This page contains information and links to services in Bedfordshire. For information on national support organisations please see our links page.
Advocacy Alliance is a charity which provides advocacy support for people with learning disabilities in Bedfordshire, Luton and Northamptonshire. People with a learning disability can ask for advocacy support for themselves or they can be referred by other people.
41 Mill Street
Tel: 01234 262080
Fax: 01234 359999
15 New Bedford Road
Autism Bedfordshire is a charity providing services for families and people on the autistic spectrum. Support services include: a help line; monthly newsletter, LOAF (Loads Of Autistic Fun) weekend respite sessions in Bedford, Biggleswade, Luton and Leighton Buzzard (see below). Summer play schemes in Bedford and Luton. Summer outings for young people,
St Marks Church Community Centre
Bedford Mencap Signpost Volunteers are all parents of young people and adults with learning disabilities. They are trained to listen and to give support and information to anyone with learning disabilities and their family and carers. If you would like to speak to somebody please contact the Visitors below or come to their information mornings at Bedford Central Library:
|Mrs May Bonney||01234 781 254|
|Mrs Mary Curran||01234 306 637|
|Mrs Marian Harrington||01234 359 114|
|Mrs Beryl McClennan||01234 351 988|
|Mrs Veronica Scargill||01234 740 361|
|Mrs Alyson Scott||01234 852 728|
|Mrs Anne Tombs||01234 822 949|
|Mrs Denise Newnham||01234 354 698|
|Mrs Maria Hubbard||01234 888 758|
Information Coffee Mornings
The Signpost Volunteers hold a monthly drop-in coffee morning on the 2nd Friday of each month (excluding August and December) at the 3rd floor of the Central Library in Harpur Square Bedford between 10.30 and 12.00. Signpost Volunteers are available to give advice and support.
This is a registered charity providing support, advocacy and training to carers. Support groups are run in: Ampthill, Bedford, Biggleswade, Dunstable, Leighton Buzzard and Shefford.
Services include: a helpline, newsletter, training sessions for parents, social events: dances, quiz nights, theatre trips, etc.
Pampers sessions every Thursday night
Sparkle ( for adults 18+) Wednesday 7-9pm Paul Sutherland 01234 825835
Smiley (9-18 years) Wednesday 7-8.30pm 07798762808 Jeff
Corner Club ( for adults) Fridays 3-4.30pm Jill 07760104307
Marlins Swimming club Thursdays 8-9pm 01234 351988 Beryl
Sound Investment theatre group Thursday evening Jayne 07900382194
Holiday Caravan 01525 755883 Nicola
Bedford Mencap Holiday 01234 713723 Trevor
Bedfordshire Games annual athletic meeting.01234 841574 Elaine
Star Club (18+) Monday 7-9pm John 07888677178
The Hub is a session for carers aged between the ages of 16 and 21.
Carers in Bedfordshire
10 Barkers Lane
The Disability Resource Centre is an independent organisation and a registered charity providing independent information and advice to people with disabilities, their families, carers and fellow professionals. The centre acts as a focal point for disability services locally, and combines a variety of statutory and voluntary sector services under one roof.
Tel: 01582 470 900
Families United Newtork are a group for parents and carers of children with special needs.
Disability Resource Centre
tel: 01582 523 691
This is a support network of be-frienders for parent carers of under 18’s who have their own disabled children. To register at no cost contact:
Carers in Bedfordshire
10 Barkers Lane
Tel: 01234 214 914;
This Society provides a range of services to people of all ages with cerebral palsy and associated disabilities including information, support, helpline and play schemes.
43 Bromham Road
01908 676 779/675 110
01582 414 172
01582 798 910
The Parent Partnership Service is a free, confidential and impartial service for parents and carers of children with special educational needs.
Parent Partnership Service
Westfield Middle School
Tel: 01234 316 353
This is a Luton based family membership group which brings together families with children with for fun activities and social events. Activities include a holiday play club and regular swim sessions.
Tel: 01582 523 691, 01582 511 343 or 01525 636 680
Disability Resource Centre
Door to Door is a transport service for those in Bedford Borough who cannot use public transport.
Tel: 01234 345 327
Contact the Welfare Rights Service for all your benefits advice.
01234 276 131
Bedford office – 01234 354 384
01234 364 558
01234 361 500
The Bedford Borough Council is responsible for adult social care services in the borough area.
You can find lots more information on the Bedford Borough Council website: www.bedford.gov.uk
For general enquiries, support, advice and referrals to the Adult Learning Disabilities team contact:
Bedford Duty Team
Tel: 01234 276 762
Monday to Thursday 9am to 5pm and Friday 9am to 4pm
Out of hours service: Emergency Duty Team Tel: 0300 300 8123
Referral for day centre access is via Bedford Borough Council Social Services department.
Tel: 01234 408 715
Tel: 01234 853 973
The following centres are in the Central Bedfordshire district:
142 London Road
Tel: 01767 313 436
Silsoe Horticultural Centre
Tel: 01525 860 999
For fuller details of residential homes and care facilities you can contact Social services or a Mencap Signpost Volunteer (see details above)
Orchard House is a social services home for respite care for adults.
