Our story

Livability is the sum of the merger of three long-standing charities: The Shaftesbury Society and John Grooms in 2007, and Prospects in 2016.

This heritage means that Livability is building on a nearly 180-year track record of ground-breaking care and community work. We remain, like our founders, committed to enabling people with disabilities to live the life they want to lead. 

Our heritage

Our charity’s forefathers, John Grooms and Lord Shaftesbury, pioneered social change in their day. Livability is inspired by these stories and strives to deliver impactful and relevant services that meet the needs of society today.

We are proud of a heritage in which:  

  • We pioneered free school education and sheltered workshops, which were among the first of their kind in the 1800s
  • The charity broke new ground by taking young people with disabilities out of hospital wards and into schools
  • We supported people with disabilities in our schools and colleges, improving vocational opportunities for many
  • The charity now works with one in every three local authorities, helping them meet the challenges of a changing social care sector
  • We’ve been at the forefront of raising awareness for disability and mental health issues within the UK church and developed a rich portfolio of community engagement training, used by churches across the country
  • We are motivated by a dynamic and inclusive Christian ethos, with a clear commitment to disability care and social inclusion

Leading the way 

Backed by our rich, inspiring history and experience, we continue to lead with our vision to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities and create a life that adds up for them.

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