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Embracing Disability, Empowering Lives

Welcome to SoLO. SoLO’s services are delivered by highly skilled and professional people leading to a reputation of being the best provider. Offering Adult and Children’s services of the highest standards our organisation provides the widest range of support. Each one of our Projects is specially designed to add value to the lives of individuals with learning disabilities.

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Find out more about what’s happening at SoLO

The nicest job in Britain

This is not a plug for a new recruiting website, but this is actually the title of a new one which I receive regular updates from.  It is where many charities and similar organisations post their vacancies to and it started me thinking about what makes a position the nicest job? Well, firstly, it has to be something you want to get up in the morning to do.  I hear many of our staff tell me how much they love their job and how much they get out of working with the members, so hopefully this is the case for most. Secondly, it is important to like and care about the people you work with.  This isn’t always easy as we are all such different characters, but there is always something positive about the person you are working alongside to focus on and there is the well rehearsed adage ‘treat people the way you would like to be treated yourself’. Thirdly, it is important to feel appreciated.  We try to do this within SoLO nurturing a culture of care and concern for each other.  We have introduced schemes such as ‘hero of the month’ to recognise achievement and contribution and there is evidence of appreciation shown by small gifts, cards and words of  praise. And finally, and possibly this is the most important, we all need to know that we are making a difference.  This is possibly where SoLO scores highest on the ‘nicest job in Britain’ scale.  Every day, we see the difference that we make to the lives of children and adults with a learning disability. Want the... read more

A Positive Start to the New Year with SoLO

I have been hearing recently, lots of talk about how to maintain a healthy life and increase your well-being – this is particularly pertinent at the beginning of the New Year as we reflect on the past and plan for the future.  Here are some thoughts on the theme: Put a positive slant on every situation – we all know the term glass half full, glass half empty.  Being with our SoLO members helps to get a glass half full perspective on lives. All of our members have more to contend with than most of us will experience, but they are generally the most joyful people to be around.  If I feel a bit negative, I only have to visit a project and spend a bit of time with our guys and I feel so much better.  So, if you want some positivity – we can always use your presence! Take time to think, reflect and be quiet.  This is a tough one in the busyness and the pace that we generally work at within SoLO. However, I do strive to find time to do this as it does gear me up for the day ahead.  Today, as I drove to work, my normal quickest route was shut.  Normally, that would illicit frustration and I would drive, white knuckled, on a different route.  Today, I took a lovely longer drive, through some very lovely Warwickshire hamlets in the sun and was able to reflect on the lovely creation around me – so much nicer! Try to spend, at least, 20 minutes to have some ‘me’ time even if it... read more

Buildings or People?

Do you want the good news or the bad news? Lets start with the bad news: despite valiant attempts, we have not been able (as yet!) to recover the £70,000 lost funding for adult social care which currently funds our various evening social programmes for adults with a learning disability. That sounds pretty bad (but we are working up a plan!), so what is the good news I ask you say? we have received enough capital funding to extend our base at Walnut Close to enable us to accommodate more people on our funded Evolve Programme which enables people with a profound and multiple learning disability to have a great day time programme of activities. Here begins the dilemma.  With a background of possibly (and I stress possibly) closing or reducing our evening social care programmes, what will folk think about us appearing to plough money into a building? It is a hard one, but really it is a no-brainer.  Let me explain: The funding we have received for the extension at Walnut Close is being given by people who will only fund building works.  Even if we made representation to them about the areas that we need funding to continue valuable programmes, they would not be allowed to change the purpose for which we will get the money. Having the extension at Walnut Close will, in the longer term (over about 5 years) reduce out costs in renting suitable property elsewhere to run Evolve and, potentially, will save us up to £200,000 in revenue – this we can put to other use. So we are, effectively, investing other...

An Ode to SoLO staff (the unsung heroes!)

T’was the month before Christmas and all through the base There was frenzied activity – SoLO staff on the case!   A request was received from the shops at Chelmsley A request to run Santa’s Grotto? How hard can that be?   So we asked ourselves, And tossed a dice…. …. Who should run this task Who’s been naughty or nice?   Paula and Katie were on Santa’s list So they took to the task – Not a child would be missed!   600 books were wrapped, dressed up as elves Santas signed up, We’re so pleased with ourselves!   But if that wasn’t enough, still in Christmas mode We have run countless parties, and have all shared the load   Damian and Lesley have earned their cooking ‘pips’ And are now holding the record for the longest cooked chips!   The adult team, not to be outdone Have acquired matching jumpers – even Paula has one!   The children’s team are partied out and Deb has cracked the whip By juggling supported living whilst running a tight ship   The marketing team have excelled themselves Recruiting santas, bag packers and a whole pile of elves.   Admin are marvellous – they will always do more When their energy drops – there is always Teri’s drawer!   Rob and Adam in the garden – their skills are just sublime. We can certainly see a future career on Gardening Question Time.   We are grateful to finance – Lesley, Sue and Claire But when it comes to payday, disturb them if you dare!   Anna’s busy cleaning, she keeps the ‘boss...

