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Our Story

A chance meeting between Neil Thorogood and Chris Winter in 1996 led to the formation of Care First with an initial summer break provision at North Birmingham College for adults with learning disabilities.   The Principal, so inspired by the integration within the college campus of adults who learned differently, that she offered an annual contract to provide a full-time provision, on campus, for over 60 students.

The Directors both came with a desire to give adults who learn differently and their carers:

  1. An alternative to the usual options
  2. A desire to help and improve lives
  3. A belief that better outcomes are possible

The provision delivered engaging, practical and easy to learn sessions that helped improve independence and wellbeing through life and social skills.  With student’s greater integration into the community and by providing increased life choices, Care First then opened new sites across the Midlands. 


Following the success of Care First, Skills Tank was then created to deliver carefully designed, person centred, practical and life skills training contracted through Local Authorities and the NHS.   The proven financial benefits of avoiding long term care, hospitalisation and keeping families together are easy to see.  Skills Tank continues to expand it’s day provision across the Midlands as Commissioners recognise these economic and social benefits.

Working with adults with learning difficulties/disabilities, behaviours that challenge, mental health, autism, brain injuries, complex needs and physical disabilities, Skills Tank helps students to enjoy happier, calmer and more fulfilled lives.

Empowering people and improving lives is central to Skills Tank’s mission. It’s not just about our student’s lives but the family’s lives too.  The positive impact of reducing challenging behaviour, greater family interaction and improved health and wellbeing are just some of the benefits derived from the Skills Tank provision.  

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accomplishments, no matter how small

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