Skip to main content Quick Exit

Young People's Hub

Welcome to the Young People’s Hub for children’s SEND Local Offer.

If you are under 25 years of age, live in the borough of Stockton and have a special educational need and/or disability, the Hub is a space created and developed for you and other young people with additional needs.

The Hub is split into sections and these will increase over time depending on your views, needs and suggestions. 

This is your area in the Local Offer, help make it work for you by emailing us your suggestions, views, experiences and stories. Our email address is: - your opinions and input are valued and are what will help make your hub the best it can be for you. 

Bright Minds, Big Futures

Bright Minds Big Futures (BMBF) is a national award-winning youth-led movement, working together with Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council to make the Borough a great place to grow up.  BMBF provides a range of volunteering and campaigning opportunities for young people aged 11-19 or up 25 with Special Educational Needs


The group is managed by an elected panel of young people known as the Big Committee and is a great way for young people to:

  • make friends
  • gain valuable life skills
  • increase confidence 
  • be involved in making a real difference to the Borough of Stockton
  • have a voice in service planning and delivery


For more information please visit our BMBF webpage or email


Learning to Drive

It may or may not be possible for people with special educational needs to reach driving test standard and drive independently, and an assessment is recommended.

You would normally need to be aged 17 to hold a licence to drive a car (Category B) but if you receive the higher rate mobility component of DLA (Disability Living Allowance) or the enhanced rate mobility component of PIP (Personal Independence Payment) you may hold a licence from age 16. You can apply for your licence three months before your birthday.

Get a licence application form from any Post Office or line from

Or you can apply on-line at – you’ll need your Government Gateway ID, if you don’t have one or need to re-register, you’ll get an ID as part of your application.

For on-line application you’ll need to provide:

  • An identity document unless you have a valid UK biometric passport
  • Addresses where you have lived for the past 3 years
  • Your National Insurance Number
  • A £34 payment by MasterCard, Visa, Electron, Maestro or Delta debit or credit card.

You’ll get a confirmation email from DVLA after you’ve applied, your licence should arrive within one week if you apply on-line.

For further information please click here



Apprenticeships are structured programmes that teach you the skills you need to perform well in your job. They allow you to learn practical skills in your workplace, build up valuable knowledge and skills, gain qualifications and earn money at the same time.

As an employee, you will be based in a workplace the majority of the time, as most of the training takes place on the job. You will usually attend off-the-job training once a week and you could be working towards a qualification, such as National Vocational Qualification (NVQ), other nationally recognised qualifications or a certificate of achievement.

How much can I earn?

National Apprenticeship Minimum Wage (NAMW) is currently £3.50 per hour. The National Apprenticeship Minimum Wage applies to those aged 16 to 18, or 19 or above on their first year of the apprenticeship. For those who are 19 or above, after the first year, the National Minimum Wage will apply.

There is no maximum wage, apprentices can earn as much as the employer is willing to pay.

How long do apprenticeships last?

All apprenticeships must last a minimum of 12 months, but some can take up to four years to complete.

The length of an apprenticeship varies depending on skill level of the apprentice, the qualification being obtained and the industry sector of the apprenticeship.

 What apprenticeships are available to me?

There are over 200 different types of apprenticeships available in a wide range of sectors: 

•          Business, administration and law

•          Health, public services and social care

•          Education and training

•          Information, communication and technology (ICT)

•          Construction, planning and the built environment

•          Arts, media and publishing

•          Leisure, travel and tourism

•          Hospitality and catering

•          Retail and commercial enterprise

•          Agriculture, horticulture and animal care

•          Engineering and manufacturing technologies

There are endless career opportunities under each sector.

I have an Education Health and Care Plan, what support will I receive during the apprenticeship?

Young people can retain their Education Health and Care plan whilst on an apprenticeship. Apprenticeships are funded by the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) who are committed to making sure that everyone has the opportunity to do an apprenticeship, including those with learning difficulties or disabilities. This means making sure the right level of support is available to remove barriers to education and training so that learners can make the most of their potential. Learning support funding will also provide funding for you to meet the costs of reasonable adjustments to help you do the job.

