Pooling resources means we will be better able to:
We have already successfully worked together for a number of years – but this alone does not build critical mass and economies of scale and is a sub-optimal way of working.
Richard Franklin will be the new CEO. Richard has worked at senior levels in the charity sector for approaching 20 years, both inside and outside the Jewish community, and has been instrumental in changes to Kisharon over the past nine years (four years as CEO).
Neil Taylor (Langdon CEO) decided to step down at the end of March as Chief Executive of Langdon, after serving the organisation and its Members for nearly 5 years. As a parent of a daughter with severe learning disabilities, he has increasingly felt that his role in supporting her in her next stage of life needed to be his priority.
Under Neil’s leadership, Langdon has developed a clear strategy as to how the organisation can and should respond to the growing demand for its services. It has improved the quality of service provided, expanded the range of life opportunities available to Members and dramatically strengthened Governance and leadership. Langdon has become a strong values-led organisation, in which 88% of staff would recommend Langdon as a great employer. Neil has been instrumental in facilitating the planned partnership between Langdon and Kisharon and has been entirely supportive of the intention to merge.
Given their unanimously expressed intention to explore a merger, Langdon and Kisharon Trustees are eager to seek input on their vision for the next 18-month, three, five and indeed 10-year periods – as they seek to ensure outstanding services across a broader swathe of community by 2035.
The Senior leaders of both organisations are keen to hear and listen to a variety of opinions, principally from people we support, as well as their families; staff; supporters; and volunteers – over several meetings this coming month.
Without question this is a genuine exercise. Significant resources and professional expertise have been funded and placed at our disposal to achieve this. The leadership of both organisations believe that the strongest prospects for success rest on working together to rise to the exciting and ambitious challenges for those who passionately care about the Learning Disability community in the years ahead.
The proposed charitable structure, organisational objectives and Memorandum of Understanding in principle agreed between the organisations explicitly recognises and enshrines the legacy, heritage and values of both organisations on an equal footing moving forward – with a commitment to continuing the best possible service offered now and into the future, respecting and recognising the very best of what, after all, is a shared commitment to person-centred support- in accordance with the highest of religious and cultural standards – supporting each person according to his or her wishes and aspirations.
The ethos will reflect the organisations’ heritage and operate in accordance with the charitable objectives – but ultimately lived through the trustees, senior leadership staff and particularly by our families and supporting community, who give so much time and money to achieve our goals, hopes and aspirations.
Our recent collective experience, not least through our growing educational provisions, suggests otherwise – with standards having been enhanced. In any event, at circa £14m, the organisation would still be less than half the size of Norwood or Jewish Care, for example.
Given those in the Jewish Community with Learning Disabilities and Special Education Needs is set to rise from 5050 to 5680 by 2035 – far from closing services – we need to grow services.This will only be achieved by:
Langdon offers dedicated specialist personalised services for people with Learning Disabilities – primarily through Supported Living, Langdon College Brady Club and New Chapters Social Enterprise. In both scale and scope, Langdon is more aligned to Kisharon in its strategic thinking and service offering.
Kisharon has always been open to pursuing conversations which maximises the effectiveness of the Learning Disability and Special Educational Needs services across our community, with whichever provider aligns both in standards and values to create better outcomes and impacts for the people we respectively support.
In both scale and scope, Kisharon is more aligned to Langdon in its strategic thinking and service offering.
In 2020, Kisharon, Langdon, Norwood, PaJes and Gesher commissioned a report on the need for Learning Disability and Special Educational Needs support in the community (the Cordis Bright report). The report concluded that the main providers needed to decide how best to garner resources, given the nature of growing demands against a long-term backdrop of consistent chronic government underfunding. Starting in 2021, Langdon and Kisharon worked for nine months with management consultants Mobilise and Natalie Grazin to consider how best we might work closer together – with both Trustee Boards ultimately concluding in 2022 that a merger should be explored.
Having looked at a variety of alternative options (with donor-funded professional facilitation from the Institute of Voluntary Action Research), the organisational vehicle with the most potential to respond to the drivers of change and the benefits of coming together was considered to be the creation of a new, single entity.
For the other organisations with whom we were so grateful to work with earlier in the process, they were better able to clarify their own strategic priorities because of what was a uniquely collaborative joint working experience.
