People leading aspiring lives

About us

Active Prospects is a charitable organisation enabling over 300 people with learning disabilities, physical and mental health needs, and autistic people each year to live full and aspiring lives.

We employ 350 staff across residential, supported living and services that enable employment across the South-East.

  • We are leaders in creating bespoke homes and support to enable people with complex needs to leave institutional settings.
  • We are also specialists in facilitating people-led co-production, and working with partner organisations to address health inequalities.

We’re one of the top 100 social enterprises in the country according to the NatWest SE100 list. We were also awarded 21st Best Charity to Work for in the UK, in the 2021 Best Companies awards, with an outstanding rating. We recently won Best Care Employer in the South East, in the Great British Care Awards.

Our Vision

Our mission is to enable people with learning disabilities, physical and mental health needs and autistic people to live full and aspiring lives.

It’s our vision to become an outstanding organisation delivering significant impact for our people and communities. We do this through creativity, co-production and investment.

Active values in everything we do

The voice of people we support is at the heart of our organisation. We shape our services according to the needs and views of our tenants and people we support.

Aspiring  To see potential in others and ourselves and strive to reach this.

Caring  We care about others, and are considerate and approachable.

Trusting  Act with integrity, be honest and transparent.

Including  We are inclusive, and recognise and celebrate difference and diversity.

Valuing  Value others, and actively promote dignity and respect.

Enabling  We shape our organisation and services together.

Our history

We were founded in 1989 as Prospect Housing Association, managing former NHS Learning Disability services that had been developed in community settings. For the first 25 years, we mainly operated as a care provider in housing association or private rented properties in Surrey. We also had a small number of our own supported living properties transferred from the NHS. In 2005, we became Prospect Housing and Support Services.

We set up the Pro-Active Community in 2015. This is a user-led organisation of people we support. In 2020, the Pro-Active Community became an independent charity registered with the Charity Commission.

Then, in 2016, we became Active Prospects. This name reflected a more proactive approach, with a new strategy and service offer.

In 2020, we opened our first West Sussex service, in Three Bridges near Crawley.

We have transformed our organisation to become Surrey’s leading Transforming Care provider. We have supported nearly 50 people with complex needs to move from long-term hospital settings to their own homes in the community.

We are commissioned primarily by Surrey County Council, but also by West Sussex County Council and several London Boroughs; health trusts; as well as people paying directly for services.

Meet our governing board

We are led by a voluntary Management Board which meets quarterly. They are supported by a number of sub-committees covering quality, audit and risk, business development, people and remuneration.

Our Board takes overall responsibility for how Active Prospects is run. They decide on policies and strategic direction, monitor performance and approve our annual budgets and accounts.

Owen Vallis
Owen Vallis Chair of Active Prospects

Owen Vallis has spent over ten years as a risk management expert in the financial services sector. During that time, Owen has held positions at a number of major financial institutions, including Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan, and is currently UK Head of Fiduciary Risk Management for Credit Suisse. Owen also serves as a Non-executive member of the Audit and Risk Committee for the Children’s Commissioner’s Office.

Dr Dumindu Witharana
Dr Dumindu Witharana

Dumindu qualified as a medical doctor from University of Colombo and completed postgraduate studies at University of Oxford. He trained as a psychiatrist in Oxford and London and has worked across both NHS and independent sector as a psychiatrist for the last 20 years. He is a specialist advisor to the Care Quality Commission and a clinical advisor to the General Pharmaceutical Council. Dumindu has a special interest in patient safety and quality in clinical care. He is a member of the patient safety expert working group at the Royal College of Psychiatrists (UK) and has contributed to number of high impact publications around patient safety in clinical practice. He currently works as a consultant forensic psychiatrist for Cygnet Healthcare.

Andy Cross
Andy Cross

Andy is an experienced Consultant, Facilitator and Executive Team Coach with a track record of working with leaders to achieve the transformational change necessary to deliver growth, high employee engagement and improved customer experience. A successful leader of large, international and matrix teams, across a wide range of sectors including telecommunications, transport and financial services, with experience of world class organisations such as Virgin Atlantic and BT.