Higher and Degree Apprenticeships

For young people who want to learn at a higher level Higher and Degree Apprenticeships are available at levels 4 – 7.  These programmes combine work and off-the-job learning which can lead to foundation degree, standard degree or professional qualifications in your chosen career.



The aim of traineeships is to help young people gain the skills and experience they need to go on to an apprenticeship or job as quickly as possible.

Traineeships are available to young people up to age 24 (25 for young people with Education Health and Care Plan) who are not currently in a job and have little work experience, but want to get into work. Specifically traineeships may be suitable for

•          Those aged 16-18 and qualified below Level 3

•          Those aged 19-24 and have not yet achieved their first full Level 2 qualification (a GCSE or something else at that level)

•          16 - 24 year olds who have a reasonable chance of being ready for employment or an apprenticeship within six months of starting a traineeship

Traineeships include work preparation training, English and or maths and a high quality work placement. Traineeships last a minimum of six weeks and maximum of six months. They must include a work placement which lasts at least six weeks and no more than five months.

Supported Internships & Project Choice

Supported Internships

Supported internships are aimed at young people who want to move into employment but need extra support to do so. Specifically, they are aimed at those aged 16 to 24 who have a statement of special educational needs, a Learning Disability Assessment, or an Education, Health and Care plan.

Supported internships normally last for a year and include unpaid work placements of at least six months – the exact duration of the programme will depend on students’ needs, abilities and ambitions

Students on supported internships will be based mainly at an employer’s premises with some time spent in college or with a training provider.

Find out more:

Project Choice - a work experience pathway for students with Learning disabilities or ASD

Project Choice (click on name to watch a short video on Project Choice) is a supported internship programme for people with learning disabilities, difficulties or autism (LDDA). NHS Health Education England, support NHS Trusts to deliver the programme nationally. The focus is ‘work readiness’ and matching skills to employment.

The project teams ensure there are placements across the Trusts looking specifically at entry-level jobs to make sure the right learner is allocated to this role. They also work closely with managers to confirm that tasks are clearly understood.

In addition, the programme offers training to staff to become work-based mentors, working alongside and supporting learners. Over 500 staff have been trained to support LDDA, developing unique teaching techniques and skills, which can be transferred across the organisation.

The young learners spend a year within their internships with 3 placements which each span 10-12 weeks. In their placement they are embedded in the team. The Project Choice team uses this time to look at any barriers and potential areas of development. Throughout, the learners are gradually assessed on how ready for employment they are.

The scheme also incorporates a work experience element supported by the Trusts. This gives students an opportunity to develop skills for the workplace and ensures young people with LDDA understand the importance of matching their skill sets to work while still in education.

A minimum of 12 internships are supported annually, ensuring learners are ready for entry level roles or above. In Newcastle 63 interns have been supported through this project, the employment transition rate currently stands at 80%.

Mental Health

As our health and education services evolve to meet mental health needs in the general population, it is important that equal consideration is given to those children and young people who may have a mental health concern and SEND.

Young Minds are leading the fight for a future where all young minds are supported and empowered, whatever the challenges. They are working to make sure they get the best possible mental health support for all children and young people so they have the resilience to overcome life’s difficulties.

Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families are a children's mental health charity and have been developing and delivering pioneering mental health care for over 60 years. Their vision is a world where children and families are supported effectively to build on their strengths and to achieve their goals in life. They continue to promote resilience and wellbeing in children, young people and families, as they have for over 60 years. Find out more about the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families by clicking here

Online Safety

Lots of people use the internet and social media to find out information, connect and make friends and for lots of other reasons.  It is really important to know how to use the internet and social media safely and responsibly. 

Learn My Way is a website of free online courses for beginners, helping you develop digital skills to make the most of the online world. The website is was created and is managed by Good Things Foundation and is designed to be fully accessible and usable for everyone.

