2 people side by side on a dancefloor enthusiastically dancing and playing air guitar

Our story

While we do not know the exact founding date of Innovate Trust, we do know that our incredible journey began in the early academic year of 1967. Every year, on July 13th, we celebrate our birthday.  On this day in 1974, we established the first supported living home in the UK, forever changing the way Learning Disabled people receive care and support.

In 2017, to mark our 50-year anniversary, thanks to funding from Heritage Lottery Fund, Kieran Vass and Georgia Oliver, with support from colleagues and the people we support, researched documents, filmed stories and established permanent records with local archives and museums to preserve our important history for future generations.

2 people side by side on a dancefloor enthusiastically dancing and playing air guitar

2002 – Innovate Trust is born

We had come a long way from our humble beginnings, and beyond mutual appreciation and a shared history we had very little to do with the universities in Cardiff anymore.

We also operated outside the direct remit of social services, to reflect these changes and avoid future confusion, we changed our name to Innovate Trust.

2002 – Partnership with SVC

In a full circle moment, to recognise the shared working relationship and to further support volunteering in Cardiff, Innovate Trust formed a partnership with Skills and Volunteering Cymru (SVC), formerly known as CSCA to run joint projects and training. 

Innovate Trust employed members of SVC to pool resources and expertise. This partnership formed the largest student-based volunteering project in the UK.

2003 – Park View café

In order to provide training and employment opportunities for individuals with Learning Disabilities, Innovate Trust started a catering division. This was initially funded by the Europe Social Fund, starting with a single café.

The catering division gradually grew to several cafés and a catering unit across Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan until the Covid-19 pandemic hit in 2020.

2005 – First person supported by us on our Board of Management

Brian Thomas becomes the first person supported by Innovate Trust to join the Board of Management as a Trustee. A first step in the right direction as we moved to reach greater representation, with half of our Trustees now being individuals with a Learning Disability. 

2007 to 2015 – Our Expansion

In February of 2007, Innovate Trust secured a contract with Cardiff County Council to manage 21 supported living settings across Cardiff and an Emergency Accommodation and outreach service. In 2015, following a re-tendering process, Innovate Trust expanded our supported living provision to include another area of the capital.

In September of 2007, Innovate Trust secured our supported living services in the Vale of Glamorgan and in 2012 we successfully re-tendered to provide more supported living services in the Vale of Glamorgan.