The care management team/ service with whom you liaise regarding your relative will continue to be responsible for their support.
Your relative will continue to be supported to live according to the level of religious observance/ lifestyle of their choice in accordance with their aspirations. Our fundamental ethos will be underpinned by a commitment to ensuring your relative will continue to receive tailored and personalised support, mindful of background and family circumstance.
Your relative will continue to be supported to live according to the lifestyle and level of religious observance of their choice and aspiration. Again, our fundamental ethos will be underpinned by a commitment to ensuring your relative will continue to receive tailored and personalised support, mindful of background and family circumstance. Meeting their religious/ cultural needs will always be a priority.
The aim is to harness collective resources to ensure further quality and availability of support for front line services. The positive impact of harmonising services will be brought about all the sooner through both donor and government backing of our plans.
Any merged organisation will, within the confines of its charitable objectives, meet the individual needs of each person with equal respect for the right to choose with dignity, in accordance with the best of Jewish custom, tradition and principles. The intention will be to ‘badge’ certain services to ensure, insofar as is possible, that everyone supported can be comfortable in their choices.
Growth projections for Special Educational Needs, Learning Disability and Autistic diagnosis forecast a 12% growth rate to 2035. Presently, demand outstrips supply which through the harnessing of resources by merging, we are trying to take every possible appropriate step to address.
As a merged organisation, we will be able to help you navigate these pathways more easily, however places at Langdon College (like the school) are dependent on need and on funding from your local authority.
Both organisations share a commitment to learning development and personal growth – which by definition means in their past, present and in their combined futures, both charities have always been committed to positive change.
Much of this is a matter of personal choice for each individual – much as it is elsewhere in our rich and diverse Jewish community.
The social care programming will reflect the requirements/desires of those we support – this is likely to mean a diverse programme including mixed-gender and single-gender activities.
We anticipate that the Jewishness of the new organisation, will be enhanced to meet better the needs of the religiously diverse Kisharon & Langdon members as well as the number of new referrals who wish to join and for which there is a waiting list.
Again, that is a matter of personal choice, availability and demand. If we can fund it and it is right for you – we’ll do it!
There is a commitment from trustees to ensure effective representation of the Manchester community. We anticipate that the merger will help support growth in Manchester.
Again, insofar as possible, this will still be your choice.
Any merged organisation will be committed to minimum disruption and maximum opportunity combining the best of Langdon and Kisharon’s leaders and managers to deliver a shared vision of assistance for the people we support/ members to thrive.
There is no intention to currently change any services unless it would be for the better and after proper consideration. While it is not always possible to meet every request – as with exploring this intention to merge – we do seek appropriate levels of input before making any big changes.
On merging, there will be minimal, if any, change to front line staff – unless it is considered that change would be for the better. As with this process, we will listen and hear from people we support and their relatives’ views will be sought wherever possible or appropriate.
Recruitment is a major challenge at present and we are committed to securing the best staff.In certain roles, a unique understanding of our Jewish way of life is of paramount importance in running an authentically Jewish service. Any merged organisation will be absolutely committed to retaining and developing existing staff and, where appropriate, recruiting new staff to meet the need going forward.
Mindful of their respective legacy and heritage, both organisations agree that any merger would be in accordance with the authority of the London Beth Din and, as such, the organisation will have a suitable rabbinic advisor for religious matters which can arise from time to time.It will remain the right of every individual supported to seek their own spiritual advisor should they so choose in accordance with their own best interests.
By merging to maximise effectiveness the aim is to give “more bang for your buck!”
Wherever possible, people will be supported to mix with those they choose to. The merged organisations will be mindful at all times of the best interests of the individual concerned with reference to all relevant circumstances, family background and other relevant considerations.
Both Kisharon and Langdon are proud of the relationships they have built based on trust, which we wish to see grow moving forward as one. Any merged organisation will also be rooted in (and have responsibilities to) our community through a Merged Board, accountable for Specialist Committees and the Executive Management team.
Both organisations have consulted far and wide in taking soundings before reaching a view about expressing an intention to merge.
People supported will be prioritised according to need.
Admission criteria will remain unchanged for the foreseeable future.
This is the exciting part about coming together – co-creating and realising fresh ideas and thinking based on the needs of a broader cohort wanting further improved support.Further developing educational facilities, increasing calibre and quantity of Supported Living, creating lifelong learning spaces, employment, volunteering, social and recreational opportunities are all realistic possibilities for the future.