Learn about these subjects:

  • Using your computer or device
  • Online basics
  • More internet skills
  • Online safety
  • Finding a job online
  • Improving your health online
  • Managing your money online
  • Public services online

Visit the Learn My Way website

Information aimed at children and young people

Thinkuknow is a website that has guides to internet safety and safe surfing for children and young people. The information targeted at different age groups.

Visit the Thinkuknow website

Childline has lots of useful information for young people including videos, apps and online message boards.

The website covers subjects like:

  • sexting
  • online bullying
  • taking care of your digital footprint
  • mobile phone safety

Visit the Childline website 

Childnet has information for children and young people divided into primary and secondary age categories. The site has links to information for individual apps such as Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Snapchat and gaming sites such as Playstation.

UK Safer Internet Centre has games, quizzes, films and advice to help young people get the most out of the internet while staying safe online.

Visit UK Safer Internet Centre Youth site 

CEOP is dedicated to keeping children safe from sexual abuse and sexual grooming online.

Visit the CEOP website

Safernet has online safety advice for people with learning difficulties.

Visit the Safernet website

Self Harm

Self-harm is injuring yourself on purpose so you bleed, leave a scar, mark or bruise. The most common ways are cutting, scratching, hair pulling and burning. Records show that more girls self-harm than boys.

The reasons why

People can self-harm for different reasons:

  • feeling bad as they're being bullied or abused
  • to show other people they're unhappy and have other problems
  • they have ongoing issues and feelings that they can’t express – a coping mechanism

People who self-harm often don’t ask for help as they feel ashamed, but there is support out there.

Symptoms of self-harm

These can include unexplained cuts, bruises or burns, often to arms or wrists. Another sign is when they try to keep their injuries hidden by wearing concealing clothes even when it's hot outside.

Dealing with self-harm

If you or someone you know is harming themselves, there are things you could do to help:

  • talk to someone you can trust, or a professional like your school nurse or GP.
  • think about the reasons why you might want to harm yourself and how you can solve these issues or get support.
  • if you are self-harming, try and use something clean if you're cutting yourself to prevent infection.
  • if a friend you know or family member is self-harming, then let them know that you are there to support them and listen to what they have to say  


This project was launched by Young Minds in 2016. It contains resources and support for children, young people, parents and professionals about self harm.

Watch this video and then refer to the full website for more videos from a parents and professionals point of view and other resources.

Watch this video and then refer to the full website for more videos from a parents and professionals point of view and other resources.

Visit No Harm Done website here. 


Name-calling, hitting, or stealing someone's things are all types of bullying. Less visible types are things like sending nasty text messages or spreading false rumours about someone.

Anyone can get picked on. Being bullied can make you dread going to school, and you can feel depressed, lonely and worse.

If you're being bullied, you're not alone - every seven seconds another young person in Britain is going through it too. You might feel there's no way out, but there are lots of ways to get help.

Remember, it's not your fault - you have the right to live without being picked on.

Beat bullying

Bullying probably won't stop unless you stand up and do something positive about it:

  • tell someone you trust - you shouldn't feel bad about reporting someone if they’re making you feel bad
  • act confidently to send out the message that you're not afraid
  • strength in numbers: stay with others. You're more likely to be picked on if you're on your own
  • keep a diary and all text messages as evidence of bullying - you can use it later to show that you're telling the truth

If you suspect someone you know is being bullied, look for these signs:

  • they become unhappy or withdrawn
  • they start missing school
  • they've got physical injuries they don't want to talk about

If they are showing signs of the above, ask them if they are being bullied. They probably won't be comfortable revealing it at first, but let them know that you take their worries seriously, that you will support them if they want to tell their parents or teacher that they're being bullied.

Drugs and Alcohol


Most people say they drink because it makes them feel relaxed, confident and sociable. This is because alcohol is a depressant which slows down the brain and nervous system, reducing feelings of anxiety and shyness.

You can find out more about the effects of alcohol on the Talk to Frank website (opens an external link).