What you can expect with SoLO


With a plan in place and needs assessed, the next question is what is there to do?  At SoLO we recognise that one size does not fit all and we offer a menu of activities to suit all preferences ensuring that the right amount of support is in place. Enough to keep the member safe, but not too much to take away their independence.

Key Life Skills

At SoLO it is all about outcomes.  Having a lovely time with friends is great, but how much better is having a lovely time that helps to keep those friends, develop relationships, build confidence, increase self-esteem and provide a platform for learning.  All SoLO services are measured by the added value their provide for the member.


We all need friends and the SoLO activity programme gives an ideal opportunity for its members to make new friends and keep in touch with old ones.  It doesn’t matter what level of disability someone has, everyone has the ability to have a friend and be a friend – we just provide the opportunity to make it happen.


Everyone needs to plan and it is exciting to do so.  At SoLO we help our members plan their future in interactive ways, using person centred planning tools that ensure they lead the process and, why shouldn’t they, it is their future after all!

Discover more about SoLO


SoLO operates a wide range of projects and activities to cater for different age groups and different levels of ability.

Our Services


Several times a year we hold amazing events for our members and to raise funds. Everyone at SoLO gets involved and helps.

Our Events

SoLO Voice

The SoLO Voice board is your voice within SoLO.
The Voice Group helps us to provide the best service for all our members.

Find Out More


Volunteer support saves our charity a staggering £230,000 each year and volunteers contribute over 18,000 hours of support.

More information

SoLO Testimonials

Philip Shelton

“I love being a member of Daylight – it is really good.  I love to help out. Every day we do something different, today we went bowling and I had a great time. I love helping the staff and planning what I do myself.  If I didn’t go to Daylight I don’t know what I would do!”

SoLO Volunteer Russell Williams

“I love being a volunteer for SoLO, it has made me feel so proud of myself and since SoLO accepted me to be a volunteer it has changed my life because I make decisions that help to change people’s lives. Being disabled myself, I enjoy helping other disabled people and enjoy doing all the activities as much as they do. I volunteer on two weekday projects, Night Owl and Waterloo. Sometime I volunteer by helping the fundraising teams on different events. If you are thinking of becoming a SoLO volunteer, it will change your life and the people you support. To SoLO`s members you will become a teacher, role model, protector and friend.”

Sandra Ballard

“When my son, who is severely disabled, returned from college, he was very depressed, because, as a young man, he needed to be independent. SoLO has enabled him to use his individual budget for a Personal Assistant who I am confident is well trained, supported and appropriate. Marcus is so much happier now. He can tailor the support he gets to suit his own individuality and seeing him take control of his life shows me how successful he will be when he eventually decides to leave home.  I cannot speak too highly of SoLO”.

Meet some of the SoLO team

Hello I’m Jan Prior.  My life is both enriched and challenged by having a son with special needs. As Chair I bring my experience and skills to shape and lead SoLO. I am supported by a great team of volunteers and staff who add sparkle to all that SoLO offers to enhance our members’ lives. Jan Prior

Chair of SoLO

My name is Janet Down, I am the CEO of SoLO, have been here for 14 years and wouldn’t want to work anywhere else. It is a privilege to serve the members of SoLO who constantly inspire me. My aim is always to provide them the level of service that they deserve. Janet Down


I am Deb Jones, Manager of Children’s Services at SoLO. I have been in this role since April 2009 and can honestly say it is the most rewarding and enjoyable job I have ever done.
It is also the busiest and most exhausting -there are never enough hours in the day!

Deb Jones

Children’s Services Manager

Hi I am Paula Burnham and I am the Adults Services Manager.  I oversee all of the activities that SoLO provides for the 18+ age group and I also manage the Personal Assistant service.  SoLO is a vibrant and energetic organisation where the staff have nearly as much fun as our members!!!

Paula Burnham

Adults Services Manager

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