Day 76: Airing views #107days

Day 76 was adopted by Aisling and the team at Certitude who provide personalised support for people with learning disabilities, autism and mental health needs. It is worth acknowledging that when we started #107days a number of organisations rather tentatively got in touch.

Some decided not to publicly support the #JusticeforLB campaign, some decided to adopt a day but then cancelled (presumably when it became clear that we were not afraid of challenge or questioning the establishment) and some stayed the course. We are delighted that Certitude were one of those who adopted a day and have embraced the spirit of openness, transparency and learning that is so key to the #107days campaign.

Here’s why they are supporting #107days and #JusticeforLB:

At Certitude we were truly saddened to hear of Connor’s death and our thoughts are with his family and friends. As an organisation supporting people with learning disabilities and those who experience mental ill-health, we work to enable people to lead happy, rich lives. It is vitally important to us that it is the people we support who define what a good life is for them, and that they are able to express this. That Connor and his family felt marginalised, isolated and unsupported by the care provided makes organisations such as ourselves surely question the care we provide.

We were shocked to hear about the circumstances surrounding Connor’s death. That it was preventable has rightly made us look more closely at the support we provide: Are we truly doing the best we can for people who have epilepsy? How do we best support people, involving and learning from them and their families? How do we make sure we engage with all the services which provide support to people with epilepsy? As an organisation, we didn’t want to sit on our laurels. We wanted to use this terrible event as an opportunity to discuss whether we are providing the highest level of care and support to people.

This is what they’re doing with their adopted day:

On Tuesday 3rd June, we are holding an internal round table session to reflect on what lessons can be learnt from Connor’s death and to address how we best support people with epilepsy, balancing both safety and independence. Another focus of the discussion, which was sadly lacking in Connor’s case, is how we can ensure families are central to the support we are providing to their relative.


Chaired by myself (Aisling, their CEO), we will be sharing ideas on how can we ensure the support we give people with epilepsy is right for them, so we can we offer people the best possible care we can. We’ll be hearing from staff within Certitude working directly with people with epilepsy, as well as a family member who has a son with epilepsy. It will be an informal occasion where people will have the opportunity to air their views, whether positive or negative. I’m really hoping it will be an honest and productive discussion, where we will learn more about  challenges and issues , and explore ways we can increasingly work in partnership with people we support, their families and other professionals. We’ll also be showing the ‘Here comes the Sun’ film about Connor at the event and will be posting updates via Twitter during the discussion to continue to raise awareness of the #107days campaign.

At Certitude we strongly believe everyone has the right to a good life and receives the care and support they need to achieve it. We are wholeheartedly behind this campaign and hope that out of this tragic event there will be lessons learned far and wide to ensure it does not happen again.

We are confident that Certitude will have a great day, with a positive environment where negatives can be discussed as freely as positives and the focus is on what’s really important, supporting people to have a good life. We really hope that other people follow their example.