We are promoting independence, choice, dignity and respect. Each young person in our care will receive the highest level of care and support. This means they transition into adulthood with the psychological flexibility needed to live a happy, healthy and purposeful life…


We want our young people to gain a sense of belonging and community, building on their interests, relationships, friendships & families. Curating the connections that enable them to step out into the world with a confidence and competence that creates success.


We want to empower our young people, developing their independence, aspirations and sense of self-determination. We want them to broaden and deepen their understanding of their preferences, choices and interests.

How we do support our young people to achieve independence

We do this through our highly trained staff and therapists offering a wraparound therapeutic input.


In order to achieve these outcomes, we place an emphasis on nurturing relationships & building rapport, setting the stage for trust, connection and communication to thrive.


We then look to personalise each young person’s transition and journey into the wider world, building those key skills and breaking down barriers to enable, empower and encourage each student transition into adulthood.

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This requires an individualised assessment, with individualised targets ensuring careful measurement of performance and adaptations that reflect a sensitivity to the young person’s experience.


We employ a model of support that places emphasis on a values-led, evidenced-based and ethical framework which combines to ensure each student’s provision is person-centred. This includes

co-ordinating direct support from our experienced care mentors, speech & language therapists, occupational therapists, clinical psychologists and behaviour analysts. We also work closely with our teachers at Headstart School under a common vision of effective educational tactics and strategies.


We take a strengths-based approach, looking to understand each young person's own preferences and interests and building on these. We look to expand the ways their learning, engagement and well-being is nurtured on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Taking a step by step approach to the process of hearing their voice, expanding their speaking, listening and sense of self.

“On my first day at Headstart I was nervous, but when I spent time with staff at bowling I was settled already, I felt like I belonged there”.


We will deliver a programme of support that engages the young person and the system around them so that their identity, expressions, insights and self-esteem are of the highest importance at all times.

Qualifications of therapists and staff

Our direct care team all receive a comprehensive training package that includes attaining internationally recognised certification in behaviour support (i.e. Registered Behaviour Technician) with on-going supervision and professional development designed to ensure ethical, reflective and effective care. They are all trained in ABA and Autism. Staff are also trained in Makaton for those that need support in communication. Staff development is paramount and the quality of our staff is vital to ensuring the young people are supported professionally and therapeutically.

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Our home is supported by a range of therapeutic expertise from speech & occupational therapists, clinical psychologists and behaviour analysts. They provide individualised guidance, training and direct intervention when necessary. We also seek external input and consultancy from professionals with specific expertise as and when our young person might require them.

“My upbringing has been bad but Headstart has helped me through all of my troubles. My life is in a better place now and I see a future. The staff are caring and respectful and I am grateful."


Work experience package

When the time is right, each young person will be given a bespoke package of support to enable and empower them into a working life that combines individual preferences with general life skills. The skills needed for Independence and work experience are integral to the work our care mentors and school staff implement.

We will seek to provide job seeking, job-getting & job maintaining skills. We will ensure that our young people gain regular access to an independent careers advisory support structure

We work closely with Headstart School and College who will prepare a bespoke learning package for students who wish to follow an Independence and work experience route within other learning The course will be individualised to suit their needs. As some may be taking formal qualifications and their aim is College or university. Others will require a more practical/vocational approach to support them into work. We all work closely together to offer continuity of learning and care.

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The Bridge is based in the seaside town of Bexhill-on sea, the town sits along the South East coast of England in the historical county of East Sussex. It is a therapeutic home working with young people with learning disabilities, Autism and complex needs, promoting semi-independence and transition to living in the community.


The Bridge provides accommodation for two young people of either gender from the age of 7 to 18.

Each young person has his or her own bedroom, which can be personalised to suit their individual taste. A communal and separate living room allows for privacy and to entertain friends and family. There are a kitchen and communal dining area with a separate utility room and WC. On the first floor are two young person’s bedrooms and the main bathroom. The staff office is close by for support 24 hours a day.


The property is within walking distance to the local shops and amenities and local park. There are many activity centres within the surrounding areas and easily accessible transport facilities to the town centre and other destinations.


The focus will be on independence and preparing for adult life. We form the bridge to Adulthood and Independence. Our school also offers places until the age of 21 and full bespoke packages are put together to suit the needs of each of our young people.

Therapeutic support integral to all our work

We offer full 24-hour support1:1qualified care mentors, 7 days per week to ensure our more complex young people who may not be ready for semi-independent living have the opportunity to continue to grow and be supported as required. Extra support can also be put in place if needed, this can be reviewed on a regular basis.


The Bridge provides a therapeutic environment where our young people thrive. The individualised therapeutic programmes are integrated into every aspect of how staff work with each of our young people. They are supported by our therapeutic team of specialists and offer excellent continuity of care and strategies. Our ethos of positive reinforcement builds self-esteem and encourages and supports appropriate behaviour.

We will ensure the right therapeutic supports are put in place for each young person.

We offer a multitude of individualised therapeutic input to each of our young people. Through Art, Music, Mindfulness, Equine work and having a safe space to talk, our young people are supported holistically to become the best versions of themselves.

Individualised and therapeutically informed short-term goals

• An individual behaviour support plan to include therapeutic strategies

• Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

• Mindfulness Training

• Occupational Therapy input into sensory strategies

• Sensory work

• Speech and Language Therapy

• Makaton

• Social Use of Language programmes

• Applied Behaviour Analysis interventions

• Talk time

We also have

• Educational Psychologist

• Clinical Psychologist

• Occupational Therapist

• Speech and Language Therapist

• Behaviour Analysts

Within our team

If you have a young person that would like to be considered for a place please contact cmelia@headstartschool.co.uk or ndann@headstartschool.co.uk for more details.