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Learning disabilities: how to get help

If you have a learning disability and live in Southwark there is support to help you remain as independent as possible at home and in the community.

The council works closely with the NHS, voluntary and private organisations to provide a better range of day opportunities, education, housing and employment services. You may also be able to get a personal budget to pay for the support you need.

In Southwark, adult learning disability services are being transformed to offer you as much choice and control in your life as possible. The aim is to ensure that adults with learning disabilities can access the same services as everyone else.

This means that a range of specialist skills can be used to:

  • Support people with learning disabilities to achieve their individual health and lifestyle choices
  • Listen and talk to people about what they want for themselves
  • Enable people to access mainstream services
  • Help young people with learning disabilities to move from children's into adult's services.

The Community Learning Disability Team

Southwark's Community Learning Disability Team supports adults with a learning disability who have complex needs.

A GP, health visitor, community centre or other professional can ask the community learning disability team for an assessment for services. Or you, a friend, family member or carer can contact us.

We can offer information and support about:

  • Outcome based assessments - to find out about your situation and what support may help
  • Support at home
  • Housing options
  • Day opportunities - things to do in the day time
  • Direct payments and personal budgets
  • Transport to get out and about in the community
  • How to keep safe at home and in the community - ensuring that you are not abused, neglected or taken advantage of
  • Jobs and learning opportunities
  • Shared lives scheme
  • Having your say (through a self-advocacy organisation called Speaking Up)

Help with health related issues

Southwark Council works closely with the NHS to provide adults with learning disabilities, and their carers, with specialised health support to help them to live active and fulfilling lives.

The specialist health team for people with learning disabilities offers a range of health services and support to help people get treatment from appropriate health professionals. This could be:

  • Audiology - Hearing Assessments
  • Community Nursing - Health and Wellbeing
  • Occupational Therapy - Supporting Independence in Daily Living Activities
  • Physiotherapy - Posture and Mobility Management
  • Speech and Language Therapy - Communication and Eating & Drinking


The Southwark Community Team for Adults with Learning Disabilities
Telephone: 0203 049 7518
121 Townley Road
East Dulwich
SE22 8SW

Help with mental health

Assessment and treatment is provided by Southwark Adult Social Care and South London and Maudsley Foundation Trust (SLAM).


SLAM Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Unit
Fitzmary One
Bethlem Royal Hospital
Monks Orchard Road
Beckenham BR3 3BX
Telephone: 020 3228 4084/4977

Southwatk learning disability accommodation strategy

To find out more about the housing support for people living with learning disabilties, download the Southwark Learning Disability Accommodation Strategy 2009 - 2013, A Good Place to Live

Other support

Southwark Benefits Advice Hub

Southwark Benefits Advice Hub advisors can help you claim your full entitlement to benefits. This can also help you maximise your weekly income.


  • If you are aged over 60 years, please call 0207 525 3393
  • If you are aged under 60 years,  please call 0207 525 7434

You can also email the team: sbah@southwark.gov.uk

Short breaks services

Short breaks are sometimes called respite care. They can be for carers and for adults with learning disabilities. Having a break can make everyone's life better.

For more information contact: Southwark Carers

Community advocacy support - someone to speak on your behalf

Speaking Up is a sub-reference group of the Learning Disabilities Partnership Board. It works with other user-groups in Southwark to collect and pass on the views of people with learning disabilities to the partnership board.

 For more information, visit the Speaking Up Southwark website

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Contact us

Southwark Council
PO BOX 64529
London SE1P 5LX

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