Learning disability charities announce merger

SELF_unlimited_HFT_mergerLearning disability charities, Hft and Self Unlimited, announced today that they are to merge and become one united organisation.

Both charities provide support for adults with learning disabilities across England. Between them the organisations provide a wide variety of support 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 existing Chief Executive, Robert Longley-Cook, will become Chief Executive of the merged organisation. Self Unlimited Chief Executive, Patrick Wallace, handed over on 29 April and will leave the organisation at the end of June. Self Unlimited’s Trustees were elected on the Hft board at an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) on Saturday 27 April 2013, with Professor David Croisdale-Appleby, current Chair of Hft, remaining as Chair of the expanded board.

Robert Longley-Cook, Chief Executive of Hft, said: ‘Hft and Self Unlimited have parallel histories and shared values and vision for the future. 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.’

Patrick Wallace, Chief Executive of Self Unlimited, said: ‘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 of dedicated service.

For more information on Hft please visit www.hft.org.uk

For further information on Self Unlimited please visit www.selfunlimited.co.uk

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