RUILS : Pooling Budgets

Pooling Examples

In this section we hope to build a collection of pooling examples which will give you ideas about the sort of things you can do with pooled resources, how others have gone about it and the benefits. We will add to the examples in the future so please let us know if you would like to add something. We hope to show you:

  • What others have done
  • How they have done it
  • What went well / what didn’t

Stepping on out

Stepping on Out is a not for profit organisation run by Adults with Learning Disabilities in Richmond upon Thames. They were one of the first groups to be set up with the help of Ruils during the early days of our pooling work and have gone from strength to strength, now running a successful retail and on line business producing and selling hand - made greetings cards and calendars. Their members tell you their full story here.

 Or you can find out more about Stepping on Out (and order cards) at


Courtyard Cafe

Leeds City Council were awarding grants for enterprising day activities for people with a learning disability as they were closing down a lot of the adult day centres. We were successful in our bid for funds to open a café providing supported work placements. We had to input quite a lot of our own money as we needed premises and the premises needed a full fit out. The bit that was the easiest was getting the local community on board, the café is really popular and we have lots of regulars now – I thought that would be hard, but the hardest part was getting staffing ratios and costings right. The people who used to attend the day centre got a place automatically which is funded by the Council but others who attend mostly use their direct payments to contribute to the running of the project. This covers the support cost as there is quite a high staffing level.

The Outsiders

The Outsiders are a group of people (various ages) with learning disabilities in the North of England who have organised themselves to form a band. The concept was originally invented by Imagineer, a social enterprise company in Leeds who specialise in delivering person centred support, when they worked with young people who had a common interest in music. Read more.. 

Or you can read about their individual stories at or learn more about the bands plans at


Up2us was a 5 year pilot project organised by HACT and the local housing associations who put £60K on the table for six pilots over a two year program of experimentation. Local partnerships were formed, steering groups were established, staff seconded to support the pilots, champions identified, and on-going support from HACT was in place. Nef was commissioned to evaluate the pilots and provide an on-going learning programme, and a national group convened to provide insight, critical review and challenge. You can look at the detailed results in the final report – ‘Buying things together’.

Up2 us Kensington and Chelsea, run by Yarrow Housing, was one of the six pilot projects and aimed to create a social network and program of activities for people with learning disabilities. Claire (who has a learning disability herself) runs the project and is supported by Katie. You can read her account of the project here.

Find out more about UP2US at

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