Free event to offer post-16 advice for young people with special needs

Following its success in January, a free event for teenagers over the age of 14 with special educational needs or disabilities, is returning to West Sussex in July.

The ‘First Steps to Adulthood’ event is also open to parents, carers and support providers who are looking for advice on helping teenagers transition from school into post-16 life.

There will be more than 30 stands offering advice on supporting young people into paid employment, benefits, keeping safe, leisure activities, the West Sussex Compass discount card, specific disability organisations, the West Sussex Local Offer, short breaks and lots more.

The event will be on 4 July in Crawley and is being organised by West Sussex County Council and the West Sussex Parent Carer Forum. It is designed to provide young people with fundamental lifestyle knowledge in preparation for leaving full-time education.

Richard Burrett, County Council Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: “We have already held similar events in Chichester, Horsham and Worthing which have been really successful. More than 140 people attended our last event in January.

“Some teenagers, parents and carers may be feeling quite overwhelmed as they begin to consider leaving school, whereas others may just need to plug a few gaps in their knowledge.

“Either way, this event offers people the opportunity to ask questions and get open, honest and realistic answers. We are very pleased to be jointly hosting this with the West Sussex Parent Carer Forum whose organisers are invaluable in the support they offer people across the county.”

There will also be two workshops at the event. The first will be looking at employment skills and getting a job, and will be run by the DWP Job Centre Plus, and the second will focus on community safety.

Following the event in Chichester, parents and carers described it as ‘very informative and nice to have the opportunity to ask questions’.

Another carer said: “I have found so many useful contacts and info I never knew existed.”

Booking is not required for the First Steps to Adulthood Information Event which will take place from 6pm to 8pm at Eat Central Café at Crawley College, in College Road.

For more information, visit the West Sussex Local Offer at


Contact your MP or Councillor

Read Sussex Local Online

Our Podcasts

West Sussex


East Sussex