Symbol’s services are provided by 3 different organisations that collaborate closely together:
- Symbol UK Limited (Company registration number: 03557960)
- Symbol Family Support Services Limited (Company registration number: 04408770)
- The Symbol Trust (Registered charity number: 1097042)
Symbol UK was established as a limited company in 1998, to provide Speech and Language Therapy services to children and adults with Special Needs. Initially Symbol was created to offer a sustainable alternative to Statutory Sector Providers (NHS etc.), where they experienced difficulties in delivering services in the light of problems with the recruitment and retention of appropriately skilled staff, or in finding solutions to various challenges they faced. This provision has steadily grown and continued since 1998 to evolve to support new services and ways of working in line with the changing times. Throughout it's existence, Symbol UK has operated a strong ethos of operating on a 'not for profit' basis.
Symbol Family Support Services (often referred to as Symbol FSS) was established in 2000, initially to develop a specialist Family Assessment service. It is commissioned by the Family Courts and Local Authorities and brings together a group of specialist practitioners (a Consultant Senior Psychologist, Senior Social Workers, specialist Speech and Language Therapists, a Consultant Occupational Therapist, a Behavioural Specialist, a Research Psychologist and a specialist Health Visitor) plus a highly trained team of support workers. The service exists to provide specialist assessment and support services to clients with special needs and/or vulnerabilities. Symbol FSS has significantly extended its remit in recent years to include Short Breaks provision (since 2011), Day Opportunities provision (since 2014) and Supported Living services (since 2015) all for people with learning disabilities.
The Symbol Trust was established as a charity in 2001 to raise money for vital activities that were unlikely to be funded by statutory commissioners and to be the home for some of Symbol's operations. The shop (Hop, Stich & Jumper) and The Hopshed Theatre Company activities along with much of the property portfolio sit within the charity.
Together this 'group' of Symbol organisations exist to:
- Work with people with learning disabilities and autism with the purpose of releasing potential and enabling them to live truly fulfilling lives by providing inspired and individually designed support.
- Pioneer and share ‘leading edge’ practice that drives up standards and opportunities for people with learning disabilities across the UK.