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Small supports

Across Birmingham and Solihull, we are actively developing a market which includes small, locally-grown organisations that are confident and capable of supporting people with a learning disability and/or autism to live in their own home with a bespoke support team. The focus is on the small scale of the business and the bespoke support, where the person and people important to them are absolutely at the heart of decision-making and community life.

The organisations will have a desire to remain small, local, community-focused organisations and will run by highly person-centred, creative and skilled leaders, with a passion to support people with learning disabilities and/or autism to live active and meaningful lives in their community.

They offer support which is “bespoke” to each individual and centred around the person’s needs, so services are designed around them, support is recruited and trained specifically to support the person and enable them to achieve things like work or volunteering, maintaining and developing friendships and relationships, developing skills or hobbies, contributing as local citizens.

Small support organisations will be confident in supporting people robustly but flexibly enough to adapt with the person, positive about overcoming negative reputations and comfortable with the importance of risk taking. 

Locally, our ambition is to increase the choice of providers of this type of care; and promote the opportunity to local people to set up and run their own small support organisations. NHS Birmingham and Solihull CCG is working with Birmingham City Council, Birmingham Children’s Trust and Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, as the well the National Development Team for Inclusion (NDTi) and the Local Government Association – ADASS West Midlands.

If you have experience of supporting people who can challenge services and know you could bring something different then you may be interested in finding out more. 

Are you interested in becoming a small supports provider?

People who establish small support organisations tend to have a number of things in common, such as:

  • They have a commitment to the rights and life chances of people with learning disabilities, mental health problems and/or autism. This includes people who might have difficult histories and ‘hefty’ reputations
  • They tend to be people who have worked in health and social care or had a strong connection to people with a learning disability and/or autism but who believe that there is a very different way of delivering support
  • The have a thoughtful relationship with risk, in both working with people and setting up a new service
  • They are willing to invest the time, energy and resources into setting up their own support organisation.

We understand that setting up a new small support organisation, or perhaps changing the direction of an existing small organisation, is challenging so we are keen to do what we can to help. This help might include:

  • Support to understand and navigate the sometimes complex NHS and local authority processes
  • Supporting discussions with commissioners to enable small support organisations to be financially viable and stable
  • Support your development through access to existing small support organisations who can offer guidance and advice
  • Assist you to access local organisations who guide and advise small business or voluntary organisations to become established and grow. Depending on how you choose to establish, this might include support to access limited ‘set up’ funding.

Our commitment is to listen to and work in partnership with small support providers.

Find out more about support on a smaller scale

You can also find out more about Transforming Care below:

Get in touch

For further information on small supports please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your contact details and a member of the team will arrange to contact you for an informal chat.

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