There are many ways to get involved other than being in education or employment and there is support to help along the way.
The feeling of being part of the community and not just part of your family is an important step in preparing for adulthood.
It can give a sense of being included and lead to the confidence to take part in the opportunities in front of us as well as making new friends and keep old friendships going.
Sections in this guide (click title to view)
1. Arts and culture
We are very lucky in Lambeth as we have a wide variety of museums, theatres, art galleries and many more opportunities to enjoy the arts and culture.
Giving us the opportunity to stretch our minds, and senses or just to relax and enjoy our surroundings.
Many of these local organisations provide special events or special support so that they are accessible to all, such as signed performances or autism friendly environments.
Visit the Family Information Directory to find local art and culture opportunities.
2. Staying safe
For many of us, it can be a real problem if we do not feel safe and comfortable when we are trying to do something.
This is the same when we are trying to get out into the community, we need to feel safe and supported, and this could include simple things like:
- plan where you would like go and how you are going to get there
- take a mobile phone if you have one, and the phone number of someone you trust
- take some money in case you need to make a phone call from a public phone
- take only the money you expect to need, keep some in your wallet or purse and some in your pocket
- if you have one, take a personal attack alarm
- are your personal belongings, like your phone, wallet or purse kept in a safe place on you, like your bag or pocket
- if possible, have you told someone you trust where you are going and when you expect to be back
- if you can, go out with a friend or someone you know
The Home Office has produced a booklet about things to think about to stay safe, both at home and when you go out.
Volunteering is a great way to develop your work skills and work experience whilst having fun. It is also a great way to use your talents, build up your confidence and can lead to new friendships.
Volunteering is for everyone and Volunteer Centre Lambeth can help you find opportunities.
Get active and get involved.
Taking part in a sporting activity can lead to many benefits beyond just keeping fit and healthy, the sense of achievement of learning something new, the chance to make new friends, maybe getting over the barrier of going somewhere new and even the possibility of making the team and playing competitively in your chosen sport.
To find local sport opportunities visit the following websites:
5. Social media
Computers, mobile phones and tablets are a great way to keep in touch with your friends, finding and making new friends and to share things at the touch of a button.
You can also use them to find information and to help with homework. But they can also make it easier for bullies and other people who might want to hurt you to get close to you. So it is really important that you know how to stay safe on your computer, phone and websites.
There is also an easy read guide to Staying Safe on Social Media and Online from the Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities.
6. Have a voice
Do you feel that you would like to change your community, do you feel passionate about something, would you like to help others, do you know how to get your voice heard?
It is important that everyone has the opportunity to have their say and that people listen to you, especially when this directly affects you.
So if you are happy to have people ask what you think, feel happy to talk about your ideas and have people listen to you - how do you get your voice heard.
There are several organisations that you can join, with the added bonus of being with like-minded young people, or you can take part in consultations about the things you feel are important.
- Lambeth Youth Council
- Young Lambeth Co-op
- UK Youth Parliament - opportunity for 11 to 18 year olds to stand for election as a MYP (Member of Youth Parliament)
- Student councils and student unions, ask at your sixth form or college about opportunities to have a voice in your school or college
Remember if you are 18 years old or over you have the right to vote in local and general elections, but before you can do this you must have registered to be on the electoral register.
There is also an easy read guide to voting in England.