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Livewell Southend / SEND Local Offer

I am a young person

Welcome to the Southend SEND Local Offer section for young people. We hope you are able to find quick and easy information to support you. 

To find information you can:

  • read the answers to the questions by clicking on them below
  • click on the search icon and enter keywords at the top of the page
  • click on the following topics:

Preparing for adulthood

Events and activities (things to do)


Money, housing and legal information

Health and wellbeing

Social Care

Respite and Short Breaks

If you are over 18, you may also find the Adults section of the Livewell Directory helpful. 

If there is information you need but can't find it, or if you need information in a different format:

What things do I need to think about as I become an adult?

The Local Offer is here to help you prepare for adulthood.

We even have a team, the SEND Preparing for Adulthood Team. The team supports those in Year 9 who have an Education, Health and Care Plan (or EHCP for short), and those who are likely to find moving on from school difficult. 

There are 4 key things you need to think about and start planning for as you move into adulthood. These are sometimes called `preparing for adulthood outcomes':

  • higher education and employment, including self-employment if that is something you are interested in.
  • independent living - so you have choice, control and freedom over your life and the support you have. This includes thinking about where you will live and what support you might need. 
  • participating in your local community and society. This includes having friends and supportive relationships. There are sections about these topics on this page. 
  • being as healthy as possible in adult life.

You can watch a video about the 4 preparing for adulthood outcomes

If you have an EHCP, your annual reviews from year 9 onwards will include a focus on preparing for adulthood. 

Who can help me with SEND processes and policies?

If you are at school or college and need help you should tell someone as soon as possible. You can tell your parent carer, helper or teacher. Every school or college has a person who is in charge of special educational needs support. They are sometimes called a SENCO. The SENCO will speak to you, your parent carers and teachers to find out what type of support you need and how they can best help you. 

If you have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), and have a question about it or the support you are getting for your needs, speak to your parent carer, teacher or SENCO. Your EHCP Case Officer in the SEND Team at the council will be able to help . If you don't know who your Case Officer is, the Southend SEND Team will be able to tell you.

If you are in year 9 and above and have an EHCP, the SEND Preparing for Adulthood Team can support you and your family to help you prepare for what you want to do when you finish school. You can find out more about the Preparing for Adulthood Team here. 

The SEND Team can also help if you are over 16 and want to apply for assessment for an EHCP, and need some help or advice. 

You can email them at or call them on 01702 215246.

Find out more about the team and the services that are in it here: 

Southend Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Team

If you are having problems with your education in school or college, SENDIASS can give you some support or advice to help sort it out. SENDIASS stands for SEND Information Advice and Support Service. It is a free, confidential and impartial service. It is usually best to talk to your parent or carers before you talk to SENDIASS, but you don't have to. 

Watch this video to find out about SENDIASS.

Visit the SENDIASS website

What learning, training or employment options are available after I turn 16?

You must stay in some form of education or training until you are 18. You could go into sixth form at a school, go to college or do a work related course that will give you skills and experience. 

There are many options available including supported internships and apprenticeships. You can find out more here: 

Post 16 Education, Apprenticeships, Traineeships or Supported Internships

The SEND preparing for adulthood team can support you with moving on from school if you have an Education Health and Care plan. They can support you and your family from year 9 and above to help you prepare for what you want to do when you finish school. Find out more about the team here

If you do not have an EHCP but still need some support Connexions can provide you with a whole range of support, including:

  • CV and cover letter writing
  • Interview techniques
  • Personal statement writing
  • Help looking for apprenticeships

Find out more here - Southend Connexions website.

If you are looking for quick advice on how to write a CV, Prospects has some useful information. 

If you are over 16 and have a physical or mental health condition or disability the Governments Access to Work scheme may be able to help you get or stay in work. Find out more about Access to Work here.

The Making it Work Employment Service provides people with learning disabilities the opportunity to access all types of employment, including voluntary, work experience and paid employment. 

Can I get help with transport to school, college or training?

If you attend your closest suitable school or college, you can get help with travel if:

  • you receive high rate Disability Living Allowance for mobility, or enhanced rate Personal Independence Payment for mobility
  • the school named on your Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) is over 2 miles from your home if you are primary school age, between 2 to 6 miles from your home if you are secondary school age and from a low income family, or over 3 miles from your home if you are secondary school age and not from a low income family and if the wording in your EHCP does not exclude transport. 

In certain circumstances, you may also be eligible for help with travel if you are over 16. 

Further details are available here: Home to School or College Transport for children and young people with SEND.

How can I make friends and get involved in my community?

Having and making friends is important but it can be difficult for some people. You might get nervous about meeting new people or worry what people might think about you. This is very common. Some people have lots of friends and others just have one or two. Some people also prefer to spend time on their own, and that is fine too. 

If you would like to meet up with others, there are lots of clubs and activities in the local area that you can get involved in. We've listed some here, but you can also take a look at our events and activities section for the full list. 

Free of charge:

Visit the Mega Centre and try out table tennis, badminton, karaoke and music activities, performing arts activities ....and much more! 

Additional Needs Night at the Mega Centre, Rayleigh

Special Needs Fun House at the Mega Centre, Rayleigh

Go along to Club Ink in Shoeburyness, a youth group for young people with SEND where you can do a variety of activities. 

Club Ink SEND youth group

Essex Fire Cadets is a nationally recognised 3 year programme run in Southend for those aged 14 to 17. It runs one evening a week for 40 weeks. You can get involved and learn about hose running, breathing apparatus, search and rescue and much more. You will also have the opportunity to get involved and work towards your Bronze, Silver and Gold Duke of Edinburgh.

