Life skills for care leavers

Living independently for the first time can seem quite daunting and you may feel that there are lots of things you don't know how to do but don't worry! We've included some helpful information and useful tips below to help you along the way. Don't forget you can always speak to your PA for help and advice as well.

I've never had to cook a meal before, where do I start?

Making sure you have a healthy and balanced diet is important but, if you don't have much experience of cooking, then it's not a problem. You can start by learning some basic recipes like these ones:

You can also have a look at this page from the NHS that tells you how you can eat well for less. Another good idea is to ask your friends for any recipes they enjoy using!

I can't work my appliances, can you help?

If you are struggling to work appliances such as your washing machine or cooker then check whether you have the instruction manual available. If you do then have a read through it as it will hopefully provide you with the answer. If not you may be able to find it online by Googling the name of the appliance. There are also loads of handy guides online including videos. Here are just a few we've found.

I don't know basic first aid, can you help?

The NHS has a great page all about basic first aid, including how to do CPR and put somebody in the recovery position. They also have information to help with choking, bleeding, burns and scalds, drowning and heart attacks.

Some charities such as St John's Ambulance and the British Red Cross run first aid courses that you may be able to enrol on to.

I'm not sure how to use public transport, can you help?

Sometimes you may need to travel using public transport, such as the train or bus.

If you need to travel by train then you can plan your journey using the National Rail website. You can type in the station you wish to depart from, the station you wish to travel to and on which day and time. You can also decide if you would like to buy a return ticket or a single. This will then bring up the possible options for you and tell you the price. You can often buy your ticket online or at the station using one of the ticket machines.

If you are travelling a long distance, it is sometimes worth booking a few weeks in advance to get a cheaper deal. If you need to travel to the same place for work each day then you may benefit from buying a season ticket.

There are a number of bus services in Surrey. Tickets are usually purchased on the bus however some season tickets can be purchased in advance online.

How can I keep my home safe?

It's important to keep your home safe and secure. Some of the things you can do include:

  • Closing and locking windows and doors when you go out
  • Locking any outbuildings like sheds and garages
  • Not leaving important documents in obvious places
  • Making sure your valuables are kept out of sight

The Metropolitan Police have created a really useful checklist to remind you of things to do before leaving your home so that it is safe and secure.

Remember there are other ways to keep your home safe such as installing and regularly testing your smoke alarms, familiarising yourself with your fuse box in case you need to turn the power off and knowing where to find the stopcock in case you need to turn the water off.

How do I change a lightbulb?

Sometimes your light bulbs may stop working. If this is the case then you will need to change them. To make sure you do this safely, follow this useful guide.