Ten years success for Suffolk autism and learning disability service

July 1 marked a decade of support given to people in Suffolk with learning disabilities, autism, and other complex needs by an award-winning social enterprise. 

Leading Lives, based in Ipswich, has been offering high-quality care services to people from all over Suffolk since it was formed in 2012. It has also donated £25,000 this year to local charities and third sector organisations in Suffolk. 

Leading Lives’ services include 24-hour supported housing, overnight stays to offer respite to family members, and bespoke one-to-one care in both the community and at home. 

It currently has an expanding offer bespoke to young people with learning disabilities and autistic people aged 13 to 25, funded by Activities Unlimited.  

It also offers a range of skills development and leisure activities through community hubs. 

The organisation has received numerous awards, including the Health and Social Care Enterprise of the Year 2015 at the Social Enterprise UK national awards.

It was also a finalist in 2021.The organisation is owned by employees, and run not-for-profit, meaning that any funds made are go back into the community in donations.  

Leading Lives celebrated with a combined birthday celebration and awards event in Bury St Edmunds.

The evening particularly recognised the contribution of managing director, Tony Carr, who has now retired after 41 years in the Suffolk care sector. 

Tony said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed working in these services over the years with so many fantastic people. 

“I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to help create Leading Lives, and am extremely proud of where it is today and how well positioned it is for achieving even more in the future.” 

He was presented with his retirement ‘congratulations’ by Lucy Humphrey, who will replace him as managing director. 

Lucy said “This is an exciting time for Leading Lives and despite the challenges in social care we have a wonderfully loyal and committed workforce.  

“I am positive we will work together to make the leading lives difference over the next ten years.”