Start to prepare for your independent life

If you want to do more for yourself or you're thinking about moving into your own home, there are many ways to learn new skills.

Find more information about these skills and how you can learn them:

Keep yourself safe living on your own

There are several ways you can help yourself to stay safe. these include:

  • not sharing your address, phone number or email address with people you don't know
  • not inviting people you don't know into your home
  • ensuring you lock your windows and doors when you leave the house or when you go to sleep
  • getting to know your neighbours in case of an emergency
  • making sure you're familiar with where you live

There is also a variety of equipment and services available to support you to keep safe, in and out of your home. Find out more about disabled adaptations.

Safe and Independent Living (SAIL)

SAIL can support you to stay safe and living independently. The support can include:

  • advice and information
  • equipment
  • home safety checks
  • information about local social activities

Find out more about SAIL.

Fire safety visits

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service offer Safe and Well visits. This is where they visit your home for free to help you make your home safer.

They can fit free smoke alarms, and give you safety advice. This includes topics like cooking safely and what to do if there is a fire.

Contact Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue to arrange a visit.

Stay safe online

Find information about how to stay safe on the internet.

Assistive technology

Find out how assistive technology could help you to live more independently.

Safety advice from youth link

Find more information about how you can stay safe living on your own in our youth link section.

Help to manage your money

Open a bank account

With your own bank account you can:

  • save money
  • check what money you have and see what you are spending 
  • pay your own bills
  • take out your own money when you need it

You could have a look online for information or speak to your parent, carer, a family member or friend for advice. They can help you research banks and find out which would best meet your needs. 

It's best to visit the bank so you can chat to a member of staff. You could bring a family member or friend with you for support.

See the Money Advice Service guidance on opening a bank account. This includes advice on choosing the right account and how to manage it.

If you're struggling to manage your money

Speak to your parent, carer or your social worker if you're struggling to manage your money and they can organise support.

This could include:

  • your parent or carer
  • a family member
  • independent financial advocate. This is an independent person who will help you manage your money and will act in your best interest
  • your service provider (if you are eligible)

Tools to support you

To help you budget your money, use the Money Advice Service budget planners. These can help you:

  • work out what money you have left after paying your bills/expenses
  • see a detailed breakdown of your spending. This will show you where your money is going to help you save costs

You cannot manage your money

Not everybody has the capacity to make decisions about and manage their own money. If you've had a mental capacity assessment and you don't have capacity, you will need somebody to manage your money for you:

  • appointeeship is where you have the capacity to choose who this is
  • deputyship is where you don't have the capacity to choose who this is

The person could be:

  • your parent, carer or relative
  • a trusted friend
  • an independent financial advocate, such as DOSH or Money Carer Foundation
  • a solicitor

This will be decided by a court. Some people will charge you for this service.

All the decisions that this person makes will have to be in your best interest.

Protect against financial abuse

Find information and advice about preventing financial abuse from the Money Advice Service.

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