See our highlights
We are Together Trust. We’re here to improve the lives of people with disabilities, complex needs, autism and their families. In 2017-18 we delivered our life-changing services to over 3,700 people. We have not done this alone. We have worked in partnership, forging local and national alliances with organisations that share our values. We do all this because we believe in a world where everyone is equal. I would like to thank all our staff, volunteers and supporters who have helped us to ensure that the people we support can live the life they choose. I hope you enjoy reading about our work and the difference we have made this year.
Mark Lee, Chief Executive
12 years of fostering with Together Trust
Jillian and her husband Mark celebrated 12 years of fostering with Together Trust.
"We keep in touch with a lot of the children we have cared for - they still celebrate Christmas, Mother’s day and birthdays with us. It’s the positive changes you experience with the children that make fostering worthwhile."
Together Trust Joins The Disabled Children’s Partnership #SecretLifeOfUs
We joined the Disabled Children’s Partnership as a supporter of the group alongside 25 other charities such as Mencap, Scope and The National Autistic Society. This year the partnership worked with young people and their families to start a new public facing campaign in England.
Famous Manchester poet inspires students
Manchester poet Tony Walsh, famous for his poem ‘This is the Place’, visited students at Inscape House School to deliver creative writing workshops. Tony encouraged the young people to express themselves, build their confidence and find their talent through creative writing and inspired students to write their own poems.
Courage in the face of a challenge
We celebrated our annual achievement awards. Amongst the award winners was Bridge College student Gary, recognising his courage when faced with a difficult task. Consistently pushing himself to do better, Gary made great progress this year, including overcoming difficulties in numeracy and literacy and completing a test paper with no breaks.
Breaking barriers to achieve
The exam results from summer 2017 were the best to date. At Inscape House School there was a 98% pass rate, with 29% higher level passes of between A-C. Over at Ashcroft School we saw students receive higher band grades, the equivalent of A and A*. And all students successfully transitioned into their colleges or remained with us to complete further education.
Together Trust awarded gold for Investor in Customers
Investor in Customers granted us the highest award possible due to our ‘exceptional’ customer service levels. When asked why they would recommend Together Trust, customers stated that staff were 'caring, approachable and supportive’. We are extremely proud to be granted the gold award.
Blossoms perform for Ashcroft students
Stockport band Blossoms performed a stripped down version of their single ‘Charlemagne’ for students during their visit to Ashcroft School. Lead singer Tom Ogden and his bandmates shared insight into how they had formed, their inspirations and how they wrote their hits, passing on advice to the aspiring musicians.
Supporters raise thousands at Together Trust’s Cheshire Ball
Staff, trustees and supporters raised over £10,000 at the Cheshire Ball, a Narnia themed night of fun and fundraising. BBC Radio Manchester’s Chelsea Norris hosted the event in an icy wonderland, where guests helped raise thousands to support our work with vulnerable children, young people and adults across our services.
All services rated ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’
We were delighted to announce that Ofsted and CQC rated all of our registered services ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’. This was a huge achievement, which demonstrated the hard work and dedication of staff throughout our services.
Well done everyone!
Ashcroft School Teacher selected to be Parliamentary Ambassador
As part of her training, Beverley Wheeler heard from parliamentarians of all parties about their work in the Commons and Lords. She uses her training to develop her students and colleagues understanding of parliament and democracy.
Together Trust shortlisted for two National Autistic Society awards
We were delighted that our Sleep Tight Trafford team and Carmel Perry from Pocket Nook were shortlisted for two awards at the National Autistic Society’s Autism Professionals Awards. Nominated in categories for the Outstanding Health Service and Most Inspirational Social Care Professional, the awards acknowledge outstanding autism practice.
Variety and Morrisons Foundation donate Sunshine Coach
For many of the young people we support, transport can be a real barrier. The Sunshine coach, donated by Variety and the Morrisons Foundation, allows students at Ashcroft and Inscape House Schools to enjoy activities outside the classroom such as outdoor education and Duke of Edinburgh award.
