Supported Loving

The importance of good support in making and maintaining relationships

Supported Loving is a national campaign led by Dr Claire Bates at Choice Support. Claire’s PhD focused on relationships for people with learning disabilities; its central finding was that participants’ relationships with a loving partner were the most important aspect of their lives. However, the research demonstrated that without good support from staff many relationships would not have developed or progressed.

In 2016 just 3% of people with a learning disability live with a partner. 

The aim of the Supported Loving campaign is to highlight the importance of good support in making and maintaining relationships for people who use services. Supported Loving wants to accomplish this by obtaining direct feedback from the experts: people with learning disabilities who receive support around relationships. 

We want people with learning disabilities to tell us:

  • What good support people have received that has helped people to find or have a relationship 
  • What poor support have people received that has made it difficult to find or have a relationship

People can either send us a photo and their story, or record themselves on camera, telling the campaign what makes good or poor support. 

We also want to share good practice, hearing what support providers are doing in this important area – contact Claire by email and she will be happy to share your good practice as part of the campaign.  

We will also be hosting a monthly blog with a wide range of contributors from a diverse range of organisations, all focusing on the topic of support for people with learning disabilities in relationships. 

Read our blog here.

We would greatly appreciate any organisation or individual who would like to contribute to this, writing from their own perspective on the theme of support within relationships. 

Join in and share your stories, email Claire at:

You can read more about Claire’s research here: