Our history

An illustration of a man

Our history

In 1990 a guy with a bit of common sense and a lot of determination set up KeyRing.

His name was Carl Poll. He asked people with a learning disability what they wanted from life.

An illustration of a woman

'You can't do that!'

At the time many people were being told that they couldn’t possibly do this or that. And they certainly couldn’t live on their own. When Carl asked these people what they wanted from life, they overwhelmingly said that they wanted their own front door.

They wanted support when they wanted it and the option to say no when they did not. ‘Sounds reasonable’ thought Carl so with some equally forward thinking people in Wandsworth, London, he set up the very first KeyRing Network.

We started by providing support to people with learning disabilities. Then in 2006 we decided that everyone deserved access to KeyRing support. Today, around two thirds of the people we support have a learning disability and we also work with people who have mental health issues, people who experience homelessness, older people, people with addictions and other people. We’re not keen on labels but we know that they help people decide whether we are right for them, so we work with them. The people and the labels.

We continue to change people’s lives and challenge what people can do, as well as what others think they can do.

A photo of a man holding a jar with a label that says 'award winning'

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