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Going out

Going out and meeting people is an important part of life; it can help lift our mood and make us feel a part of the community. 

As we get older, or if we have health problems, going out can be more difficult. And if we find it hard to go out and do the things we enjoy, it can make us feel lonely, bored, or depressed.

There are a variety of local websites where you can find information on leisure and social activities in Essex.  Try the following links for more information:

Leisure and social activities, befriending services

Inclusive and accessible activities

Day centres

Accessible holidays

Disabled toilets and changing facilities

Walking aids, wheelchairs and mobility scooters

Transport

 

Leisure and social activities

Inclusive and accessible activities

  • Essex Local Offer - social activities for young people with learning disabilities
  • Essex MenCap - find your local group for people with learning disabilities
  • Accuro - activities, befriending scheme, short breaks for people with disabilities and their carers (Uttlesford and Harlow)
  • Sport for Confidence - inclusive sports and fitness activities
  • All Together -  disability and inclusive sport and physical activities
  • The Rough Guide to Accessible Britain - free guide for accessible tourist attractions
  • ECL Wellbeing Hubs - for older people and adults with learning disabilities
  • Short Breaks - for children and young people with special needs and/or disabilities
  • Essex Pride - list of national organisations that provide support for the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community

Day centres                                     

Day centres, sometimes called day opportunities, offer a variety of leisure, educational, social, as well as wellbeing activities.  Find a day care centre near you:

If you are looking for activities for a specific audience, you could try the relevant national organisations such as Age UKAlzheimer's Society,  Essex MenCapAutism Anglia and others.

Accessible holidays

A good break can revitalise you, especially if you suffer from a health condition or limited mobility.  Whether it's a day out, a short break or a longer stay, there are companies that specialise in arranging holidays for older people and people with disabilities.

The following websites may help you find a break:

  • Age UK offers advice about holidays and travel with a special section on accessible holidays
  • Disabled Rights UK have published a brochure called 'Holidays in the British Isles' with details of accessible and inclusive day trips and holidays in the UK
  • Open Britain provides information on accessible accommodation, tourist attractions, and other resources for people with mobility problems
  • Saga provide holidays for people over 50
  • Silver Travel Advisor offers travel reviews, travel advice, and travel tips for people over 50
  • Dementia Adventure offer small group short breaks and holidays for people living with dementia and their carers to enjoy together
  • Tourism For All  is a national charity dedicated to making tourism welcoming to all; their site includes information on accessible destinations around the country
  • If you are thinking of going abroad, GOV.UK offers advice on travel for disabled people

Disabled toilets and changing facilities

Going out can be less stressful if you are prepared, and know in advance where your nearest facilities are. If you have mobility issues, or are disabled, the following links may help:

  • The Great British Toilet Map can help you find your nearest public toilet
  • Disability Rights UK are official suppliers of genuine Radar NKS keys; the key allows disabled people independent access to locked public toilets around the country: Buy a key online
  • Changing Places toilets are different to standard disabled toilets because they have extra features and even more space: Find your nearest Changing Places toilet
  • you can also download an app for your phone or tablet to find your nearest accessible toilet or Changing Places toilet from the Radar website

Walking aids, wheelchairs and mobility scooters

If you have difficulty walking or getting around, a wheelchair, scooter or walking aid may help.  For more information on these, see the NHS website.

Wheelchairs

To be eligible for a wheelchair loan you will need to have a long term disability which afftects your ability to walk.  You will need to be referred by your GP for an assessment at your local wheelchair service.  This depends on where you live: 

For short term wheelchair loans contact:

Mobility scooters

Mobility scooters are not generally available from the NHS.  See below, Buying your own equipment.

Shopmobility

Shopmobility services allow you to borrow a wheelchair or scooter while you are shopping.

Buying your own equpment

You can search for local suppliers of mobility aids on the Living Made Easy website.

The Motability scheme can help if you want to hire or buy an electric wheelchair. It allows some people to use their benefits to pay for a wheelchair or mobility scooter.

Transport

Getting around in Essex can sometimes be difficult, especially if you have mobility issues, or live in a rural area.

Here's where to go in Essex to find information to help you get out and about

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