About us Why we exist Our history Founded in 1973 with just one service in West Sussex, we now support around 2,000 people, work in 400 locations across England and Wales and employ more than 3,500 staff. As well as providing support, we run campaigns on the latest social care issues, organise fundraising schemes and events, and provide guidance and information via our website, as well as through various publications. Take a look, below, at some of our highlights to date. January 2016 - Our President receives a knighthood Read more 26-year president of United Response, Martyn Lewis CBE, is knighted in recognition of his exceptional service to a range of charitable and voluntary organisations. In typical style, Martyn took the opportunity to dedicate his award to the “thousands of inspirational people in the voluntary sector”. October 2015 - We host Dignity and Light poetry exhibition Read more In collaboration with poet Rogan Wolf, we launch two collections of poetry written with, by and about people with learning disabilities and mental health needs at a creative event in Bristol. October 2015 - Two successful events at party conferences Read more We hold two well-attended fringe events at the Labour and Conservative party conferences where experts, MPs and people with learning disabilities came together to discuss making work a reality for more people with a learning disability and/or autism. September 2015 - Launch of our Communication Resource Read more At United Response, we believe that taking the time to learn how people with disabilities communicate in different situations is key to being able to deliver effective person centred support. This guide, produced in collaboration with The Tizard Centre's Dr Jill Bradshaw, contains successful strategies for clearer communication and explains reasons why certain messages could be easily misunderstood. July 2015 - We appoint Tim Cooper as our new CEO Read more Tim Cooper joins us as chief executive of United Response, bringing with him a wealth of experience in supporting people with learning disabilities, including particular expertise in supported employment and housing management. May 2015 - Every Vote Counts campaign succeeds! Read more We are thrilled because our Every Vote Counts campaign achieves its two key aims. It results in 10% more people with learning disabilities voting in the General Election 2015 and all key political parties produce accessible versions of their manifestos. May 2015 - All main political parties endorse Every Vote Counts Read more David Cameron (Conservatives), Ed Miliband (Labour), Nigel Farage (UKIP), Nick Clegg (Liberal Democrats) and Natalie Bennett (Greens) all send our news correspondent David Allkins personal messages of support, and publicly back the Every Vote Counts campaign. March 2015 - Four new trustees appointed to board Read more United Response welcomes (clockwise from top left) Bronagh Scott, Charles Garthwaite, Helen England and David Willis to the board of trustees. Feb 2015 - News correspondent with learning disabilities starts Read more We appoint David Allkins, who has Asperger’s Syndrome and communication difficulties, to raise awareness among politicians about the need to communicate accessibly with those, like himself, who are part of the disabled electorate. 2014 - Every Vote Counts is re-launched Read more At a well-attended Parliamentary reception in the House of Commons, we kicked off our revamped campaign to get more people with disabilities to the voting booth ahead of the General Election 2015. This time, Every Vote Counts aimed to get all political parties producing accessible information and, to lead the way, we produced a set of easy read resources explaining voting and politics. 2014 - Double success at Charity Times Awards Read more We are thrilled because United Response is Highly Commended in the 'Charity of the Year' category at the 2014 Charity Times Awards, while our Postcards from the Edges project scoops the gong for ‘Best Use of the Web’. 2014 - We launch a DVD promoting person-centred support Read more We launch a DVD entitled ‘Promoting Person Centred Support and Positive Outcomes for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities’ in collaboration with the Tizard Centre at the University of Kent. 2014 - Easy News wins a Charity Award Read more Easy News, the first ever news magazine for people with learning disabilities, wins the top prize in the Education and Training category at the 2014 Charity Awards. 2014 - We launch our Transforming Care publications Read more We launch a new set of free-of-charge resources called Transforming Care. They aim to help make the move from long-stay institutions to community settings more successful for people with learning disabilities and autism. 2014 - First Easy News Special Edition Read more We publish our first Special Edition of Easy News, which explains the Budget announced mid-March 2014 in easy read format. 2014 - Su Sayer steps down as CEO Read more After 40 years of leading United Response, founding the charity and steering it from modest beginnings into a multi-award-winning top-100 charity, Su Sayer CBE decides the time is right to step down from her chief executive role. 2014 - Postcards from the Edges at the House of Commons Read more We host a pop-up Postcards from the Edges exhibition at the House of Commons to mark the passing of the all-important Care Bill. 2013 - We publish an easy read guide to welfare changes Read more People we support produced a guide to some of the most significant changes to the welfare system in easy read, entitled 'Changes to Welfare Benefits', which was disseminated to schools, services and online. 