Friends, relationships and community



Friends, relationships and community

Bolton Council and partners have been working closely with parents and carers of children and young people with Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND), and professionals across Bolton, from statutory and voluntary sector providers, to map the activities and peer support groups that support community inclusion. These include peer support groups such as youth clubs, pony clubs, gaming groups, sports, bingo, and neighbourhood hobby or interest groups. In addition to this, the mapping process explored working and volunteering opportunities, supporting young adults with SEND to gain experience and paid work with the appropriate support in place.

This has been an exciting piece of work to unlock the potential within these neighbourhoods, recognise hidden assets and explore the barriers and gaps to more inclusive community activity and support. This information will be used to inform future developments and enhancement of the Local Offer in Bolton, and will be published via My Life in Bolton and other accessible media.

We are committed to parents and young people within the borough, shaping the project with effective and meaningful involvement from community groups, local organisations and businesses which will lead to longer-term more sustainable solutions.

This ongoing work will also examine the role of direct payments, personal assistants, brokerage, travel training, capacity building, inclusion web, short breaks and holiday activities.

Community Connections

During July 2022 to September 2023, Bolton Council provided funding for Bolton Together to work with two of their members, Bolton Lads and Girls Club (BLGC) and Breaking Barriers Northwest, to explore the activities and services available in Rumworth and Farnworth for young people with SEND, as part of Preparing for Adulthood. 

As part of this, Bolton Together spoke to young people and parents about what young people enjoy taking part in and what can make this difficult. They also spoke to organisations about what they do well and what they could do better and more of, and what support they require to make this happen.  BLGC and Breaking Barriers identified many excellent activities and services in these two areas and beyond in Bolton. 

Find out more about what families in Bolton can access by using the interactive and colourful book, which includes some fantastic examples of great activities for young. This book also shares what needs to be done, now and in the future, to enhance what we offer, including training for organisations and better use of existing facilities.

A small amount of funding was also provided to 12 organisations, to support with training and equipment to enhance their offer to young people with SEND. Parents were part of the decision making panel to agree who would receive this funding.  

Young people and parents told us that they want clear information about what is available, and they want a choice of activities they can get involved in. We have fantastic facilities in Bolton, and we are all committed to working together to better utilise these facilities and continue to improve access to activities in Bolton, for all Bolton residents. We are also committed to continuing to listen to young people and parents/carers about what works well and what needs improving.

Young people and parents share their views.

The Bolton Holiday, Activity and Food Programme (HAF) delivers exciting activities and food for young people who are eligible for free school meals during the Easter, Summer and Winter holiday periods. There are some activities designed specifically for young people with SEND, however, many of the activities are accessible to all.