Free event to help young people with special needs in their ‘First Steps to Adulthood’

Support with finding a first job and advice on becoming more independent are on offer at an event for young people with special educational needs or disabilities.

Teenagers over the age of 14 and their parents and carers are invited to the ‘First Steps to Adulthood’ open evening in Chichester on Monday 29 January.

The event, organised by West Sussex County Council and the West Sussex Parent Carer Forum (WSPCF), aims to provide young people with advice and guidance in readiness for leaving full-time education. Helen Merrick, Post 16 and Mental Health Lead at WSPCF, said: “Talking to parent carers and their families it became apparent that families and young people want information on the options available to them when moving on from school and college.”

Following last year’s events in Horsham and Worthing, more than 30 organisations will be represented this year at the largest event to date.

Richard Burrett, County Council Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: “We hope that the event will give young people ideas and information about the different opportunities available to them after they leave school and help them to think about the routes they may follow into the world of work and towards independence. This is a chance to have your questions answered on the big lifestyle choices such as employment and housing. Whether you want to find out about future jobs or get to know the housing market a bit better – this is a must-see event for you.”

Young people will have the chance to access information and guidance on a range of topics including:

• Employment
• Benefits
• Housing
• Leisure activities
• Disability organisations

The drop-in will take place from 6 to 8pm at Chichester College’s Conference Hall in Westgate Fields, P019 1SB.

West Sussex Parent Carer Forum is a support group formed to help improve the lives of children and young people aged 0-25 with additional needs.

For more information, visit The West Sussex Local Offer at


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