Sarah Coomes
Sarah Coomes

Having qualified as a chartered accountant in 2002, Sarah has almost 20 years of experience working in a number of FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 companies, with a track record of delivering during fast-changing and complex corporate situations. More recently, this has included senior leadership roles in investor relations and strategy, providing support and advice to the executive board team.

Peter Frackiewicz
Peter Frackiewicz

Peter has been a Chartered Surveyor for over 35 years working for leading property investment and development companies. Delivering major commercial projects throughout the UK but mainly specialising in London. He has recently retired and holds a few Directorships including Trustee for LHA London Ltd, who provide affordable accommodation for young people and Land Securities Pensions Trustee Ltd, where he was chair for 8 years.

Ian Lewis
Ian Lewis

Ian qualified as a social worker in 1988. He has worked across a number of London authorities, mainly in the fields of looked after children, fostering and adoption. He spent a number of years working as a senior leader in Children’s Social Care. For the past year, Ian has been working as an independent social work consultant. He has a part time role as National Children’s Services Adviser for Child Mental Health, working in NHS England.

Mike Clinton
Mike Clinton

With over 30 years in social care, Mike is an independent Social Worker, offering market management support to NHS and local authority commissioners. He is a former director of the Surrey based charity SeeAbility.

Lisa Morris
Lisa Morris

Lisa is an experienced communication and marketing professional and has worked in the housing sector for over 20 years. She is experienced in digital, branding and crisis communications. Lisa is currently Director of Communications at Optivo and serves as a Non-Executive Board Member for Mount Green Housing Association and Chair of the National Housing Federation London Communications Network.

Raj Thakrar
Raj Thakrar

Raj has over 30 years of experience in IT across a variety of industries, both public and private. Currently working as a Senior advisor to growth stage start-ups scaling internationally into the UK & Europe, providing product development advice and project management expertise. Raj spent the last 15 years as Head of IT for global organisations, working in the US, Africa & UAE. He has a successful track record in delivering strategy, companywide transformation and global projects.

Amanda Clements
Amanda Clements

Amanda has a professional background in Education and Training. She has worked in a variety of educational and professional settings including; Adult, Community, Further, and Higher Education. She specialises in working with marginalised and under-represented learners and currently works in the charity/not-for-profit sectors providing advice, consultancy, and mentoring. Since 2018 she has worked closely with Initiatives of Change UK, supporting the Refugees as Rebuilders Faculty in designing and developing an innovative and progressive curriculum for settled refugees. She also co-ordinates IofC’s Womens’ Empowerment Network and is a Trustee for CoDa; a dance company providing tuition and choreography to people with neuro-disabilities.

Janet Griffiths
Janet Griffiths

Janet qualified as a solicitor in 1989 working in the City of London, specialising in commercial real estate and general commercial law. Janet is now an experienced Trustee working in the voluntary sector. She was a Trustee and Chair of an early years family support charity in East Surrey for 6 years. Currently, Janet is a Trustee with Tandridge Voluntary Action supporting the voluntary, community and faith sector in East Surrey.

Owen Vallis
Owen Vallis Chair of Active Prospects

Owen Vallis has spent over ten years as a risk management expert in the financial services sector. During that time, Owen has held positions at a number of major financial institutions, including Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan, and is currently UK Head of Fiduciary Risk Management for Credit Suisse. Owen also serves as a Non-executive member of the Audit and Risk Committee for the Children’s Commissioner’s Office.

Dr Dumindu Witharana
Dr Dumindu Witharana

Dumindu qualified as a medical doctor from University of Colombo and completed postgraduate studies at University of Oxford. He trained as a psychiatrist in Oxford and London and has worked across both NHS and independent sector as a psychiatrist for the last 20 years. He is a specialist advisor to the Care Quality Commission and a clinical advisor to the General Pharmaceutical Council. Dumindu has a special interest in patient safety and quality in clinical care. He is a member of the patient safety expert working group at the Royal College of Psychiatrists (UK) and has contributed to number of high impact publications around patient safety in clinical practice. He currently works as a consultant forensic psychiatrist for Cygnet Healthcare.