Other people say they drink to escape from personal problems, but this may be stopping them from finding a real answer to their issues – eventually long-term alcohol abuse may become another problem.

Effects of alcohol

Drinking too much over a short period of time is known as binge drinking and can have these negative effects:

  • hangovers making you feel sick, tired, dehydrated and depressed.
  • doing things you’ll regret, like behaving aggressively or having unprotected sex
  • addiction - relying on alcohol and feeling bad without it.
  • serious illnesses like liver damage, stomach cancer and heart disease.
  • How much is too much?

    Alcoholic drinks have different strengths, measured in units. One unit is about the amount of alcohol in half a pint of beer, lager or cider. It’s also equal to a single measure of vodka or whiskey.

    Visit the Drinkaware website for the latest alcohol unit guidelines 

    If you find someone who is alone, very drunk and having difficulty staying awake, don’t leave them - lie them on their side so they don’t choke if they vomit.

    Mixing and tolerance

    Tolerance means your body’s resistance to alcohol – people who drink a lot might have more tolerance than people who don’t – so the effects of alcohol can be greater in people who drink less.
    Mixing alcohol with other drugs like painkillers can be very unsafe, as you don’t know how your body will react. Taking a drug like a depressant with alcohol (also a depressant) can slow down your brain and body functions to dangerous levels.

    Are you allowed to drink alcohol?

    It isn’t against the law to drink alcohol, unlike drugs – but it can still affect your health like other drugs, and be just as addictive.

    Your age means that there are different laws around if you can buy or drink alcohol:

    • up to 14: illegal to drink or buy alcohol, except under medical supervision in an emergency
    • 5 to 14: you can only go into a pub if it’s got a children’s certificate – and only to designated areas
    • 14 and 15: you can go anywhere in a pub, but you can’t buy or drink alcohol anywhere
    • 16 and 17: you can only buy and drink beer or cider with a meal in an eating area of a pub
    • 18 and over: you can buy alcohol anywhere
    overdosing -  this could put you in a coma or even kill you.


There are lots of different types of drugs. 

There are three main types; depressants, hallucinogens and stimulants.  These have different effects on your body and brain.


These slow down your thinking and can affect your heart rate and breathing. They can produce feelings of warmth and relaxation. Depressant drugs, like alcohol and heroin, work in much the same way on mood and personality. However, the repeated use of such drugs over an extended period of time can cause the body to become reliant and tolerance to be increased.  More and more of the drug has to be taken in order to get the desired effect. In building tolerance to the effects of a drug, the user may be taking the first steps on the road to physical drug dependence.

Examples of depressant drugs are Alcohol, TranquillisersHeroin and the Opiates.


Hallucinogenic drugs, like LSD, and certain 'magic' mushrooms, affect those areas of the brain which control sensory perception and thought patterns. They do this by altering the way in which the messages are received and interpreted. The change in mood or personality brought about by hallucinogenic drugs is more likely to be influenced by the set and setting of the drug used.


These drugs have the opposite effect of speeding up mental activity and physical functions, producing feelings of excitement and confidence. Stimulants raise blood pressure, heart rate, and respiration and reduce the desire to eat. After the effects wear off people may feel tired, hungry and depressed.

Examples of stimulant drugs are Nicotine , Caffeine, Cocaine  and Amphetamines .

Drug, set and setting

How these effects show themselves and how the drug feels to the individual is the result of a complex interaction between the properties of the substance itself (drug), the individual’s mood, experience and expectations (set), and the environment within which the drug is taken (setting).

In addition to these 3 broad categories, each particular drug has its own specific effects and risks.

Some drugs are quite new and their harms may not yet be fully known such as New Psychoactive Substances/Legal Highs. Sometimes drugs don’t contain what you think they do.

There are also performance and image enhancing drugs that claim to improve the physical training and a person’s physical appearance, sometimes used by body builders - steroids.

