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History and Merger


History and Merger

Our Purpose

PentaHact provides an improving quality of life to people with learning disabilities and/or mental health problems through person centred services. Needs of service users will be fully met through the application of a diverse range of skills and resources.

Why have we merged?

To protect and enhance the quality of life for existing service users.

To enable an accelerated, prioritised programme of new services for people with learning disabilities, including autism; those with challenging behaviours and those with mental health problems.

To provide a more robust, professional infrastructure, exploiting economies of scale.

To improve the financial resilience of both organisations and the value for money provided by them in the medium and longer term.

To share resources, ideas and expertise to the benefit of service users and staff.

To develop a 'Centre of Excellence' mentality in core service areas such as autism, challenging behaviours, person-centred planning and mental health.

What do we have to offer?

The merger of Penta and HACT brings together a total of over 30 years of experience in delivering high quality care and support services to people across the learning disabilities spectrum and to people with mental health problems. Separately, each organisation has achieved an unrivalled reputation for providing services based on the needs of the individual.

We have developed innovative solutions to the changing and developing needs of people. Strong leadership and management, supported by a robust organisational infrastructure underpin a person-centred approach.

Over the next 12 months we aim to consolidate the new organisation whilst progressively developing new services to meet the changing needs of existing and future service users.

Where have we come from?

Penta Housing Ltd. was formed in 1989 as an independent voluntary agency. The name 'Penta' reflected the five community stakeholders that came together to provide ordinary affordable housing with appropriate support to adults with learning disabilities initially in Barnet.

The Hertfordshire Autistic Community Trust was established in 1980 as a registered charity by a group of parents of children with autism concerned about their post school future. The initial purpose of the Trust was to provide education, social training and care for people with autism. In January 1981, The Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Day Centre opened, initially taking three students.

A message from Simon Wilson - Chair of Pentahact and ex Chair of Penta

"For over ten years Penta has provided excellent services for people with learning disabilities and mental health problems. The merger with HACT provides an opportunity to build on that experience. We are looking to share experience and expertise, and learn from each other. Working together to make the merger happen, people from Penta and HACT have got to know each other. As others throughout the new organisation do the same, I believe that we can work together to make the new organisation even better than HACT and Penta were separately. In PentaHact service users will, as always, come first. Our job is to support them so they can live the fullest possible lives. To do this we rely on the support of funders and the dedication and skill of the staff we employ. With that backing, I am sure that the services we provide will continue to grow in number and quality in the years to come."

A word from Bert Bertoloni - Deputy Chair of PentaHact and formally Chairman of HACT

"After twenty years as an autonomous and successful charity this is, for ex-HACT people, both an exciting and at the same time formidable step. The benefits to service users, to staff and, through sustainable growth, to funding agencies are pretty clear. We have to be prepared to see through the commitments we have given, embodied in those benefits, and make PentaHact perform in a way that outstrips both Penta and HACT's track records. That is a challenging prospect but our current and future service users deserve no less. I look very much forward to working within the new team, as I'm sure do my other colleagues from the HACT board. First we must settle down the new organisation and ensure we have the right structures in place, with appropriate terms, conditions and support for staff. We can then address opportunities for sustainable expansion so as to further strengthen our position in what is undoubtedly a crowded market place. However, perhaps the most important challenge for all of us, staff and non-executives alike, is to rapidly form a mindset that focuses on PentaHact and not on our particular previous allegiances. That should prove fun!"

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