Andy Cross
Andy Cross

Andy is an experienced Consultant, Facilitator and Executive Team Coach with a track record of working with leaders to achieve the transformational change necessary to deliver growth, high employee engagement and improved customer experience. A successful leader of large, international and matrix teams, across a wide range of sectors including telecommunications, transport and financial services, with experience of world class organisations such as Virgin Atlantic and BT.

Sarah Coomes
Sarah Coomes

Having qualified as a chartered accountant in 2002, Sarah has almost 20 years of experience working in a number of FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 companies, with a track record of delivering during fast-changing and complex corporate situations. More recently, this has included senior leadership roles in investor relations and strategy, providing support and advice to the executive board team.

Peter Frackiewicz
Peter Frackiewicz

Peter has been a Chartered Surveyor for over 35 years working for leading property investment and development companies. Delivering major commercial projects throughout the UK but mainly specialising in London. He has recently retired and holds a few Directorships including Trustee for LHA London Ltd, who provide affordable accommodation for young people and Land Securities Pensions Trustee Ltd, where he was chair for 8 years.

Ian Lewis
Ian Lewis

Ian qualified as a social worker in 1988. He has worked across a number of London authorities, mainly in the fields of looked after children, fostering and adoption. He spent a number of years working as a senior leader in Children’s Social Care. For the past year, Ian has been working as an independent social work consultant. He has a part time role as National Children’s Services Adviser for Child Mental Health, working in NHS England.

Mike Clinton
Mike Clinton

With over 30 years in social care, Mike is an independent Social Worker, offering market management support to NHS and local authority commissioners. He is a former director of the Surrey based charity SeeAbility.

Lisa Morris
Lisa Morris

Lisa is an experienced communication and marketing professional and has worked in the housing sector for over 20 years. She is experienced in digital, branding and crisis communications. Lisa is currently Director of Communications at Optivo and serves as a Non-Executive Board Member for Mount Green Housing Association and Chair of the National Housing Federation London Communications Network.

Raj Thakrar
Raj Thakrar

Raj has over 30 years of experience in IT across a variety of industries, both public and private. Currently working as a Senior advisor to growth stage start-ups scaling internationally into the UK & Europe, providing product development advice and project management expertise. Raj spent the last 15 years as Head of IT for global organisations, working in the US, Africa & UAE. He has a successful track record in delivering strategy, companywide transformation and global projects.

Amanda Clements
Amanda Clements

Amanda has a professional background in Education and Training. She has worked in a variety of educational and professional settings including; Adult, Community, Further, and Higher Education. She specialises in working with marginalised and under-represented learners and currently works in the charity/not-for-profit sectors providing advice, consultancy, and mentoring. Since 2018 she has worked closely with Initiatives of Change UK, supporting the Refugees as Rebuilders Faculty in designing and developing an innovative and progressive curriculum for settled refugees. She also co-ordinates IofC’s Womens’ Empowerment Network and is a Trustee for CoDa; a dance company providing tuition and choreography to people with neuro-disabilities.

Janet Griffiths
Janet Griffiths

Janet qualified as a solicitor in 1989 working in the City of London, specialising in commercial real estate and general commercial law. Janet is now an experienced Trustee working in the voluntary sector. She was a Trustee and Chair of an early years family support charity in East Surrey for 6 years. Currently, Janet is a Trustee with Tandridge Voluntary Action supporting the voluntary, community and faith sector in East Surrey.


Meet our senior team

Maria Mills

Chief Executive

Maria Mills

Joined as the CEO in October 2015. She has an extensive background in the social care and health sectors, having worked in senior positions for a number of national charities and social enterprises, as well more local organisations. She brings with her a deep commitment to enabling people we support to shape their organisations, developing partnerships to provide integrated approaches to meeting needs and looks to create a deeper impact for our people and communities.

Jade Vallance

Director of Care

Jade Vallance

Jade has worked for a number of charities and large national organisations providing support to people with learning disabilities and mental health needs. Joined Active Prospects in 2013 as the Service Manager for Domiciliary Care and in October 2015 became Head of Care, then Director of Care in 2017. Over 20 years’ experience in direct management in care and support and specialises in challenging needs and autism. Qualified in 2004 as a registered care manager undertaking RMA and Level 4 Diploma In Care and in 2009 qualified as a conflict manager and resolution teacher.