2013 - We publish the 'Superhumans or Scroungers?' report Read more The third report by our Campaigns panel, entitled ‘Superhumans or Scroungers’, is published. It focuses on drawing a line under the extreme views that are held by many, which give very little space for ordinary disabled people to make their voices heard. 2013 - We begin our Postcards from the Edges campaign Read more The Postcards from the Edges project and website is launched, asking people with disabilities to put what disability means to them on a postcard. Four exhibitions of the resulting postcards follow later in the year in London, Gateshead, Bristol and Liverpool. 2013 - We produce the UK's first easy read newspaper Read more We launch Easy News – the first newspaper designed to be accessible for people with learning disabilities. 2013 - Our CEO Su Sayer is awarded an CBE Read more Chief executive Su Sayer is awarded a CBE for her services to people with disabilities in the UK. 2013 - United Response's 40-year anniversary! Read more Services throughout England and Wales celebrate our 40th by holding 4tea parties, a national swimathon and much more! 2012 - We rebrand! Read more We launch our new logo and strapline in time for our 40th anniversary year. 2012 - We publish the 'Our Future' and 'Life Support' reports Read more Our Campaigns Panel compile two reports. 'Life Support' explores what good support means to people with learning disabilities and why it is crucial that any reforms to social care lead to better quality support. In the follow-up report, 'Our Future', people with learning disabilities give their opinion on the Government’s plans for social care and discuss how their lives will be affected by the proposals. 2012 - We publish the 'Responsible Reform' report in easy read Read more We produce the easy read translation of the 'Responsible Reform' report for the Broken of Britain, explaining changes to Disability Living Allowance. 2011 - We set up our Campaigns Panel Read more The Campaigns Panel are a group of people with learning disabilities and their relatives who want to speak out on issues that matter to them. They produce reports and inform our campaigning work. 2011 - We translate an Ed Miliband interview into easy read Read more We produce an easy read version of a discussion between disability activist Kaliya Franklin and Labour leader Ed Miliband, which took place at the 2011 Labour Conference. 2010 - We introduce Quality Checkers Read more We set up a system of internal Quality Checkers. Quality Checkers are people we support who are paid to audit the quality of support given to other people supported by United Response. 2010 - Every Vote Counts campaign launches Read more Every Vote Counts is launched – a campaign to engage people with learning disabilities in the democratic process. 2009 - We create our Making Democracy Accessible guides Read more We launch a set of guides, entitled Making Democracy Accessible, to help politicians, party workers and public officials communicate more effectively with the thousands of people with learning disabilities who are not using their vote. 2009 - We are accredited by Investors in Diversity Read more We achieve the first of our Investors in Diversity accreditations, and are one of the first third sector organisations to do so. 2008 - Making Money Easier launches Read more We launch Making Money Easier – a set of free easy read guides on all aspects of banking and finance to help people with learning disabilities live more independently. 2007 - United Response is in top six charity employers Read more The Charity Times names United Response among the six top charities in the UK. 2007 - We open our housing department Read more United Response establishes its first housing department, helped people with disabilities find suitable supported accommodation. 2004 - Our CEO Su Sayer wins a Lifetime Achievement award Read more CEO Su Sayer is honoured with a Lifetime Achievement award at the Charity Awards 2004. 2000 - Our CEO Su Sayer is awarded an OBE Read more CEO Su Sayer is awarded an OBE for her services to disabled people. 2000 - We win a Charity Award Read more United Response wins in the Disability category of the Charity Awards 2000. 1999 - We launch UR in Business Read more We launch UR in Business, a social enterprise that began as a cleaning business employing people we support in London and went on to equip many more with employability skills. 1997 - We begin person centred support Read more We begin implementing person centred active support under the guidance of Professor Jim Mansell (pictured), who joined the Board of Trustees in 1995. 1990 - We begin our mental health work Read more We begin working with people with mental health needs in Kent. 1987 - Our first award win Read more Our CEO, Su Sayer (pictured), wins a National Health and Safety (RoSPA) Award for the way United Response enables disabled people to engage in activities otherwise denied to them. 1983 - We open our first service in the north of England Read more We expand from the south and set up a service in Chesterfield, our first service in the north of England. 1979 - We are West Sussex's biggest learning disability provider Read more We establish support in Petworth and Crawley, and go on to expand our provision across West Sussex. 5th September 1973 - We open our first service Read more Our first home is set up and registered in Tillington, West Sussex, by our CEO and founder Su Sayer. It provides people with disabilities with an alternative to institutionalised care.