United Response is a Nationwide Charity, which supports adults with learning disabilities. They have residential homes, supported living services and a community outreach team. Their support workers work with Adults with learning differences, particularly Autism and Down’s Syndrome. Matthew Campbell is the Enterprise Service Manager at the United Response Community Hub on Field Lane in Teddington. TT took some time to talk to Matthew and volunteer, Lady Sapphire, about community workshops and the work they do. Read on for more info:
How long have you been trading in Teddington?
United Response has had a home in Teddington since 2017. I started working here as the Enterprise Service Manager in 2019. Before that I was a Support Worker at a supported living service in Hampton Wick.
What was your vision when you launched?
We are a nationwide charity, supporting adults and young people with disabilities to live the life they choose. That includes people with learning disabilities, physical disabilities, autism and mental health support needs. We can help with things like day-to-day living, finding a house or a job, education, and activities in your local community.
What makes the business stand out?
The Richmond branch of United Response, based in Teddington, is different from most other centres due to our excellent ‘Enterprise Hub’ which is a wonderful multi-use space. We recognise we are very lucky to have access to this space which we’ve used to host various events and weekly activities. We have a programme of wellbeing workshops, hosted by the amazing Nora Kerezovic, The Enterprise Team leader, which were started back in May 2021. Sessions were originally held on Zoom, because of the Coronavirus restrictions at the time. We have been able to continue with zoom content for many workshops which allows inclusivity for members unable to attend in person. We have a timetable of activities which can be tailored to the needs of our members, based on the feedback we receive.
More information about our wellbeing sessions can be found here:
‘Planting the seeds for confidence’: wellbeing workshops for Richmond community - United Response
We work very closely with ‘Handmade’, a local company that runs hands-on workshops, and in return for use of our Enterprise Hub they run workshops for our members. It's a wonderful symbiotic relationship, and one we are keen to replicate with appropriate companies that can run engaging classes with our members.
We are looking forward to the return of our ‘Bring a dish’ event which has been a real eye opener. We’ve had food from as far afield as Turkey, Poland and Africa. We are working with the local council on planning our next ‘Bring a Dish’ event will take place in the coming months. If anyone would like to come along please contact Matt for more details email@example.com
We have also used the ‘Enterprise Hub’ to host an International Women’s day event,
'Breaking the chains': Richmond events celebrate International Women’s Day - United Response
a visit from a coterie of Hong Kong care professionals:
'Everyone is valued and respected': Hong Kong visitors impressed by our person-centred approach - United Response
and we are spearheading the incredibly important ‘My vote My Voice’ voting campaign:
My Vote My Voice: accessible voting campaign launches in Parliament - United Response
Tell us more about funding opportunities at United Response.
LS: My background is in journalism and public relations and it is a pleasure to volunteer at United Response, using my expertise to approach organisations and funding opportunities to further their excellent work. The Enterprise Hub is a magnificent resource and we look forward to making the most of that. We have recently secured funding for an ICT suite on the site which is in the process of being furnished with everything we need to provide a good service to our members. We would welcome donations for the following additional needs at the centre:
● Additional Storage for all our arts and craft paraphernalia
● Tables, chairs and coffee / tea machines for an inclusive meeting area
If anyone would like to donate please do so by emailing Matthew. We would be very grateful. firstname.lastname@example.org
Besides your own shop what is your favourite shop in Teddington and why?
MC: I love the Mary’s Living and Giving charity shop. You can find some great bargains of good quality.
LS: It should be Starbucks, the amount of money Matt spends in there!
What is your guilty pleasure?
MC: Comic Books and graphic novels! I’m a big fan of the Preacher series. I have a very large collection.
Where in the world would you like to visit if time and money was no object?
LS: On a catamaran sailing around the coasts of Croatia with my daughter.
MC: Anywhere totally isolated. I’m a big fan of the survival shops and last year my girlfriend and I went on an outdoor expedition where we boiled stream water to drink and make our food.
In no more than three words describe yourself
MC: Ambitious, caring, curious
LS: Tenacious, brave, compassionate
What do you see in the future for your business?
To be integral to the Teddington Community with an open door policy for advice and participation. We would love to see the expansion of events to integrate our members further into the wider community. We will continue to nurture genuine relationships with our members.