Staff:01234 344 448
Residents: 01234 349 474
Foxgloves is a Social Services run home providing respite care for children with learning disabilities from 8 to 18. Foxgloves provides an after school social club and overnight respite care.
91 Bromham Road
Tel: 01234 408 593
The Royal Mencap Society runs the following local homes:
Tel: 01234 312 432
11 Sidney Road
Tel: 01234 302 807
20 Campbell Road
Tel: 01234 270 385
9 Campbell Road
Tel: 01234 365 857
Tel: 01234 302 432
George Beal House
This is a Social Services home for people with profound and multiple disabilities. The home also provides respite care.
Tel: 01234 857 300
Beds Garden Carers
BGC is a local charity which provides training and work experience for adults with learning disabilities.
There is a Saturday Club for adults.
For more information please contact: Sharon Hart at firstname.lastname@example.org
1 Brereton Road
Tel: 01234 352 899/352 876
Bedford College provides a wide range of academic and vocational courses with additional support for people with learning disabilities.
Tel: 01234 291 000
For further information call the Additional Support Adviser on 01234 291 374 or 291 745
Shuttleworth College offers a variety of courses in ‘vocational’ subjects with links to outdoor careers and pursuits.
Old Warden Park
Moulton College is a higher education college in Northamptonshire which provides accessible courses in many subjects including: agriculture, horticulture and animal welfare.
Tel: 01604 491 131
Barnfield College at the Westbourne Centre
Adult education courses are held at the Westbourne Centre, Bedford welcome students of all abilities including those with learning difficulties.
St John’s Foundation Special School
St John’s is a mixed day school for children and young people between the ages of 2 and 19 who have severe learning disabilities. Children are admitted throughout the year depending on availability of places within the class groups and departments and subject to statutory assessment procedures.
Grange School is a school for pupils whose special needs fall mainly within the category of Moderate Learning Disabilities. The School has pupils between the ages of 5 and 16 years of age. Visits to Grange School can be arranged by telephoning the school office.
St Thomas à Beckett Foundation
A small charity which supports people with disabilities in the Catholic Diocese of Northampton which Bedford is in.
Holy Family Church
226 Trelawney Avenue
The Northampton Catholic Diocese also hold pilgrimages each year to Walsingham and Lourdes. For more details see their web site: www.northamptondiocese.org
Faith and Light
A social and fellowship group for people with learning difficulties and their friends.
The group meets at the Church Hall, St Mary’s Church, Church Lane, Goldington, Bedford, MK41 0AP on the third Sunday of each month between 5pm and 7pm.
Contact: Mary and Rev. Derek Draper
tel: 01480 384 031
Acorn Fellowship Alternate Mondays at Kempston Centre. Julie Careless Tel: 01234 261129
The centre runs inclusive arts projects including photography, painting and film.
Bedford Creative Arts
13 High StreetBedford
Tel: 01234 273 580 or 818 670
There are two horse riding centres in this part of Bedfordshire for people with learning disabilities to enjoy riding.
Riding For the Disabled (RDA)
The Elizabeth Curtis Centre
Contact tel: 01234 824 469.
More details are available from the website: www.elisabethcurtiscentre.co.uk
Bedford and District Handicapped Riders Association
The Riding Centre
Tel: 01234 838 362
An annual athletics meeting for teenagers and adults with learning disabililties. Held at the Bedford International Athletics Stadium, Barkers Lane, Bedford Contact Elaine Russell 01234 214942 or Ann Tredget 01234 345565.
North Beds Toy Library
North Beds Toy Library loans toys in good condition to parents, grandparents and childminders including specialist toys for children with profound disabilities.
Contact: Sue & Tim Hatton: 01234 407 152 (9am–11am or evenings please).
Catholic Handicapped Children’s Fellowship
The Fellowship’s has a holiday chalet in Hemsby, Norfolk which gives families who care for somebody with a disability an opportunity to have a holiday. There is no charge for the use of the chalet, but families often make a donation. The chalet is available to anybody in the Diocese and is given out on a first come/first served basis.
Booking Officer for Hemsby Chalet:
Mrs Kathy Scott
4 Cotswold Gardens
Tel: 01582 574051
Child Development Centre
The Child Development Centre (CDC) is a centre for children from 0-19 with disabilities and special needs. It works to help children reach their full educational, physical and emotional potential. Health, education and social services staff work at the centre as a team to assess children’s needs.
Tel: 01234 310 278
Keech Hospice Care
The children’s hospice service supports families from across Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Milton Keynes caring for a child or young person diagnosed with a life-limiting condition. General enquiries: 01582 492339
Great Bramingham Lane
General enquiries: 01582 492339
Bedfordshire Continence Service
Tel: 01582 528 821
Twinwoods Health Resource Centre
An NHS run centre which offers treatments and therapies for people with learning disabilities. Service referral is via; your GP, other health professional, School Nurse, SENCO or social worker.
Tel: 01234 310 589 or 310 585
9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.
Telephone: 01444 449074