Emergency help

Most people don’t use drugs and even amongst those that do, emergencies are rare.  But no one can be certain how drugs will affect them so there’s always the risk that they’ll have a bad time, fall ill, and hurt themselves or even worse. Here’s what you need to know should you ever have to help a friend or relative who’s having a bad reaction to a drug. 

Talk to Frank Emergency Help (opens an external website)

Want to know more about a drug, their effects and the law?

Frank has compiled an A-Z of drugs.  Here you can find out all its different names, the effects it has, the risks involved and what the law says.

Frank A - Z of drugs (opens an external website)


LGBTQ is the a commonly-used abbreviation for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning.

  • Straight - being ‘straight’ (or heterosexual) is when you are attracted to the opposite sex, i.e. a man being attracted to a woman, or vice versa
  • Gay and lesbian - being ‘gay’ (or homosexual) means being attracted to people who are the same sex as yourself. The word "lesbian" is usually exclusively used for gay women, whereas the word "gay" can apply to both men or women
  • Bi - bisexuality is when you are attracted to both males and females, and not exclusively to just one sex
  • Transgender - is when you have changed your gender through gender reassignment surgery and become the opposite sex
  • Questioning - is a reference to the period when you may not be entirely sure whether you are LGBT. During this time it is extremely important for you to have someone to talk to who you know you can trust, and who can give you support and advice

Being any of the above is completely normal.  It's common for many young people to be unsure about their sexual preference. You don't have to make any rush decision. Explore your feelings and if you feel comfortable talking to someone you can trust about them, then it is advisable to do so. If you are unable to talk to your family or friends about your sexuality, then an alternative would be to seek confidential advice from a professional, such as one of our youth workers.

Sexual Health

Sex is something that will become really important to you as you become an adult and form relationships. It's not something to be embarrassed to ask about - your sexual health is an important thing to be aware of and to look after.

In this section you can find sexual health information and advice and services where you can get contraception and other sexual health services.

If you’ve decided you’re ready to have sex and you or your partner doesn’t want to become pregnant, then you’ll need to use some kind of contraception – every time.

For more information on sexual health services in Stockton-on-Tees please click here

Pregnant and not sure what to do?

Are you pregnant?

If you think that you could be pregnant it’s best to do a pregnancy test as soon as possible. They are simple and all you have to do is provide a sample of urine.

There are many myths around about getting pregnant. Some people believe that you can’t get pregnant:

  • The first time you have sex
  • If you have sex standing up
  • If you have sex in the bath or shower
  • If you have sex during your period
  • If the boy pulls his penis out of his partner's vagina before ejaculating (coming)

NONE OF THESE ARE TRUE!!! You could get pregnant in all of these ways

Do you think you could be pregnant?

  • Have you recently had unprotected sex?
  • Did the condom split or come off?
  • Have you been sick whilst taking the pill or been taking medicine that could interfere with the pill like antibiotics?

 NHS choices has a pregnancy and baby guide that answers questions like:

  • signs and symptoms of pregnancy
  • pregnancy tests
  • your next steps if you've had a positive pregnancy test

Teenage pregnancy guide

NHS choices has a guide for young mums that looks at issues like:

  • who to talk to for confidential advice
  • getting help if you're on your own
  • continuing your education 

Options and termination

The British Pregnancy Advisory Service can help you:

  • discuss options for your pregnancy
  • find out more about the different types of abortion
  • find a clinic and book an appointment 
  • find out the costs (most women have their treatment paid for by the NHS)

You do not need to be referred by your GP to get free termination services. 

Eating Disorders

Anorexia nervosa

This is an eating disorder most common among teenage girls, although boys can also have it.

The main symptoms are things like making yourself sick or starving yourself as you’ve an obsessive fear of putting on weight, thinking you’re overweight even if you’re very thin, organ failure as you don’t have enough nourishment and emotional symptoms like depression and mood swings.

