Equip supports young people from 16 to 25 years old through all stages of education and combines this with life skills, employability skills, social skills, confidence building and work experience. Thereby helping each individual achieve their full potential.

Often, people with learning disabilities and autistic people struggle in education

They may have difficulties with peer relationships

They may fall behind with academic work

Their unique learning style is often not catered for

Teachers often cannot give these young people extra support

At Talkback, we make sure this does not happen

It has been a real pleasure to work with the students at Talkback in our social skills group. They have been enthusiastic and hard working, and really willing to engage with the different elements of music therapy that are used during the sessions. We've had particular success writing songs together, recently completing 'I Just Can't Wait To Do That', with words celebrating all the things the group like to do, set to the music of one of their favourite Lion King songs. It's a pleasure to watch the students grow and become more confident during our sessions together.

Our approach to life journeys

Our Equip programme provides individual learning packages. These are based on a student’s Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) Outcomes. We help our students move from school to college and discussions are held with the student, family and other professionals.  We create an individual programme for each learner. This has four parts:


Equip works in partnership with local colleges. Thereby ensuring that young people with a learning disability or autistic people are keeping up to speed with the curriculum

Life Skills

As well as learning vital life skills, Equip also gives individuals a safe space to join in, socialise and form friendships. People can take part in activities like art, sport and exercise, creative media and music therapy. As well as other new interests.

Work Experience

We help students undertake work experience placements. So, they learn the skills required for working life. As well as building the foundations for finding paid work in the future.

Paid Employment

The ultimate aim is paid employment (for some, after university and including apprenticeships), with the option of ongoing workplace support.

30 seconds with Alfie

Alfie is one of our Equip students. We asked him a few questions to tell us what he thought about Talkback.

What do you enjoy about Talkback?

It’s very welcoming, I feel very comfortable in sessions and I like the things we do. Talkback is very interesting and I have made a lot of good friends.

How has Talkback helped you?

Talkback has developed me as a person. It has made me more confident and I have settled in well.

Do you enjoy working with the group staff?

I enjoy working with group staff. They are all very nice people. They are supportive and helpful.

What do you want to do when you have finished with college/Equip?

I would like to work with trains one day.

A Member featured in the Talkback Annual Report smiling

The journey through Equip

Our work is centred around clear plans and journeys for our students. Here’s just one example. Kyle joined us with a range of challenges, including OCD, autism, and physical and emotional behavioural issues.

Joins Equip

Receives classroom college support and also a community programme package. Expresses an interest in recycling. We arrange for work experience at Hawes Recycling, with 1:1 support.

1:1 Support Eased

With better management of anxiety and behaviour around new people, 1:1 support decreased. Kyle also works in a community group 1 day a week, focusing on communication skills. He now travels independently.


Kyle has no support during the day, functioning independently. And he is offered paid employment by Hawes. He has a sense of purpose, high self-esteem and high self-confidence.

What’s next?

Our Equip Brochure

If you’d like to find out more about how we help people with learning disabilities and autistic people through education and other life skills then you can downland our brochure below.

Download our Equip Booklet:

I enjoy my group and I look forward to learning something new every time. I very much enjoy being with other students and interacting. The staff are very supportive, understanding and easy going.

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