About us

Chris Jeffs                      &                    Rhonda Smith

We have worked in the care sector for well over twenty years. We both worked at Princess Marina Hospital, Northampton for many years which provided care specifically for persons with learning disabilities.

Rhonda worked mainly with those with profound learning and physical disabilities. Chris’s experience came from working with those with severe learning and behavioural problems, in time the institutional model of caring was disbanded and community homes were introduced. We both ended up working together for about 10 years in a community home for women with learning disabilities.

It was during this time that we became good friends, after a few years at the community home many changes on how care was managed were proposed and gradually introduced. These changes meant the disbanding of community homes and the transfer of care from the NHS to social services. This in turn meant that much of the care was going to be contracted out to private companies. The care as a result meant that many of our service users that we had looked after in the past were now going to live ‘on their own’ with a single carer.

As time went on our concerns were realised and we both decided that working in this type of system would not be for us. It was during this time when many of the day care/activities for people with disabilities were starting to close down. We saw an opportunity to leave the NHS and start a business from scratch providing care and activities for the service users that we worked with. Whilst still working for the NHS we created a limited company and named it CARE WITH A DIFFERENCE. Since 2008 we have remained a small company, we employ 6 members of staff and we all work as one big family to provide a friendly although professional service, out of the initial business came the idea to set up our own activities.

The idea that stood out the most popular was a dance session, and in 2009 DANCE WITH A DIFFERENCE was created, at first we held one session a week in Northampton, after a while it became more and more popular, this meant that we had to hire different community centre’s around Northampton, we also took our dancing to Kettering which has proved to be very popular. As time went on we realised that people needed to have some where to socialize and meet up with there friends in a comfortable and safe environment and also more choice of activities that were easily accessible. We then decided that instead of renting different community halls, we needed our own premises. So in July 2013 we moved into 1 Spencer Parade Northampton, this has meant that we can offer more activities for people to choose from and an open door for people to meet and socialize with there friends. At present we run lots of different sessions, which you can find listed on our web site, and we hope to create more in the future. Aside from this we run a weekly disco at the plough hotel every Tuesday night.