The Independence Project: Making a Real Difference to Young Adults

The Independence Project, who Ascend is supporting this year, is a fantastic provider of day opportunities to young adults, based in Chelmsford, Essex, that aims to help people with additional needs achieve independence.
The Project’s mission is to focus on the challenges young adults with learning difficulties or autism face – recognising that many young people are overlooked or left needlessly behind once they leave the school system - and helps them make the transition into adult life and beyond.
The Independence Project provides day services, indoor activities, support and opportunities, with the ultimate goal of seeing the people they support achieve independence!
At their Day Centre, in the heart of Chelmsford, the project’s members get together with their peers for fun activities and are encouraged to try new things, learning life skills, social skills and employability skills in the process. These can be anything from basic first aid, how to put a wash on, how to communicate via WhatsApp, animal care, arts and crafts, cooking, or how to prepare a CV.
The aim is to build confidence, and the personalised programmes at the Centre engage all of its young members in a safe nurturing environment to meet their individual needs and to realise their potential as fulfilled, independent and happy adults.
The project also organises days out like trips to the seaside, strawberry picking, crazy golf, gym visits, trampolining, travel training and country walks – all fun days out together that the project’s members thoroughly enjoy and gain so much from.
Founder Andrew Denny, says, ‘I am extremely passionate about making a change within society and not allowing people to be left behind. We give people Independence and support individuals to build a social network around them, provide them with the choice to live their lives how they want to whilst also learning valuable skills along the way.’

Independence Clubs

Running alongside the project is Independence Clubs. Independence Clubs is a not for profit company that provides social activities to increase life skills and reduce social isolation for all its young adults. The clubs offer UK and EU breaks, social nights and events, and a weekly Monday Night Club with a range of activities.
Groups have travelled to Disneyland Paris and, most recently, on a fantastic week-long trip to Spain. In addition, the Clubs operate an allotment, a hugely rewarding community project that started in October 2020, with a neglected allotment and a dream, where members literally reap the benefits of their hard work – and get to eat them, too! The project’s groups work at the allotment frequently and have made truly amazing progress.


The Clubs also hold some very special evenings…
Conversations with members and parents revealed that the one event adults with additional needs wanted to take part in, but couldn’t do easily, was attending music events, so IndepenDANCE was born! These are Club Nights at the Hot Box, in Chelmsford, several times a year – usually spring, summer, Halloween, Valentine’s Day and Christmas.
The Club Nights, partnered with Eazee Learning, are filled with fun, music and dancing, and have been a huge success! Young adults flock to the events from far and wide and have a really great time letting their hair down, meeting friends and having a DANCE! - all within a safe environment with staff on hand to support. The DJs providing the entertainment also have additional needs, and play the best in House, UK garage, R&B, Decades and Club Classics.
IndepenDANCE hopes to put on many more live music events in the future, promoting inclusion and diversity, and enabling young people to enjoy real life experiences.

Can you help?

Would you like to support IndepenDANCE? It relies on donations to keep these fantastic Club Nights going and bring joy to so many young adults. Every penny a business or individual donates is truly invaluable in supporting these young people.

Any questions? Please don’t hesitate to contact one of our team.  | Office: 01245 449060

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