Social and community skills are an important part of adult life and being involved in community groups can help build self-confidence and independence.
Below is some useful information about you can get involved in your local community and what support there is to help you do this.
Finding leisure activities
Pinpoint is an excellent way of finding out about local social groups. There is a range of services for young people including useful information, local groups and community facilities.
Devon Voluntary Action (DeVA) is a service that helps people volunteer locally. They aim to make volunteering in Devon as easy as possible for everyone, no matter your age or background.
It is possible to hire a Personal Assistant (PA) to help you find social opportunities in your local area. A PA is employed to help you get involved with activities that you want to and live more independently.
Devon Choice and Support Services for Independent Living can help you employ a PA or an Enabler. For more information visit their website or contact them by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01392 459 222.
Pinpoint Devon can also provide useful information about finding a PA or enabler in your local area.
This can be funded through your Direct Payments if you receive them.
Keeping yourself safe
It is always important to look after your own safety as well as that of friends and family. Sometimes, people with disabilities are more vulnerable to crime and people who may try to exploit them.
Below are some useful links to information about staying safe and contacts if you would like any advice.
- You can contact Care Direct for advice on staying safe.
- The Barnado’s app – Wud U? gives advice and guidance on how to avoid being sexually exploited and stay safe.
- You can also have a look at the Home Office guide to staying safe for more information.
Here are some things to remember to help keep yourself safe:
- When you’re out with friends, try to stick together.
- Always tell someone where you’re going.
- If someone is making you feel scared or unhappy then make sure you tell someone else that you trust.
- Only give personal details to trusted people.
- Never get in a car with a stranger.
How to deal with an emergency
- Always try to remain calm- it can really help in an emergency.
- Always try to tell someone where you are or where you are going.
- If immediate action is needed, for example if your life is threatened or people are hurt, then find a phone and call 999.
Staying safe online
The internet can be an incredibly useful tool, to socialise, explore your interests and find out useful information. However, it is important that you have to make sure that you are using it safely and not putting yourself in danger.
There are risks associated with using the internet such as inappropriate content, having information stolen and being bullied. It is important that you feel prepared to use the internet safely.
The NSPCC offer useful advice and information about staying safe online and how families, parents or carers can help.