Skip to main content


If you are injured or have taken an overdose, Call 999 or go to A&E immediately.
If you are having a mental health crisis, phone 0808 196 3779 to speak to a mental health professional 24/7

I need help with...
Independent Living

Are you moving out or living on you own?

Leaving your home and living on your own, or with friends for the first time, can be exciting and worrying. You may be worried about being able to look after yourself, if you will have enough money or getting used to your new home.

Everyone has reasons for wanting to live on their own. These could be:

  • wanting to live independently
  • not getting on with your family
  • being forced to leave
  • moving away to university

The worry of leaving and living on your own can have an impact on how you feel and how you cope. If you are struggling, talk to someone you know and ask for help, or check out the Get Help Now links.

Easy Read: Housing – Our Easy Read Guide Mencap

Moving to university

Whether you're just starting university or you're in your final year, looking after yourself at uni can be difficult. It can be scary being away from home in a new place with people you might not know that well yet. Or you may be finding your course very challenging. Lots of people find university difficult and however you're feeling is valid.

Did you know that universities offer their own wellbeing services to support you? You can find out what support is on offer at your university on the Student Space website.

There is lots of helpful information about preparing for university, tips for looking after yourself and real stories from uni students on the Young Minds and Student Minds websites.

Leaving care

It is really important that you are supported in your transition to leaving care to living independently. Change can sometimes feel really scary but it can also be an exciting step forward in your life and you should feel supported throughout this transition. Before you leave care your social worker/personal advisor should speak with you about options of where you will live, this may be into social housing, private renting, supported accommodation or shared accommodation.  Your social worker should discuss with you about your finances and supporting you to learn skills like budgeting, money management and exploring how to access and apply for relevant benefits, bursaries, apprenticeships and job opportunities.   

Information about what will happen when you leave care, and details of any support your Local Authority has said they will provide, should go into your Pathway Plan.   

Your Pathway Plan is a document that should set out the package of support that the Local Authority, and other professionals, will provide you to help you achieve your goals and become more independent.

Your Pathway Plan should be created by your 16th birthday, but your social worker and/or Personal Advisor should be thinking about what support you will need to help you with a successful and positive transition to independence before this time.   

As this Pathway Plan is about you, your goals and aspirations, and the support you will get when leaving care, it is important you are fully involved in it being created, and your wishes and feelings are clearly shown in the Pathway Plan. You should always have a copy of this Pathway Plan, and you can request this from your social worker and/or Personal Advisor.   

Get Help NowLearn More...

Get Help Now

Here are a list of services that can help with independent living. The icons below tell you the type of support available.

  • Email Email
  • Phone Phone


City and County

age Under 27

  • Web chat Web chat
  • Phone Phone

Shelter England

City and County

age All Ages

  • Phone Phone
  • In person In person

Leaving Care Service Nottinghamshire


age 16-25

  • Phone Phone
  • In person In person

Leaving Care Service Nottingham City


age 16-25

  • Directory Directory
  • In person In person


City and County

age All Ages

map marker - locate services near you

Which services can I access?

Some of the services available operate only within city or the wider county area. Pop your postcode in below to quickly check which services are available to you 

Related Topics

Here are some related mental health topics

Anxiety image

Anxiety and Panic Attacks

Everyone gets anxious now and then and anxiety is actually your body giving you a message that you are not safe.