Essex Fire Cadets

Under £10:

The Southend Mencap 16+ Social Club is a sports and social club for young people aged 16 to 25 with learning disabilities. The club runs every Monday between 6 and 9pm at  the St John Fisher Church. It costs £6 per session.

Southend Mencap 16+ Club

Over £10:

Total Palace works with Southend Theatres to offer SEN youth theatre groups for young people who may identify as neuro diverse or have additional needs. Group 1 is for those aged between 11 to 16, while group 2 is for 16 to 25 year olds. It is great for building confidence and social skills. You even perform your own show at the Palace Theatre in the summer term!

Total Palace information

Various costs:

Southend Deaf Pub is a social group for older young people and adults who are hearing impaired or deaf. Check out their Facebook page here! 

Friends and Places Together is for those aged 16 to 25. You can meet up with your friends as well as meet new people while playing football, swimming, bowling or Lazertag, and much more! Check out their Facebook page or visit their website for more information. 

Project 49 is an award-winning opportunity for adults aged 18 plus with learning disabilities. They offer a whole range of activities and you can get involved in art projects, cookery, media groups, cycling and much more! Check out their Facebook page or visit their website to find out more. 

You might find these resources helpful:

Ambitious about Autism have information about making friends as an autistic young person

Watch this video to hear Stera, Ellen, Jade and Hannah talk about the importance of friendship. 

You may also want to watch this video called "Tricky Friends" to help you stay safe.

Where can I get help with my mental health, if I am feeling sad, anxious or depressed.

There are lots of organisations who can help you if you are feeling sad, anxious or depressed. You can also speak to an adult you trust, which could include a family member, a teacher or another member of staff at your school. 

You can find a list of organisations here:

Get some help with your mental health

What should I do if I am being bullied?

Bullying can happen online or face to face. If you are being bullied:

  • tell someone you trust
  • keep a record of what is happening
  • do not retaliate
  • surround yourself with people that make you feel good
  • do not blame yourself 
  • be proud of who you are

You can find more information and details of helplines and websites on the Anti-Bullying Alliance website

You can also watch a video about what to do if you are being bullied online or a video from the Anti-Bullying Alliance.

What is an Education, Health and Care Plan and how do I get one?

Education, Health and Care Plans, (or EHCPs for short) are for children and young people who have special educational needs (SEN) or a disability that cannot be met by the support that is usually available in your school or college. 

All mainstream schools are provided with resources to support children and young people with SEND and the needs of most children and young people will be met through their school or colleges existing resources. Some children and young people will receive extra  support and their progress will be assessed and reviewed at what is known as SEN Support level.

SEN Support aims to make sure a child or young person can meet their individual targets and outcomes and make progress. Support is usually set out in an Individual Support Plan (ISP) or Individual Education Plan (IEP).  

If you are getting help at SEN Support level and you are not making the progress expected, you can ask for a formal assessment called an Education, Health and Care needs assessment (EHCNA). Your parent carers or your education setting can request this, or you can request it yourself if you are aged between 16 to 25 and in education, or if you are under 19 and if a youth custodial establishment. 

Find out more about Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment and how to apply for one here

You can read about Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) here. 

If you have an EHCP it will be reviewed at least once a year. This is called an Annual Review. You can find out about Annual Reviews here. After you've had your annual review we would appreciate your feedback through our Annual Review Survey

Managing money

As you get older, it is helpful to learn about managing and saving money. 

These websites have some helpful information:

United Response - Making Money Easier

Money Helper

Bild - Staying safe online

Personal budgets and direct payments

A personal budget is funding allocated to meet the additional and individual support needs of children and young people. It is allocated when it is clear that a child or young person’s needs cannot be met fully by mainstream or targeted services without extra support being in place.

There are 3 types of personal budget available. 

Personal health budgets:

The right to have a personal health budget applies if you are under 18 and eligible for  NHS continuing care, or if you are 18 or above and eligible for NHS continuing healthcare. Find out more about Personal Health Budgets.

Personal Education Budgets 

Social Care Direct payments

What housing options are available if I want to live independently?

Equipment for Daily Living

Southend Preparing for Adulthood Team

AskSara is an award-winning onlline self-help guide providing expert advice and information on products and equipment for older and disabled people. Visit the AskSARA website

Home adaptations and equipment

South Essex Homes

Southend Outreach Support (Peabody)

How do I raise a concern or make a complaint?

LGBTQIA+ information

Here you will find details of local and national organisations supporting the LGBTQIA +community: LGBTQIA+ information

LGBTQ+ information from Ambitious about Autism.

Resources about gender identity, gender expression and sexuality on Mencap


Relationships, sex and sexual health

Relationships are an important part of everyone's life but it can be difficult to talk about. 

Mencap have produced some information about sexuality and relationships for those with learning disabilities. 

There is also an article about the do's and don'ts of dating

Sexual health: 

Brook provide a free sexual health and contraception service for people living in Southend-on-Sea. Visit the Brook website for more information

Sexual health information on GOV.UK

Sexual health easy read guides.

Making appointments with doctors and dentists


Your GP (doctors) surgery will be able to help you book an appointment, but you may also find this useful:

Information about appointments and bookings at your GP surgery from GOV.UK

If you are not yet registered with a GP, you can find one here.

Information about how to register with a GP surgery


If you do not already have a dentist, you can find one here.

Find out what happens when you visit an NHS dentist here

Extra support for tests and exams

If you have special educational needs you might be able to have extra support when sittings tests and exams. This includes SATS, GCSEs and A Levels. 

This extra support is sometimes called Access Arrangements. Access Arrangements are about making reasonable adjustments to exam conditions so that a child or young person with special educational needs is not at a disadvantage compared with others.

You can find out more about exam support on the SENDIASS website.

 Last updated: 26 Mar 2023

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