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A Social Enterprise providing community based support for adults with learning disabilities and/or autism and mental health in the South West

Exciting Updates!

Andy Robinson founded You First in February 2014 and now, some nine years later, You First has 70 team members, and we supply almost 2000 community-based hours support each week. What this doesn't mean is the organisation has become large, impersonal, and traditional. Far from it. Our unique selling point is that we provide bespoke support, via Micro-Teams, where people supporting are matched with the person supported and where relationship is the absolute bedrock of support provided. Support is strengths based, were we major on who the person supported is, identifying the goals, ambitions, hopes and dreams they have for their lives. This means that we provide small supports, within a regulated organisation, where people supporting are well trained, supported, and as such are competent, committed, ad confident in their support of people with complex needs. The experience of the person supported is intrinsically entwined with the support the person supporting experiences - this awareness supports quality service delivery. All of this happens within an organisation where collaboration, communication, commitment, and consultation are at the heart of everything we do.

Flat Structure

Whilst You First employers well trained, experienced, and well qualified Directors and Managers, the organisation operates within a flat structure. You First operates in a self-managed way, and this facilitates the best utilisation of strengths, gifts, abilities and attributes and ushers in genuine holistic, bespoke support.

How we are Formed

You First is a Social Enterprise, formed as a Community Interest Company. This means we have an asset lock, so the organisation and all its assets are owned by the people You First supports. This makes us a genuine not for private profit organisation.

Our Four Pillars

Engagement: Understanding who the person is, creating the building blocks for relationship, moving away from tasked focused support to meaningful interaction.
Enablement: Seeing the person empowered to become as independent as possible in such a way that supports them to realise their own ambition.
Opportunity: Levelling the playing field so that the world is no longer a threatening, chaotic, and unpredictable place, but one where the person can begin to realise their potential, ambition, and dreams.
Progression: Strengths based, self-directed, outcome-based support that sees the person move forward, at their own pace, in a purposeful and meaningful way that has a positive attitude to risk.

How we deliver this

We have developed our own toolkit for supporting people, based on NHS England's Individual Service Design model. However, we know people don't want a service, they want a life, hence the name we have given this toolkit.

Design4Life! brings full attention to the person themselves, not in terms of a list of needs or assessment of deficit, but rather in terms of who the person is as a human being. The process is time intensive, going all the way back to the start of the person's life and detailing life events, milestones, development and responses to life experiences and as a result it paints an in-depth picture of who the person is, what matters to them in life, their worldview, how life has shaped their expectations of themselves and others and it also captures their hopes, dreams and aspirations.

Everyone close to the individual is involved in this process and capturing of the person's life story in this way is absolutely vital and it is one that is consistently ignored in the traditional assessment process. None of us have suddenly appeared on this planet as adults, we all have a history, and we are the product of that history, psychologically, emotionally, spiritually, and so on. People supported are as three dimensional as you and I and to ignore this is to deny the person the ability to build and grow their lives. Design4Life! captures the nuance of life, and it is this that often informs how we intra-act and interact.

We build on existing gifts, attributes, talents, values, characters to enable and support the person to grow and develop in a way that makes sense to them. We take a 360 degree look at the persons life, building knowledge of who the person is as a unique individual and allowing and enabling the person to be the architect of their own support. This ensures that the person's support will be outcome based, strengths focused, and has relationship at its very core. This is all about person-centred, self-directed support.

You First Support Services is about enabling people to build and grow their own lives. We seek to establish what needs to happen to give the person the steering wheel of their life. This will support achieving realistic outcomes whilst establishing a network of naturally occurring support.

Our website

You can read more about us here


You can find our Facebook page here


You First now has an Instagram page which is proving to be a really successful tool for sharing our good news stories. You First supports people to realise personal empowerment and with this people can build and grow their own lives according to their own values and worldview. Instagram helps share this in a visual way. You can follow us on Instagram by clicking here


You can follow us on Twitter here: @YouFirstSupport

For more infomation, please do not hesitate to email us , where we will be happy to hear from you and to answer any of your questions or queries.  

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