people were supported by us
Homes for 104 children in foster and residential care
1,410 people suppported by our community services
We supported families through mediation in 12 local authorities
91 young people with autism and learning difficulties stayed in our short break services
We provided special education for 413 young people
Thank you to all our supporters and funders
67 trusts, corporate and community groups helped to fund over 30 projects
Our supporters ran 234 miles for Together Trust
Easter eggs were given to the people we support
You donated 600 Christmas presents for young people in our services
You helped us raise £379,000!*
*inc grant income
The National Autistic Society estimate that only around 16% of autistic adults are in full time employment. We want to change this. With support from the John Lewis Foundation, Inscape House School embarked on an ambitious project, inEmployment. The project’s goal was to give students the skills, experience and exposure to the world of work. Thanks to the funding, we were able to train 10 of our education assistants as job coaches so they could support 40 students through their work experience placements and as they developed life skills in the classroom. Alongside providing hospitality skills onsite at our student enterprise inCafé, we created partnerships with employers across Greater Manchester. Student placements have included the Hilton, Next, Quarry Bank Mill and Oddfellows on the Park. During this year we were delighted that Inscape House School received the Quality in Careers Standard. The award recognises the commitment to providing excellent careers education and information, advice and guidance.
Marie Young, Work Experience Coordinator and Post-16 Teacher said:
"Work experience is essential to preparing our students for the future. Yes, they will face challenges but we can help them to overcome those barriers. We want them to be able to shine."
Providing the best possible support and outcomes for our foster carers, and the young people they care for, was a huge focus in 2017/18. And we were proud to be recognised for our work in the government’s fostering stocktake. Part of that support includes our annual fostering holiday. This year, Beverley and Casey* joined over 50 foster carers and young people on our annual fostering holiday in Chester. When Casey*, 12, was placed with Together Trust foster carer Beverley* in 2017, things were hectic. Casey has emotional difficulties stemming from her experiences in early life, and had already been through the breakdown of two foster care placements. Despite a few bumps along the way, Casey is thriving. She regularly goes on days out with Together Trust’s support workers, who are helping her to work through her emotions.
"A lot of what we were doing was completely new to her. She really enjoyed the zoo – getting up close to the animals was a first for her. We’re trying to do all the things she wants to do but hasn’t had the chance to, and it was great for her to mix with other children too."
* Names have been changed to protect the young people
Ashcroft School is a specialist provision for children and young people with social, emotional and mental health needs. Many students, such as James, have faced multiple exclusions from school. James would avoid school on days when he was struggling with depression or anxiety. Because of this he was excluded from two mainstream secondary schools and was placed in a pupil referral unit before joining Ashcroft in year 11. For James, Ashcroft was the first secondary school that supported his emotional and mental health needs. From speaking to James and his family, staff at Ashcroft were able to rekindle his interest in guitar. Not only helping with his mental health, music has been the key to unlocking James’ academic potential.
James’ dad Mick said:
"Ashcroft has rekindled his interest to the point where he is expected to obtain a BTEC Distinction. It is not only James’ wellbeing that has been improved by attending Ashcroft; we as parents have received incredible support too. We have finally found somewhere that doesn’t try to make students fit into the regiment of mainstream schooling. We have found a school that treats every student as an individual in a safe, caring environment."
Research suggests around 86% of children with disabilities, and particularly children with autism, will be sleep deprived. In Trafford, sleep support was available to children who had significant learning difficulties along with autism, ADHD or emotional difficulties. For the many other children with sleep deprivation, there was no clear guidance. Through effective partnership working NHS Trafford CCG, Trafford Council and Together Trust have filled this gap. Sleep Tight Trafford is a service for children with autism and associated needs that provides an alternative to prescribing Melatonin. Initial findings have shown that the jointly commissioned service has reduced Trafford's Melatonin budget by 36.7%. But most importantly it has transformed families' lives. 100% of parents agreed they felt better themselves after receiving support, and 100% felt their child's behaviour had improved at bedtime. The service also delivered in-depth training sessions for front line staff.
One professional said:
"I would just like you to know how amazing I have found the training, I have used it successfully with families. The sleep supervision sessions are brilliant to listen to other people's experiences and put their ideas into practice."
Children and Young People Now shortlisted the service for their 2017 awards recognising our achievements in partnership working.
These values are integral to our work and allow us to embrace a shared vision and way of working. By working in collaboration, we always put the people we support at the heart of what we do.
As we look towards our 150th anniversary, we seek to develop and build on the successes of our past.
This year we carried out a review to restate our Stronger Together goals. As we head to 2022 we will take account of the growth opportunities relating to health and social care devolution in the North West. We will strengthen our existing partnerships and form exciting new alliances. We are a trusted partner to the people we support. Their views shape our future planning and service development. We do this to meet their life-long changing needs.