Bulimia nervosa

This is an eating disorder involving binge eating and then making yourself sick to stop weight gain.
The symptoms are binge eating, making yourself sick, taking laxatives to make you go to the toilet, feeling guilty and depressed, over-exercising, and things like irritable bowel syndrome, dehydration, teeth erosion and sore throat.

Even though people with bulimia may look a normal weight, their bodies aren't absorbing the essential nutrients they need. This can lead to organ failure, internal bleeding, heart attack and even death.

Binge eating

Binge Eating Disorder means having a lack of control over the amount of food you eat, and eating extreme amounts. It’s a part of bulimia nervosa, but it doesn’t involve making yourself sick, so people who binge eat quickly put on weight and can become obese.

Symptoms of binge eating include frequent eating of large amounts of food in short periods of time (often alone to stop others seeing), eating the same amounts even when not hungry, eating much more quickly than normal, feeling disgusted and guilty after eating and having negative, guilty feelings about food and eating.

The health risks of binge eating are mainly clinical obesity, but others include high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, heart disease, diabetes and gallbladder disease.

Body Mass Index (BMI)

Do you think you’re overweight? You can work out your BMI (Body Mass Index) using the NHS online calculator - this will give you some idea whether you’re overweight or not for your age and height. You can also ask someone like your school nurse or doctor to do it for you, to get a properly accurate result.

Not great results? Don’t worry - there are two very easy things you can do:

  • Get into better eating habits, eat sensibly and stick to a balanced diet (not a celebrity one).
  • Do some physical exercise – start with an hour a week broken down into 20 minute sessions so you can get your heart rate up and break a sweat.​


If someone close to you - a member of your family or a friend - dies or disappears from your life, it can be really hard. It's normal to feel strong emotions like shock, sadness, anger, guilt, fear or depression.

Everyone reacts differently and when you feel like this it means you're grieving or going through grief.

When you feel really sad, you might wonder if you can ever feel happy again. Don't worry - after a while it'll feel a little less painful. You just need to give yourself time.

Experiencing grief or loss

When you’re missing someone, it's normal to experience these things:

  • having trouble sleeping, eating or concentrating at school
  • going off things that you normally enjoy
  • pretending that you feel OK even if you don't as you want to be ‘strong’ for people around you

Dealing with loss

You can get through grief with enough time. Try not to:

  • bottle things up - it will help to talk about how you're feeling with another person - either with a friend or a counsellor
  • drink or take drugs – you might think they can make you feel better, but they won't help you get any happier
  • self-harm - if you feel you want to harm or even kill yourself, it's really important to tell someone so they can help you, like a parent/carer or a friend

If you know someone that's recently lost a friend or family member, you can help by letting them know you’re there for them, if they want to talk, and by doing ‘normal’ things with them which will make them feel better.

Money Advice

'Life, Money, Action!' (LMA) project

LMA is a project developed and delivered by the National Skills Academy for Financial Services and funded by the Money Advice Service.

The project aims to support young people aged 16-24 with money management issues they may face as they navigate through key transitions such as living independently, starting work or moving into further and higher education.

For more information, please click on the link below.

LMA Project (opens a page on an external website)

Young People's Stories, Experiences, Messages & Views

This is a place for children and young people to share their thoughts, views, opinions and messages about the things that are important to them.​​  

This section is currently being developed and new content will arrive soon, in consultation with young people.

Personal Space & Personal Boundaries

What is personal space? 

The term “personal space” generally refers to the physical distance between people, family, or work environment. Think of your personal space as the air between your body and an invisible shield, or bubble, you have formed around yourself for any relationship.The distance between you and your shield most likely varies from one person to another, depending on a variety of factors, including how well you know the person, your relationship to that person, how much you trust him or her, and your culture. It's important to understand the importance of personal space.

Click here to find information including activities and tips to help you.

Roseberry Community

Roseberry Community Consortium assists disadvantaged groups of young people across the Tees Valley region. Their beneficiaries are young people in economically challenging situations, those affected by dyspraxia/dyslexia, those who have low patterns of academic achievements and young people living in care.

Back to top