Participating in the community

Friendships, relationships and being a part of the community they live in are really important to a young person's quality of life. There are many ways to get involved other than being in education or employment.

Assistive technology and help to live at home

Find out more information about assistive technologies if you are the carer for someone with physical health problems. Having the right equipment in place will make your work both easier and safer.

Personal assistants for children/young people with special educational needs and/or disability (SEND)

If you receive Direct Payments, you may be able to employ a personal assistant (PA) to assist your child/young person in day-to-day life.

Find out more about personal assistants and how they can help your child/young person with SEND. Further information on personal assistants can also be found at the Carers Trust website (link opens in new window).

Finding out what is available in your local area

The Central Bedfordshire Family Information Directory (link opens in new window) is a good place to start exploring what is available in your local area.

Your local library (link opens in new window) is also a good source of information about what's going on where you live. There is a section for children and teens (link opens in new window) on The Virtual Library website too. You can also find out what’s on in libraries by following the Bedfordshire Libraries Facebook page (link opens in new window).

You may be able to use a portion of your personal budget or direct payment to receive support which will enable you to engage with your local community.


Volunteering can provide alternative opportunities for you to gain skills, achieve your goals, and develop a better sense of civic duty and responsibility. See our volunteering page for more information and opportunities.

Social media

Social media is a good way to keep in touch with friends and family, especially if you go off to do different things when you leave school. It is important to make sure that you are safe online.

The cyberbullying page from the Anti-bullying Alliance (link opens in new window) contains information on how to protect yourself against online bullying.

Staying safe in the community

People with a learning disability may suffer from hate crime or a type of disability hate crime called 'mate crime'.

Find out what hate crime covers and how to report hate crime.