Absolutely we can, where it is in the best interests of the person we support.
Wherever there is sufficient demand, we will always seek to support and cater for that need.
This is also the case in broader society, where, for example, there are many women-only activities.
These are two robust organisations coming together complementing well-matched in balance sheets alongside Income & Resource expenditure. Like any well-run, effective, new organisation, trustees and the operational leadership will be most mindful of the currently challenging outlook.
A principal driver at every stage of our discussion has been about maximising the effectiveness of precious resources at our disposal, to enable more focus on supporting front line services.
The total projected costs of the merger are between £250,000 and £300,000. We have received generous funding from two organisations towards these, and Trustees are actively pursuing other opportunities for funding which won’t detract from the existing income generation strategies of both organisations.
It is true that successful mergers take time to prepare – and Langdon & Kisharon have, according to external charity merger specialists, EastSide Primetimers, conducted one of the most thorough assessments they have seen.This is at the same time as delivering outstanding services, with this year alone Tuffkid Nursery being recognised as outstanding by OFSTED and with Langdon beating fundraising targets in their recent crowd-fundraiser in the most challenging of circumstances.
Both charities are still, nonetheless, mindful of capacity issues which may well arise, and service needs will always remain a priority even if this slows the pace of change.
There will always be certain services that attract more funding than others, which is why unrestricted funding is so important to both organisations.
Both organisations have been hugely successful in raising unrestricted income over the last few years, and the joint organisation will allocate unrestricted fundraised income according to operational needs and in line with the budget.
No charity – merged or otherwise – can guarantee roles. A merger does mean a reappraisal of certain roles. However, given the nature of our respective highly regulated educational and Learning Disability offering, the people we support will always receive the support that they require and are funded for. The aim is for the vast majority of staff to be focussed on the opportunities the merger brings and the benefits of working together rather than on any other peripheral impact. We anticipate that, as part of this process, there will be opportunities to reduce duplication and apply more resources to benefit the people we support. We expect the merger to result in a larger organisation, with a broader portfolio of services and more opportunities for our staff. While at this stage we cannot give any commitments, we will endeavour to ensure that as many of the quality and dedicated staff of both organisations are given the opportunity to work for the enlarged organisation.
Doubling the workforce means that the organisation will look to champion staff demonstrating outstanding practice in both Kisharon and Langdon (as well as outstanding people drawn from elsewhere to this forward-looking initiative) to best shape, grow and develop any merged organisation.
Any change to support infrastructure will develop over time.Both Kisharon and Langdon’s head office space has been under-utilised since Covid changed working practices, and we will look to work to a shared option recognising the respective needs of head office staff, in the short, medium and long term.
The best way to ensure Members stay at Langdon/Langdon-Kisharon is to provide the best service we can to those we support and ensure we have a great ‘offer’ for future clients.
There are staff from both organisations that already commute/ live in Manchester. Such changes in working practices are very unlikely to affect the vast majority of staff – and where such changes are required, we would only wish to do so where in the best interests of the people we support, the organisation and any particular staff member concerned.
Yes – over time we will look to harmonise staff pay and conditions in accordance with the ethos of the merged organisation.
Any merged organisation will continue to recognise the importance of annual leave and religious festivals. Where policies vary between Kisharon and Langdon, we will look to discuss and combine.
Only where agreed with your line manager in accordance with organisational priorities – however for the most part and for the majority of staff, we do not currently anticipate any such changes within the first 18-24 months of a merger.
The aim is to create better support by working together and learning from each other – rather than setting up a competitive culture alien to the aligned values and priorities of both staff groups.
Many of us working in Langdon and Kisharon already have colleagues performing the same or similar roles and protected rights and securities will always apply.
As a person-centred organisation which values staff, we will do whatever we reasonably can to ensure appropriate benefits can be retained. Much will depend on where you work and any changes in the environment, which in any event happens in the normal course of events with or without a merger.
No changes are planned immediately post-merger.
It is anticipated that it will take circa 18-24 months to integrate the organisations, including any changes in line management considered necessary and desirable in the spirit of shared learning, development and mutual growth.
