Who We Are?

Our Mission & Vision

Our mission is to enable people with additional needs to achieve “Independence”.

Independence Project is on a mission to highlight the difficulties that young adults face and strives to make a difference to the lives of people and their families across Essex. We are passionate about helping young people transitioning into adulthood life and further beyond. We feel that there is currently a huge crisis in this area and many young people are being overlooked or left behind needlessly.

How do we do this?

We take a modern forward thinking approach by reaching out to communities offering support and advice at many different levels. We are very active on social media and this helps us bring awareness of our services and the difference that we make, whilst also highlighting the bigger issues in society.

We also believe that the only way we can tackle this crisis is by working in partnership with other organisations and sharing information. We achieve this in many ways by attending community events and through our online community. We are always at the end of a phone to help offer guidance and support or to signpost to other organisations that can help.

We offer a full personalised programme of activities to engage young people within a fun safe and nurturing environment whilst achieving goals. Our training programs are carried out with a person centred fully holistic approach to meet the needs of each individual.

Many young people who have additional needs require training programs that are specifically targeted and tailored to the way that they learn and retain information to help them achieve the best outcomes.

We provide a consistent approach which in turn provides for optimum development and offers a huge amount of confidence building. We take time to get to know the people we work with and build relationships with the individual and their family/carers. Our staff have worked with many young people across Essex who have a wide variety of needs and have built up extensive experience within this field and know how to get the best results from the individual.

Our training programs can become integrated alongside more traditional methods to provide the individual with a balanced learning experience, or work equally as effective on their own. Independence always runs through the core of our programs and we always aim to get the individual to a place where they can live as a fulfilled, independent and happy adult.

Meet the Team

Andrew denny

“Having worked with young adults with additional needs for a number of years I could see the areas where society is failing in supporting these individuals. I am a strong believer in empowering people and pushing them to achieve in life, whilst fighting and advocating for their rights. 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. I am very proud and excited to be involved in this journey.”

Tracy Frost

“When my girls were young I decided to complete a degree in Health and Social Care. At the time I was unsure of the career I wanted to pursue, but this opened my eyes to wanting to care for people! I began my career working in a school for children with additional needs, I spent 5 years there which then led me into working with young adults. I have been working at the Independence Project since 2020. The biggest thing that I love about working here is helping the members to be able to achieve their goals. I have had many proud moments from seeing a member make a sandwich, to another being able to travel independently. Each milestone brings a massive smile to my face and I look forward to seeing more members being able to achieve as much independence as possible. Away from work I enjoy spending time with my family, friends and newly adopted kittens.” 

Olivia Moss

I have worked with children and young adults with additional needs since completing my A level studies at college. Initially I undertook an apprenticeship whilst working for a charity which supported 12-18 year olds, then worked at a school for students with severe and complex learning difficulties before starting work at the Independence Project. I thoroughly enjoy my work and am strongly committed to enabling everyone to experience a full range of life experiences and reach their full potential.”

Emma Coates
Activity Coordinator

“After completing my degree in Sociology and Criminology I decided to pursue a career in teaching. After gaining experience as a mentor for teenagers who had been excluded from school, I decided to continue in education to gain my QTS and PGCE. Whilst studying I worked in the evenings and during the school holidays at a charity that supported young people with additional needs to access activites in the community. After qualifying I taught in a mainstream school for three years which I thoroughly enjoyed, however, my passion has always been to work with people with additional needs. I decided to change career paths to work at Independence Project so that I can use my skills and abilities to help young adults to develop their independence and learn skills that are needed in life.

Karen Coupland
Short breaks - Lead Activity Coordinator

“For the past 15 years I have worked alongside and supported children with SEN and helped empower their families to develop their independence skills and confidence. I have worked for Independence Project since September 2023 and I am really proud to be a part of this team and support such amazing young people in their development and their journeys towards independence.”

Sean Casey
Support Activity Coordinator

“I joined the Independence Project in September 2023 after over 28 years in special education settings and supporting young adults in the community. In that time I have worked with a wide range of young adults with a huge variation of additional learning requirements and more latterly with those who have complex health and high medical needs.

I love and share the ethos and commitment of IP to support adults to achieve their full potential both as individuals and as members of the wider community”

Claire Court

I started working at the Independence Project in September 2023, after having a career break from insurance to have my two children. My eldest was diagnosed with autism at 3.5 years old, and we were thrown into the world of special needs. It’s been a long journey but I’m committed to educating myself and others on neurodiversity, which led me to working with Andrew and the fabulous team at the Independence Project. I love seeing all the members come through the doors in the morning with a smile on their face!”

What our members have to say

The difference that Independence Project has made to Andrew’s life is tangible and he engages in all the activities. Andrew is happy, safe and in absolutely the right place to grow and fulfil his potential. This is all we could possibly wish for Andrew and I am forever grateful to Andrew Denny and the team at Independence Project.
Heather Moore
Andrew's mum
Ben is in the process of transitioning from full time education to part time and because of his complex needs I was concerned about him becoming socially isolated and the impact a loss of structure and routine would have on him. Independence Project has provided him with socially inclusive experiences while also looking at his employability skills and covering the basics of education which has enabled him to grow in confidence and look forward to his future.
Gill Reeve
My son is with the Independence Project every Thursday, learning employability skills, social skills and having fun. Last week Andrew helped him put together a cv and then in the afternoon they went bowling and played pool. Andrew has a good relationship with the individuals he works with.​
Dee Coe

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