Joel Hartfield

Director of Business Development

Joel Hartfield

Joel has a keen focus on building new partnerships to provide greater opportunities for the people who Active Prospects support. Joel joined Active Prospects in September 2019. He started his career in a frontline role at a homelessness charity in London, before spending nine years in a variety of senior commissioning, policy and partnership roles in local authorities. In 2014, Joel moved back into the not-for-profit sector as the lead for Business Development and Communications at a social care and health provider.

Kaushika Patel

Director of People & Recruitment

Kaushika Patel

Kaushika is passionate about the people we support and has a focus to increase our engagement, enabling people to reach their potential. Kaushika joined Active Prospects in June 2019 with extensive operational and strategic experience in HR across many sectors, including social care and the health care sector. She is a commercially focused Senior HR professional who is skilled in employee relations, employment law and delivery of strategic HR projects. Kaushika is known for her integrity, compassion and strong work ethic with an ability to deliver. She is an experienced people manager, who strives to embrace Active Prospects’ values within herself and others.

Ian Temple

Finance Director

Ian Temple

Ian has worked across a number of business sectors over the last 25 years and has a wide range of experience. Ian joined Active Prospects in January 2020 as a Finance Planning Manager and was promoted to Finance Director in April 2020. He has previously held FD and Senior Head of Finance Roles in a number of Blue Chip organisations focussing on both Commercial and Business Improvement as well as operational performance.

Chris George

Director of Property

Chris George

He has nearly 30 years’ experience of managing housing repair and maintenance services, providing strategic asset management and delivering improvement programmes. Chris Joined Active Prospects in June 2021. He has worked in a variety of housing organisations, starting out as a maintenance surveyor and, in his previous role, working as a Group Asset Director. He is a Chartered Builder and has a wealth of knowledge on construction. Chris is committed to delivering customer focused services and also has a keen interest in the environment and is keen to make all our homes as sustainable and environmentally friendly as possible.

Maria Mills

Chief Executive

Maria Mills

Joined as the CEO in October 2015. She has an extensive background in the social care and health sectors, having worked in senior positions for a number of national charities and social enterprises, as well more local organisations. She brings with her a deep commitment to enabling people we support to shape their organisations, developing partnerships to provide integrated approaches to meeting needs and looks to create a deeper impact for our people and communities.

Jade Vallance

Director of Care

Jade Vallance

Jade has worked for a number of charities and large national organisations providing support to people with learning disabilities and mental health needs. Joined Active Prospects in 2013 as the Service Manager for Domiciliary Care and in October 2015 became Head of Care, then Director of Care in 2017. Over 20 years’ experience in direct management in care and support and specialises in challenging needs and autism. Qualified in 2004 as a registered care manager undertaking RMA and Level 4 Diploma In Care and in 2009 qualified as a conflict manager and resolution teacher.

Joel Hartfield

Director of Business Development

Joel Hartfield

Joel has a keen focus on building new partnerships to provide greater opportunities for the people who Active Prospects support. Joel joined Active Prospects in September 2019. He started his career in a frontline role at a homelessness charity in London, before spending nine years in a variety of senior commissioning, policy and partnership roles in local authorities. In 2014, Joel moved back into the not-for-profit sector as the lead for Business Development and Communications at a social care and health provider.

Kaushika Patel

Director of People & Recruitment

Kaushika Patel

Kaushika is passionate about the people we support and has a focus to increase our engagement, enabling people to reach their potential. Kaushika joined Active Prospects in June 2019 with extensive operational and strategic experience in HR across many sectors, including social care and the health care sector. She is a commercially focused Senior HR professional who is skilled in employee relations, employment law and delivery of strategic HR projects. Kaushika is known for her integrity, compassion and strong work ethic with an ability to deliver. She is an experienced people manager, who strives to embrace Active Prospects’ values within herself and others.

