On this site you will find all the latest updates on what’s going on Discovery as we develop our day services to offer more choice and control to the people we support.

About us

Discovery supports people with learning disabilities, autism, challenging behaviour and complex needs. We are driven by our values. People with learning disabilities and their families are at the heart of everything we do and we want every person we support to have a great life, with excellent outcomes.

Discovery is a new social enterprise – and is a subsidiary of the Dimensions UK Group. We have been established to provide services across Somerset. Discovery’s registered trading name is Dimensions Somerset SEV and is a wholly controlled subsidiary with a local Board.

An introduction to the Day Service Transformation

The feed-back Discovery has received from many of our stakeholder groups includes mention that our support across Somerset Future4 Day Service locations is seen as ‘one size fits all’. This has led to some criticism that this somewhat limits the potential to provide personalised support, or person-centred support.

We strongly believe personalisation, or person-centred support is best offered when each person we provide support to (or their family or circle of support) is able to determine exactly what they want and need for their individual circumstances. Determining a support plan based on individual needs, wants and desired outcomes is vital.

Our work in Somerset started in April 2017, and it is our priority this coming year to work in partnership with the commissioning authority and other professionals to ensure these plans are up to date, relevant and meaningful for each person we support.

As we develop our thinking around our future provision of day support, our beliefs and values at Discovery are rooted in the following principles for people with learning disabilities:

  • There is a shared view of the world based on people’s rights, inclusion and equality of opportunity, so that the life chances and broad life outcomes of people with a learning disability are both improved and achieved.
  • People with a learning disability get the support they need and want to lead their life. This includes access opportunities with tailored support – enabling people to be who they want to be, and to do what they want to do, and live where they want to live.
  • Existing day services and opportunities are modernised and transformed into a diverse and flexible range of tailored support and opportunities. These opportunities span paid work, community involvement/contribution and active citizenship, learning and development, apprenticeships and internships. We will flex to ensure we meet the diversity and opportunity.
  • People with a learning disability and their families / carers have aspiration and a positive attitude based on what they know is possible and what they want for themselves and those they care about.
  • Local communities are open, welcoming and more inclusive to enable these opportunities and aspirations to be realised.

The working groups across Somerset are currently defining what Discovery can offer in each location, based upon these principles. We are working in partnership to identify the outcomes that can be achieved though group learning, sharing and engagement with everyone involved in the current day service including families, commissioners and most importantly the people we support.

Our work in developing future plans will take some time, and we do appreciate this can be unsettling for many families. It is not our intention to cause any anxiety, but to develop high quality, sustainable and more life-fulfilling support for the future for those with learning disabilities.  In implementing the plans we will be investing in key requirements such as changing places, developing partnerships with the wider community and creating employment opportunities for many.

From the start of our work in Somerset, we have anticipated that that it would take about a year to determine what everyone wants in terms of future support, and then another year to develop that offer locally.  For some the outcome may be very similar to what’s currently provided, and for others it may be different. The objective is to make it personalised support and tailored to what an individual needs, making it sustainable for the long term.