Devon Link-Up

Devon Link Up was established in 1991 with the aim of giving people with learning disabilities and autism a voice and choice about their lives. For over 30 years, the charity has been providing a wide range of activities and opportunities with the core focus being on listening and responding to the voice of the people who access the charity. We are user-led and as such, our members work alongside the Trustees and form part of the Board. Devon Link-Up is a positive, proactive charity with a focus on delivery.

In addition to the Heathfield Farm project, some of the current work undertaken by the charity include…

Speaking Up Groups

Devon Link Up supports three speaking up groups in Exmouth, Ottery St Mary and online via a WhatsApp group. The Whatsapp group meet weekly with the Exmouth and Ottery groups meeting monthly. The groups discuss current issues and also assist professionals who wish to understand the views of people with learning disabilities. For example, the groups have discussed access to dental services as well as health care plans and how these can be improved.


Devon Link Up provides an independent advocacy service and offers high quality support for parents with learning disabilities who are involved in Court proceedings or who are working with children’s social care services. The Advocacy work is funded through the Court service or by the Local Authority on a spot contract basis.


Devon Link Up supports the work of the Torbay Learning Disability Partnership Board Ambassadors. The Ambassadors work to give people in Torbay a voice about the things that are important and to help improve services across the area. They meet weekly to address issues and to raise awareness of people’s needs. The Partnership Board meets four times a year and is supported by a wide variety of organisations including Torbay Council and Devon and Cornwall Police. The Ambassadors also work with the Torbay Hospital ‘Treat Me Well’ Board which aims to improve services within the hospital for people with learning disabilities.


Devon Link Up regularly provides training for services. Over the last year the team have trained over 100 Health professionals about the need for Reasonable Adjustments and Torbay Council staff attended training about the importance of Easy Read and accessible information.

The Be Kind Card

The Be Kind Card and scheme were created after the covid pandemic with the aim of encouraging communities to treat everyone with kindness, particularly when someone may feel vulnerable. The card is supported by Devon and Cornwall Police and is linked with the Zero Tolerance to Hate Crime pledge. On the back of the card is a blank space where important information can be written along with an emergency contact number as needed. The scheme is being promoted across Devon and Cornwall.

Easy Read information

In the UK, over 16% of people struggle to manage day to day communication and the Government have, under the Equality Act, stipulated the need for Reasonable Adjustments to be made in order that people receive information in formats suited to their needs. Devon Link Up can produce accessible information in easy read and this is an additional service for which we charge an hourly rate. Devon Link Up has links with over 40 organisations around Devon and Torbay and endeavours to promote awareness of the needs, wants, wishes and aspirations of people with learning disabilities and Autism.


From 1st April 2024, Devon Link-Up will be taking on The Torbay Family Carers contract. They will be offering support and information for Carers of adults with learning disabilities.

In addition to the service’s listed above, Devon Link Up undertakes a range of unique activities which focus on particular areas of need. In 2019 A Hidden Crime Awareness project with Devon and Cornwall Police, delivered focused training about Hidden Crimes to 300 frontline staff working with vulnerable adults. Devon Link Up, alongside Devon and Cornwall Police were nominated for a national Howard League for Penal Reform Award. Devon Link Up continue to work with the police.

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