Shifts/ pay rates are reasonably closely aligned already. Any required adjustments will take place at the appropriate time
Input from all stakeholders will be secured in the next few weeks, which will be reported to both organisations’ Trustee Boards in January. After legal and financial due diligence, it is anticipated that the merger will take place sometime after 31st March 2023.
Joint fundraising will start as soon as possible after our merger, with the first keynote event pencilled for October 2023. In the meantime, it will still be possible to fundraise for one or other of the founding organisations – although by then money will be effectively going to one merged organisation (except for restricted projects).
Dress codes will be harmonised and staff will be expected to wear clothing suitable and appropriate for the environment in which they work. There may be different practices in a Charedi environment in Manchester than, say, a secular Jewish environment in Edgware. There are no plans to introduce a uniform. Where in doubt, on the application of any policy, a line manager is often best placed to assist and common sense invariably applies.
Hopefully their knowledge and experience of both organisations should be invaluable!
Only where in the best interests of the people supported.
Any training required to enable staff to do their job well, will be provided
Langdon helps hundreds of adults and young people with Learning Disabilities and Autism across the UK to live independent lives. They do this through Supported Living, Education, Employment Support and Social Activities which enable their members to be their best, true selves.
Founded in 1992, Langdon College began with six students and was named after Margaret Langdon, a prominent Manchester Jewish philanthropist and activist in community care, who set up Delamere Forest School in 1921. In 2005, Langdon established Supported Living communities for people leaving the College.
Today, the Langdon community is now made up of over 100 people, living in supported accommodation in over 60 properties in Manchester, Edgware and Borehamwood. A dedicated Employment Service was set up in 2004, and Maccabi House, a community building for Langdon and its members, was opened in Edgware in 2012. Langdon’s support to its members is provided within a Jewish ethos. Langdon’s goal is to ensure the young people they support have the same opportunities as their peers to experience the satisfaction that comes from a good day’s work and the chance to enjoy a full social life and lead a fulfilling life. Langdon shine a light on their members’ achievements every day. Without Langdon’s help, these ordinary ambitions would remain beyond their reach.
Kisharon offers education, opportunity, and support for people with Learning Disabilities and their families throughout life’s journey – creating opportunities together to thrive, grow, learn and fulfil everyone’s unique potential. Over 350 individuals are supported by Kisharon each week across our breadth of services, building the skills they need to lead fulfilling lives in the community, exemplifying our shared vision that people with Learning Disabilities and Autism live in a world of equal rights and opportunities.
From Nursery through to School, to Supported Living accommodation and Employment Opportunities, no other organisation plays such a unique and critical role within the UK Jewish domain. The people we support are valued for their active roles in our community, as we strive to create a stronger society where everyone is appreciated for their contribution. Kisharon’s forward-thinking, person-centred approach aims to realise ambitious and personalised education and support, where people with disabilities have choice and control over how they live their lives. Kisharon provides a safe future for the people it supports, within a nurturing Jewish environment.
An Organisational Health Index (OHI) conducted among senior managers in both charities found a very similar degree of emphasis around customer focus (perhaps unsurprisingly) and individuality of methodology. Broadly, both are well-led, happy places in which to work. The flip side to the OHI findings was that our respective person-centred approach may lead to challenges in how we look to agree to harmonise/ standardise service offerings.
Subject to regional and geographical differences, broadly similarly engaged. They want the best for their relatives.
There is a different policy approach with broadly similar outcomes. However, policies will require harmonisation.
Kisharon’s and Langdon’s Supported Living services are CQC registered. Kisharon’s Nursery and School are covered by OFSTED, as is Langdon College.
You will still be able to make the choices in the best interest of you or your relative’s support given it is anticipated provision will be made for both Kisharon and Langdon ‘badged’ services in the first instance.
This is not a takeover – it is a merger born of equal respect with a mutual desire to offer what is best both now and looking forward to the broadest possible cohort in a fast-growing part of our community – namely people with Special Educational Needs, Learning Disabilities and Autism.
Potentially, subject to the needs, desires, demands and funding available in the area.
The currently expressed intention is for no more than 12 trustees (six from each organisation) to be appointed – in the first instance by respective nominations committees for a renewable three-year term.
The existing chairs presently intend to share responsibilities and the Memorandum of Understanding stipulates Nigel Henry (current Langdon Chair) will Chair for the first 18 months with Philip Goldberg (current Kisharon Chair) as Vice Chair, with roles reverting for the remainder of the first transitionary three-year period.