Ian Temple

Finance Director

Ian Temple

Ian has worked across a number of business sectors over the last 25 years and has a wide range of experience. Ian joined Active Prospects in January 2020 as a Finance Planning Manager and was promoted to Finance Director in April 2020. He has previously held FD and Senior Head of Finance Roles in a number of Blue Chip organisations focussing on both Commercial and Business Improvement as well as operational performance.

Chris George

Director of Property

Chris George

He has nearly 30 years’ experience of managing housing repair and maintenance services, providing strategic asset management and delivering improvement programmes. Chris Joined Active Prospects in June 2021. He has worked in a variety of housing organisations, starting out as a maintenance surveyor and, in his previous role, working as a Group Asset Director. He is a Chartered Builder and has a wealth of knowledge on construction. Chris is committed to delivering customer focused services and also has a keen interest in the environment and is keen to make all our homes as sustainable and environmentally friendly as possible.

Equity, diversity and inclusion

At Active Prospects, we know that by providing equal opportunities, valuing diversity and promoting a culture of inclusion, we can contribute to a fairer, more equitable society.

Our Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) Strategy 2020-23 sets out our vision for embedding equity, diversity and inclusion in all our approaches, behaviours and processes to ensure the wellbeing of our people, the people we support, their families and carers, ensuring that everyone has access to the services they need, while treating people with respect, dignity and fairness.

The strategy sets out the actions we need to take to deliver our vision. Some of the actions we have already taken include:

  • We have become a Disability Confident Leader. This is a government scheme which encourages employers to: challenge attitudes towards disability; increase understanding of disability; and ensure that disabled people have the opportunities to fulfil their potential and realise their aspirations.
  • We now publish an annual diversity pay gap report – above and beyond our legal duty.
  • EDI training is now mandatory for all staff and trustees
  • 5 of our managers have enrolled on the Move On Up Programme run by Skills for Care specifically for care staff from ethnic minority communities.

 

Annual impact reports and other downloads

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy

This strategy is our promise to tackle inequalities and promote equity, diversity and inclusion and human rights.

Strategic Plan 2021-2023

This strategy highlights our plans for the next three years and our key developments, targets and goals.

Diversity Pay Gap Report 2020

Our Diversity Pay Gap Report includes published ethnicity pay gap info and annual gender pay gap report.

Innovation

Active Living – activities for all abilities
Active Living – activities for all abilities

Active Living is the Active Prospects events and activities program for the people we support.  In the last

Assistive technology is bringing the world to people at home
Assistive technology is bringing the world to people at home

People we support have the world at their fingertips thanks to our investment in cutting edge assistive technology.

Active Prospects to lead new initiative to tackle obesity
Active Prospects to lead new initiative to tackle obesity

Active Prospects has been awarded funding by Surrey County Council to lead a healthcare programme to tackle obesity

Support our work

There are many ways you can support our work by donating or raising funds for Active Prospects. By donating, you’ll be helping us to continue to keep some of the most vulnerable people in society safe and well.

Our stories

See our latest news and stories.

Expert by Experience Coordinator recruited by Active Prospects
Expert by Experience Coordinator recruited by Active Prospects

Active Prospects have recently recruited an Expert by Experience Coordinator. The purpose of this role will be to

Poetry competition incites positivity
Poetry competition incites positivity

Active Prospects activity program – Active Living – ran a poetry competition for staff and people we support

Active Prospects wins national Great British Care Award
Active Prospects wins national Great British Care Award

Active Prospects has won a national award at the Great British Care Awards, presented by TV star Kate

Top of the Leaders board
Top of the Leaders board

Matt Leadbeater, a person we support, has been named on this year’s Dimensions Learning Disability and Autism Leaders List.

Our view on the adult social care reform white paper
Our view on the adult social care reform white paper

The Government yesterday published its long-awaited White Paper for social care. Maria Mills, our CEO, shares her views:

Three wins at major awards in just a week
Three wins at major awards in just a week

Active Prospects capped off an amazing week by winning both the Care Employer Award and the Workforce Development

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Tell us what you think!

We will listen to your views and opinions and make sure they are used to enhance and improve services.