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Bedford & District Society

for people with learning difficulties


Local links


Signpost Volunteers

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.


Mrs Veronica Scargill 01234 740 361

Mrs Anne Tombs 01234 822 949


Information Coffee Mornings

The Signpost Volunteers hold a monthly drop-in coffee morning on the 4th Friday of each month (excluding August and December) at Carers in Bedfordshire (see address below). Signpost Volunteers are available to give advice and support.


Carers in Bedfordshire

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.


Carers in Bedfordshire

Suite K

Sandland Court

Pilgrim Centre

Brickhill Drive


MK41 7PZ


Tel: 0300 111 1919

Website: www.carersinbeds.org.uk


The Disability Resource Centre

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.


Poynters House

Poynters Road




Tel: 01582 470 900

Website: www.drcbeds.org.uk


Bedford and District Cerebral Palsy Society

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


MK40 2AA


Tel: 01234 351 759

Email : cp.enquiries@bdcps.org.uk

Website: www.bdcps.org.uk


ADHD/ADD Family Support Group (Milton Keynes)

Tel: 01908 675 110

Tel: 01908 676 779

Website www.mkadhd.org.uk


Bedfordshire Downs Syndrome Support Group

11 St Vincents

Woburn Sands

Milton Keynes

MK17 8NR


Tel: 01908 585662

E mail support@bedsdownssyndrome.co.uk


Rett Syndrome Association

Tel: 01582 798 911

E mail support@rettuk.org


Autism Bedfordshire

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,



Salamander House

St Johns St


Tel: 01234 350 704

Email: enquiries@autismbeds.org

Website: www.autismbeds.org


SEND Advice formerly known as Parent Partnership Service

The Parent Partnership Service is a free, confidential and impartial service for parents and carers of children with special educational needs.


Bedford Borough SEND Advice Service

Borough Hall

Caudwell Street


MK42 9AP


Tel: 01234 276267


Door to Door

Door to Door is a transport service for those in Bedford Borough who cannot use public transport.



01234 834933 to register
01234 832611 to make next day bookings
01234 834933 to make advance bookings

Citizens Advice Bureau


7a St Paul’s Square


MK40 1SQ


Tel: 012234 867944 for advice

Website: www.bedfordcab.org.uk


Bedford Jobcentre Plus

Wyvern House

Bromham Road


MK40 2EH


Tel: 0845 604 3719


Powher Advocacy

Suite 2 & 5
21-23 Mill St
MK40 3EU

Tel: 0300 456 2362

Email: power@powher.net

Website: www.powher.net


Social Care

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

Borough Hall

Cauldwell Street


MK42 9AP

Tel: 01234 276 762


Monday to Thursday 9.00am – 5.00pm and Friday 9.00am – 4.00pm


Out of hours service: Emergency Duty Team Tel: 0300 300 8123


Bedford Borough Parent Carer Forum (BBPCF)

Tel 07943 524553



Day Centres for Adults

Referral for day centre access is via Bedford Borough Council Social Services department.


Centre for Independent Living

21-23 Gadsby Street


MK40 3HP


Tel: 01234 718 030


Kempston Centre

Carnell Close



Tel: 01234 718 326


The following centres are in the Central Bedfordshire district:


Biggleswade Centre

142 London Road




Tel: 01717 312 042


Silsoe Horticultural Centre




Tel: 01525 860 999


Ampthill Day Centre

Tel: 01525 405 368


Leighton Buzzard Day Centre

Tel: 01525 372 676


Houghton Regis Day Centre

Tel: 01582 865 700


Respite Care

For fuller details of residential homes and care facilities you can contact Social Services or your Mencap Signpost Volunteer (see details above)


George Beal House

George Beal House is a Social Services run home providing residential respite care for adults.


Williamson Road


Tel: 01234 718 226



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


MK40 4BS

Tel: 01234 341 952


Residential Homes

The following Residential homes are now run by Affinity Trust:


South Lodge

Sidney Road


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


Silverdale Street



Tel: 01234 302 432


Education and Work Experience


BOLD formerly known as Garden Carers

BOLD 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 Sharon@bo4ld.org.uk


Tel: 01234 352 899 / 352 876


Bedford College

Bedford College provides a wide range of academic and vocational courses with additional support for people with learning disabilities.


Cauldwell Street


Tel: 01234 291 000


For further information call the Additional Support Department on 01234 291 905

Email: info@bedford.ac.uk

Website: www.bedford.ac.uk


Shuttleworth College

Shuttleworth College offers a variety of courses in ‘vocational’ subjects with links to outdoor careers and pursuits.


Shuttleworth College

Old Warden Park

Nr. Biggleswade


SG18 9DX


Tel: 01767 626222

Email: enquiries@shuttleworth.ac.uk

Website: www.shuttleworth.ac.uk


Moulton College

Moulton College is a higher education college in Northamptonshire which provides accessible courses in many subjects including: agriculture, horticulture and animal welfare.


West Street





Tel: 01604 491 131


Email: enquiries@moulton.ac.uk

Website: www.moulton.ac.uk


Education - Special Schools


St John’s Special School & College

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.


Austin Canons

Bedford Road



MK42 8AA


Tel: 01234 345 565

Email: office@st-johns-school.co.uk

Website: www.st-johns-school.co.uk


Grange Academy

Grange Academy is a school for pupils whose special needs fall mainly within the category of Moderate Learning Disabilities. The Academy has pupils between the ages of 5 and 16 years of age. Visits to Grange Academy can be arranged by telephoning the school office.


Halsey Road


MK42 7JD


Tel: 01234 407 100

Fax: 01234 407 110

Email: grange@biltt.org

Website: www.grange.beds.sch.uk




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 5.00pm and 7.00pm.


Contact: Mary and Rev. Derek Draper

Tel: 01480 384 031


Acorn Prospects: Alternate Mondays at Kempston Centre.

Coffee Mornings: Thursdays at Roise St Pentecostal Church.


Tel: Ruth Heathfield on 01234 310 447 or 07500 927 410


Leisure time



The centre runs inclusive arts projects including photography, painting and film.


Bedford Creative Arts

1 Create Studios

104 Midland Road


MK40 1QE


Tel: 01234 818 670

Website: www.bedfordcreativearts.org.uk


Riding For the Disabled (RDA)

The Elizabeth Curtis Centre

Chestnut Avenue




Tel: 01234 824 469 or 07724 583732

More details are available from the website: www.elisabethcurtiscentre.co.uk


Bedford and District Handicapped Riders Association

The Riding Centre

Balls Lane




Tel: 01234 838 362


Bedfordshire Games

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.


The Child Development Centre




Tel: 01234 310 278


Health Services


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.


Hill Rise


Tel: 01234 310 278


Children’s Respite 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


Keech Cottage

Childrens Hospice

Great Bramingham Lane


Nr Luton




Tel: 01582 492 339


Email general enquiries: info@kech.org.uk

Website: www.pasque.org


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.


Milton Road



MK41 6AT


Tel: 01234 310 589 9.00am – 5.00pm Monday to Friday.


Mencap – Regional Office Covering Bedfordshire

6 Cyrus Way
Cygnet Park


Bedford Mencap is an independent registered charity No 218689