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This part of the website is a resource for people with learning disabilities and the people who support them such as family, friends and neighbours. It shares what we learned about the experiences of people with learning disabilities who took part in our research.

It considers the main building blocks needed for people to self-build their daily lives when responsibility for daytime social care is handed to them. We show the challenges in achieving these building blocks and what more needs to be done by organisations and commissioners to overcome them.

We looked at who was attending the activities that community-focused support organisations were facilitating. It is important to say that we did not find examples of people deemed to have profound and multiple learning disabilities or with behaviour that challenges taking part in these organisations’ activities. The findings we present are derived from people that are benefitting from personalisation in building a life for themselves, not by themselves. This group includes those who are typically deemed to have more mild and moderate learning and support needs.

Building a life in the community is about supporting the following building blocks…

Planning the essentials

First things first, planning your support is needed. Finding out information and staying up to date is key to this but making this happen can be tricky without building up your confidence and skills to get your voice heard. People in our research talked about the obstacles they faced, and what more needs to be done to support you and others in building community lives.

Managing the day to day responsibilities

We also share our findings on what people we told us about managing day to day as they became more independent at home and out in the community. This involved learning and putting into practice a wide range of life skills and ensuring they keep safe.

Finding meaningful things to do

All the people in our research talked about wanting to do things that were meaningful to them. While many still went to a day service one or two days a week, most talked about other things that they were involved in. We found lots of different ways that people spent their time.