Three years ago, Langdon and Kisharon commissioned a report into the provision of services for people with learning disabilities and autism in the Jewish community, with the aim of projecting future need over the next 15+ years.
The report found that a combination of rising demand and costs meant that, in order to achieve the best outcomes for the people we support, learning disability service providers would need to focus on maximizing effectiveness combining strengths and skills.
Recommendations included increased joined-up working in the Jewish communal sector and ensuring that more of the available resources are focused on delivering frontline support.
At the start of August 2021, we shared the news that Kisharon and Langdon planned a further initiative to develop options to meet future identified needs.
Now, having completed that work – and while continuing to operate as usual – Kisharon and Langdon have begun to develop a joint strategy, in the form of a merged charity combining Kisharon and Langdon, to facilitate the best possible learning disability and/or autism offering for the Jewish community.
Indeed, as a consequence, a number of the people, supported by Kisharon and Langdon respectively, are already simultaneously using and benefiting from the services offered by both of the organisations.
Hearing from our Stakeholders
Over the coming weeks, the two charities will be sharing details of these forward-thinking plans and will be holding a series of listening exercises with key stakeholders, including staff, parents, guardians and, of course, the people we support.
Discussion groups will focus on the vision for the two charities to move closer together, in ways that will allow more investment into front-line support.
No final decisions will be taken until completion of this exercise in December. We will share a further update on the next steps as soon as we can, after considering the input we receive from stakeholders, most likely in early 2023.
Enhancing Support Services
Both Kisharon and Langdon are committed to ensuring that, following any merger, the people we support will continue to receive the tailored and personalised package, which has long been a proud hallmark of both of our organisations.
Additionally, it is anticipated that there will be opportunities to enhance provision, as services, currently offered by separate organisations, are combined within one merged charity.
Kisharon and Langdon are also both fully dedicated to ensuring that the unique, religious and cultural needs of the people we respectively support will continue to be met.
In a joint statement, Richard Franklin, Chief Executive of Kisharon, and Neil Taylor, Chief Executive of Langdon, said:
“Kisharon and Langdon support people with learning disabilities across the community. The charities’ priority is for those we support to feel engaged with and supported by the services offered. Together, Langdon and Kisharon will identify the best ways to continue to serve the interests of people with autism and learning disabilities and their families, from early years and continuing throughout life’s journey.”
“It is imperative that people with learning disabilities and autism are valued as contributors to our society, and, through ambitious and personalised support, are empowered to thrive.
“Combining our efforts has the potential to significantly enhance our collective service offer for the people we support – both now and in the future.
“We are excited to take this next step of the journey together.”
The following, offered statements on the Kisharon & Langdon merger:
Keith Black, Chair of the Jewish Leadership Council, said:
“We commend both Kisharon and Langdon on launching this listening exercise. For some time, the JLC has spoken about the desirability of organisations working together and pooling resources for the good of the community. We are delighted that two key JLC members, Kisharon and Langdon, are showing the way on this for the community.”
Rabbi Jeremy Conway, Director of Kosher London Beth Din said:
“Our daughter Deena benefits hugely from both these excellent organisations. It is really exciting to see them coming together to further enhance the Jewish provision for our special needs community.”
Professor Vic Rayner OBE, Chief Executive Officer of the National Care Forum, said:
“Kisharon and Langdon are each sector-leading organisations in their own right. The idea of their coming together to provide an even stronger offer is incredibly exciting, and we at the National Care Forum wish them well as they take the next steps in this journey.”