Specifics around the nature, role and remit of authorities of Chairs and Vice Chairs (who very much work in harmony, based on values shared) will be finalised in the merger documentation to ensure confidence will be maintained by, and for respective communities represented and served by, any merged entity.
Assisted by a council of membership consisting of all pre-existing Kisharon and Langdon Trustees, it is envisaged that, within the appropriate delineation of role, trustees will be integrally involved in ensuring the new organisation merges in word and in deed.
The pre-existing Boards are blessed with great strength in depth and a commitment to good governance. The to-be-formed Nominations committee for the merged charity will keep under regular review, the skills set required for which any new trustees appointed will be recruited to role.
There has been a long-held view in the donor community that too many charities operate in the same space, and it is anticipated there will be broad support for this forward-thinking initiative to extend the impact of voluntary commitments and generosity. There is limited cross-over in donor groups and the organisations’ generous supporters can still specifically restrict commitments to projects continued in the name of either charity with legacy commitments also being appropriately honoured.
If we really cannot dissuade you, there are processes through which this can be achieved working within Charity Commission guidelines.
This will be preserved in ways set out in your terms of gift. In the event of any building name change or other change in circumstances, we would of course be in contact to discuss this.
Tours will gladly be arranged at the earliest available opportunity.
We are looking to save a minimum of £500K per annum principally to be applied to supporting frontline services.In and of itself, this benefits donors through increasing the impact of their generosity and commitment to the people we support to whom they ultimately donated.
While not accepting such a categorisation given how many people supported by Kisharon are now also supported by Langdon – we will be united by our shared Jewish values rather than be divided by any differences – particularly given the importance in garnering such critical support across our wonderfully rich and diverse community.
Given the Kisharon and Langdon charities will remain within the merged structure, we do not anticipate issues will arise with historic bequests.
Appeals will ultimately run on traditional time frames over Jewish festive periods. During the transitionary period, the merging fundraising team will work on a timetable to ensure supporters will have every opportunity to commit to appeals in the way they so choose.
There is remarkably little cross-over. Independently commissioned GDPR compliant research confirmed only 19 foundations committed to both organisations and only 22 donors donated over £1k to both.
Much will depend on the nature of the event and whether it is in keeping within the organisational ethos Members as always will be supported individually to spend their time doing what they choose.
Halloween is a Pagan festival and neither organisation, nor the merged organisation would ‘host’ celebration events around this or other non-Jewish festivals, such as Christmas. However, individually, Members can do as they choose.
All events run by the charity will need to be in keeping with the spirit of the organisation’s ethos.
The vast majority of opportunities to give your time will remain the same or similar in the first instance. Only over time, as the organisations amalgamate, will we see how needs for your time may change.
Given the forecast growth in demand for Learning Disability, Special Educational Needs and Autism support, as well as perennial government funding issues, it is almost inevitable that there will be more opportunities to volunteer.
It is anticipated there will be limited changes, as the volunteer departments look to harmonise over the first 18-24 months of the new merged entity.
Absolutely – indeed it is anticipated it will form its own distinct part within the Governance structure.
The amount of time you choose to give within any merged organisation is within your gift. You will choose where and what you like to volunteer your time on, provided such a requirement exists within the merged charity.
Any information held by the new merged organisation will be subject to GDPR consents, controls and practices upon which advice is being sought. At all times we will look to respect your wishes.
The intention in having a wider, broader, focussed Learning Disability, Special Educational Needs and Autistic specialist organisation is to afford greater opportunities, including with training.
In the unlikely event that this arises, we would assess the merits on a case-by-case basis.
A branding exercise will be conducted in time for any launch event. In the meantime, trustees have agreed that, in the interim, our organisation will be known as Kisharon & Langdon.
It is anticipated that brand experts will be retained to assist with the process (which might include stakeholder involvement).
The decision-makers will be keenly aware of balancing the importance and value in creating the correct identity against limiting the costs involved.
Appropriate opportunities will be taken to launch and raise maximum awareness of any new brand identity.
Kisharon and Langdon are merging. The newly formed charity, Kisharon Langdon, will offer a wider breadth of services of enhanced quality, enabling us to better support people with learning disabilities and autism and their families. The organisation remains dedicated to meeting unique religious and cultural needs, fostering an inclusive environment.