Dimensions UK

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Dimensions UK
TypeCharitable registered society and housing association
PurposeSupporting people with learning disabilities, autism, behaviours of distress and complex needs
HeadquartersTheale, United Kingdom
United Kingdom
Rachael Dodgson

Dimensions UK is a British not-for-profit charitable registered society and housing association that supports people with learning disabilities, autism and complex needs.[1]

Founded in 1976, Dimensions' work includes supporting people with learning disabilities out of institutions and supporting them to lead fulfilling lives in their local communities through supported living and housing services.[2][1]

The Dimensions group also includes Discovery, a partnership with Somerset County Council.


Dimensions was founded in 1976 with a single telephone in a rented office.[3] Its aims and areas of focus then remain largely the same today.[3]

It now has around 7,000 staff across the UK and supports an estimated 3,500 people in England and Wales as of 2018.[4]

Following research with the University of Kent's Tizard Centre,[5] Dimensions introduced a new model of supporting people with learning disabilities and autism in 2015, known as Activate.[6][7]

In July 2018 Dimensions launched the Learning Disability and Autism Leaders' List in association with The Guardian which honours achievements by people with learning disabilities.[8]

Other areas of the Dimensions group[edit]

Waymarks, a charity that helps people with learning disabilities or autism who have forensic histories or risky behaviours to change their lives, was created in 2009 and fully merged into Dimensions Group in 2019.[9]

In 2017 Discovery was launched in partnership with Somerset County Council to provide support for adults with learning disabilities in the region.[10] Around 900 adults are currently supported in this capacity.[11]

Areas of Focus[edit]

Dimensions provides a range of disability services and campaigns on a variety of issues with an aim to create better lives for all people with learning disabilities and autism.[3] Key services include supporting people out of assessment and treatment units (ATUs) and social care and into supported living environments.

In addition, Dimensions runs a number of small residential care homes across the UK and has around 1,000 tenants nationally.[12][13][4] The group is registered by CQC in England [14] It is regulated by the Care Inspectorate in Wales.[15]

Dimensions uses person-centred thinking and positive behaviour support to help people with learning disabilities live full lives in their community and find supported employment. It operates the largest positive behaviour support team in the UK.[16]

The group has published several independent guides for families of people with learning disabilities including guides on transition, unexpected deaths in care, moving out of assessment and treatment units and communication.[17]

Dimensions works with local authorities to help them meet their statutory duties under the care act [18]

Recent Campaigns[edit]

Dimensions' recent campaigns include working with leading cinema chains such as ODEON, Cineworld, Vue, Showcase and Picturehouse to provide cinema screenings designed for autistic children and their families in more than 300 cinemas across the UK, branded as 'autism-friendly cinema screenings'.[1] These are showings of children's films which feature lower volume and lighting than usual and allow audience members to move around freely during the film.[1][19]

The organisation launched the 'Love your Vote' campaign for the 2015 general election[20][21]

The #I'mWithSam campaign against hate crimes suffered by people with learning disabilities was launched in 2016 using 'Sam', a fictional character, to represent testimonies of abuse from people Dimensions work with.[22][23] Since launching the campaign Dimensions has worked with the Crown Prosecution Service, police force, Law Commission and PSHE Association to update the criminal justice system, police training and school teaching.[24]

The #MyGPandMe campaign aims to make GP practices more accessible for people with autism and learning disabilities and train GP surgery staff on making adjustments for people with learning disabilities.[25]

Dimensions has also produced 'autism-friendly' resources and training for libraries (as with the cinema screenings, these changes are aimed at autistic children and their families).[19] As part of the campaign Dimensions have also created resources for libraries, schools and children with autism to use to simplify the process of using libraries.[19]


  1. ^ a b c d Dimensions Overview SNAPCharity.org. 17 September 2018. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  2. ^ Letting Go - Information and Support BBC. 13 March 2012. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  3. ^ a b c What we do Dimensions UK. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  4. ^ a b Listening and Learning: A summary of our stakeholder feedback in 2017/2018 Dimensions UK. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  5. ^ Reducing challenging behaviour of adults with intellectual disabilities in supported accommodation: A cluster randomized controlled trial of setting-wide positive behaviour support ScienceDirect.com. 20 April 2018. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  6. ^ Dimensions Activate - our new support model Dimensions UK. 12 November 2015. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  7. ^ New model of support for people with learning disabilities reduces behaviours that challenge by 60%, trials find LearningDisabilityToday.co.uk. 29 January 2016. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  8. ^ Learning Disability and Autism Leaders' List 2018 Livability.org.uk. 31 October 2018. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  9. ^ Charity Details: Waymarks Limited Charity Commission. 31 March 2018. Retrieved 1 March 2019.
  10. ^ Discovery support across Somerset Dimensions UK. Retrieved 1 March 2019.
  11. ^ Discovery (Dimensions Somerset SEV) SocialEnterpriseMark.org.uk. Retrieved 1 March 2019.
  12. ^ Residential care homes and supported living Dimensions UK. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  13. ^ Dimensions (UK) Ltd Care Homes CareHome.co.uk. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  14. ^ Provider: Dimensions (UK) Limited Care Quality Commission. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  15. ^ Provider: Dimensions (UK) Ltd Care Inspectorate Wales. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  16. ^ About Dimensions - who we are Dimensions UK. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  17. ^ Information and advice about learning disability and autism Dimensions UK. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  18. ^ Towards personalisation in social care rather than a one-size-fits-all approach The Guardian. 1 May 2012. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  19. ^ a b c No silence please - campaigners launch network of autism-friendly libraries The Guardian. 10 June 2016. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  20. ^ A century after women got the vote, many people are still disenfranchised The Guardian. 6 February 2018. Retrieved 1 March 2019.
  21. ^ Adults with Learning Disabilities (ALD) programme: EMPOWER! UK Parliament. Retrieved 1 March 2019.
  22. ^ I'm with Sam DignityInCare.org.uk. 5 May 2017. Retrieved 1 March 2019.
  23. ^ #ImWithSam - experiences of hate crime Dimensions UK. 10 October 2016. Retrieved 1 March 2019.
  24. ^ First year timeline Dimensions UK. Retrieved 1 March 2019.
  25. ^ My GP and me - people with learning difficulties and autism's health inequalities Enable Magazine. 30 July 2018. Retrieved 1 March 2019.

External links[edit]