Where I Want To Live has been created by families and experts who have direct experience of supporting and guiding young adults to make choices about where and how they live. Together we promote the vision of a country where adults with learning disabilities have real choice about where and how they live.
Everyone seems to agree that adults with learning disabilities should have choice and control over their lives and legislation supports this. However, despite everyone’s best efforts this is often not the case.
We are aiming for positive social impact – we plan to create an inclusive, person-centred approach to help young adults make decisions about their own future, championing ambition and treating each individual with respect and integrity.
We will provide resources and support to educate young adults and their support networks so that we see more self-discovery and empowerment, leading to positive outcomes. If we come together through Where I Want to Live we believe choice and control can become a reality and not just a tag line. Please join us as we start our journey.
Take a look at our What We Do page to find out more about our plans.
We understand that inclusion often involves supporting and enabling in a different way in order to achieve the same outcome. We believe nobody should be left behind.
We will endeavour to ensure that appropriate information and support enables informed choices and decisions for each individual.
We are driven by a strong sense of ambition and encourage high expectations from all who interact with us – fulfilment is our end goal.
We will always have due regard of the feelings and wishes of all those who engage with us and will act with politeness and courtesy.
Our actions will be transparent and honest, serving the best interest of the individuals that seek our help.
Our Charity aims to help people with learning disabilities particularly focusing on young adults between the ages of 18 and 35 who access social care or health services for support as a result of their learning disability. We have set the age of 18 as the lower limit because this is the time when for some formal education comes to an end and individuals face the cliff edge of adulthood.
We have tentatively set the upper age limit at 35 because around then those young adults that are living at home with their parents will start to feel the impact on their care of having ageing carers looking after them.
Due to the differing laws of the devolved nations of the UK, Where I Want to Live will provide services to those governed by English law. This will be reviewed as our Charity progresses.
THIS IS ME
My home, my life, so happy
The Charity Where I Want to Live has been founded by the father (Roberto) of a young lady with learning disabilities and a friend (Louise) who has much experience working with adults with learning disabilities. Working together, Roberto and Louise spent many hours searching to fully understand the long-term living options for Roberto’s daughter Alessandra.
Roberto wanted to make sure that Alessandra has real choice about where and how she lives as she settles into a more independent adult life, just like her brother and sisters. There was no facility to search widely or any resources to help her understand the options, so how could Alessandra make a fully informed choice?
There are thousands of families facing the same challenge every year and the aim is to make this process more accessible and engaging for everyone involved.
“In my case, suddenly becoming a single parent meant that planning for my daughter’s housing and care was essential. Putting it simply, I just could not cope with caring for her. I felt guilty, inadequate, incompetent and very stressed. Alessandra was desperate to do what her siblings had done: move into a house with friends!
When full time education finished I panicked! I was struggling to keep her socially involved… she was gradually becoming isolated, less physically active and more introverted. She wanted to be around her friends and I was finding the logistics of organising this regularly enough challenging.
Independent living has empowered my daughter. She has more control over her life, more choice and she is happier as a result.”
The team behind Where I Want to Live are people with robust experience in governance, specialist education, enterprise development and legal matters, amongst other fields. Additionally, several of the trustees have adult children with learning disabilities and therefore have first-hand experience relevant to the charity mission.
Roberto, together with Louise Keevil, is a founding member of Where I Want to Live.
Having studied science and graduated with a PhD from the University of Edinburgh, Roberto spent most of his working life in the financial sector.
Roberto is currently retired, lives in London and has four adult children, the eldest of whom, Alessandra, has Down’s syndrome. Alessandra is currently enjoying life in a supported living community. Roberto is the Chair of the Trustees.
Louise Keevil has many years of experience working with people with disabilities in a wide range of contexts, including as principal of a residential specialist college as well as managing projects nationally and internationally.
She has worked as a SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disability) specialist consultant, worked part time as the Inclusive Skills Manager for Natspec and she led the national Inclusive Skills Competitions agenda from its infancy.
Louise has a very strong belief in the basic concept that everybody should have the opportunity to be the best they can be and to follow their dreams.
Ali is a long-standing family friend of Roberto. Ali is married to Elizabeth; they have a disabled son, Ben, who is now a young adult. Ben lives happily at home with his family. Ali has a PhD in Actuarial Mathematics.
Ali has over 30 years of experience in investments, the bulk of which was dedicated to the management of public and private pension fund assets.
Since retirement, Ali has held a number of non-executive directorship roles including being a trustee of a leading UK mastertrust pension scheme.
Ian is a Solicitor and former Managing Partner of Laytons LLP’s London Office. He heads the firm’s Philanthropy Team and has over 30 years of advising charities and similar organisations both nationally and internationally.
He sits on the Board of an extensive range of charities covering a diverse variety of fields and currently sits as chair to a number of these.
Graeme is an outsourcing specialist with over 30 years of Public and Private sector experience. Working on a wide range of outsourcing procurement activity, from Indian Offshore IT and Business Process Outsourcing to Soft FM outsourcing.
He is currently working as a consultant in the Charity sector and as Treasurer and Trustee for another Charity.
He has two adult children, the youngest (Emily) has Down’s Syndrome and as such he is cognizant of the issues parents face with finding schooling and accommodation for their children. Emily currently lives very happily with her best friend Alessandra in supported living.
Neil is a Director of a number of companies working in Marketing, Graphic Design, Technology and Mobile App Development.
He has worked with charities and SEND colleges for many years, and is an Industry Champion for Derwen College in Shropshire. Neil has also forged links with specialist education providers overseas, encouraging collaboration, sharing of best practice and the adoption of technology to support people with learning disabilities, particularly in vocational training, across the globe.
Neil is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and a Member of the Institute of Leadership & Management. Outside work he enjoys escaping to the countryside as an Explorer Scout Leader.