives. It promotes independence and supports people to take an active part in their own lives.

We started introducing Active Support in the summer of 2017, with the creation of eight pilots across England and Scotland. The success of the pilots led to a wider rollout, which started in October 2018. This includes training for practice leaders and observers as well as support staff.

Active Support is carefully evaluated. Formal measures of success include the quality of person-centred plans, internal audits, and regular observations where teams are scored against five engagement measures.

Informally, staff look at the difference that Active Support is making by meeting regularly to share success stories.

“I don’t like it when staff do it – I do it all by myself!” – a person we support

Abbie is a practice leader for Active Support in Leeds. She says: “The people we support are doing much more for themselves day-to-day. They may be little things like making a drink or preparing food, but they make a big difference.

“One gentleman we support would previously have got up in the morning, had a bath, and then waited for us. Now he gets up, strips down his bed and, with a little prompting, will get the laundry underway.”

Andrew Beland, Director of Operations and Quality, echoes this: “Our staff have loved watching the people they support grow in confidence and skill, and they get a lot of job satisfaction from that as well.”

Active Support in practice

One of Anitas goals is to blend some of her own meals, so we bought her a handheld blender. Staff hold Anita’s hand over the blender and, with support, she can push the button. The noise and vibrations make Anita laugh.

David takes an active role in food preparation, making pasties, sausage rolls and pizzas. He also enjoys making biscuits; staff ask him to pick up a certain shape and he presses the shape down to form the biscuit. David has bought some Play-Doh and cutters in different shapes and colours. Talking to staff about these encourages David’s spoken communication.

Maggie and Vincent have their own coffee machines, allowing them to make their own drinks, pushing the button with staff support. They both seem to enjoy their coffee-making because of the sound and smell – as well as the taste.

Contact us

Contact us

Head Office

Head Office
1 St Andrew's Court, Wellington Street, Thame, Oxfordshire OX9 3WT View Map
T: 01844 267800 F: 01844 267829 E:
Media enquiries to:
1 St. Andrew's Court, Wellington Street, Thame, Oxfordshire OX9 3WT
T: 07553 264 975 E:

Central England

Central - Divisional Office
Rowan Room, Acacia Room, BT Room, Poplar Room and Office Ground floor, National Training Centre 3 Gilmour Close Leicester LE4 1EZ View Map
T: 0116 236 3793 F: 0345 643 7094 E:
For enquiries about Sheffield-based services
T: 07387 058 872 (9am-3.45pm Monday-Thursday only) E:

East England

East - Divisional Office
U18, South Fens Business Centre, Fenton Way, Chatteris, Cambridgeshire PE16 6TT View Map
T: 01354 696009 F: 08456 437521 E:
Enquiries for Norfolk and Suffolk should be directed to the Divisional Office.

North England

North - Divisional Office
Unit 12, Curtis House Business Centre, Leeds, LS9 9LF View Map
T: 0113 468 4460 E:
Bradford District Office
Unit 9 Parkview Court, St Paul's Road, Shipley, West Yorkshire, BD18 3DZ View Map
T: 01274 533553 E:
West Midlands Office
Flat 7, Parry’s Court, Woodside Place, Cannock, Staffordshire, WS11 4AA View Map
T: 01543 578764

Positive Behaviour Support for children, young people and their families

Positive Behaviour Support
1 St. Andrew's Court Wellington Street, Thame, Oxfordshire, OX9 3WT View Map
T: 07341 478228 E:


Scotland - Divisional Office
62 Viewfield Road, Ayr KA8 8HH View Map
T: 01292 436030 E:
Oban Office
First Floor, Glenshellach House, 7e Glengallan Road, Oban, PA34 4HG View Map
T: 01631 571311 F: 01631 566708 / 0872 111 4616 E:
Aberdeen Office
87a Urquhart Road, Aberdeen, AB24 5ND View Map
T: 01224 039264 E:
Isle of Bute Office
18 East Princes Street, Rothesay, Isle of Bute PA20 9DL View Map
T: 01700 500376 E:
Irvine office
Suites 2/1 and 2/2, Landek House, 44-46 Bank Street, Irvine KA12 0LP View Map
T: 01294 446600 E:

South & South West

South - Divisional Office
Suites 53-55, Aldershot Enterprise Centre, Mandora House, Aldershot, Hampshire, GU11 2PW View Map
T: 01252 311188 F: 01252 311170 E:
Somerset Office
Mendip Court, Bath Road, Wells, Somerset BA5 3DG View Map
T: 01749 605594 E:

South East, Bedford and Northamptonshire

South East - Divisional Office
Suite 2+3, Henwood Pavilion, Henwood, Ashford, Kent, TN24 8DH View Map
T: 01233 665324 E:

Specialist Support

Specialist Support
Head Office, 1 St Andrew's Court, Wellington Street, Thame View Map
T: 01844 267800 F: 01844 267049 E: