Bede Learning Disabilities

Our friendly Bede Centre is a special place for people with learning disabilities. Here, you can develop your skills, expand your circle of friends and help other people. The wide range of opportunities and activities enables you to make up your own individual timetable. Our services can be purchased with a personal budget or arranged through your social worker.

We can provide you with individual support to take part in Bede’s programme. You can also follow your own interests or join in our community activities.

Independent Travel and Bede Travel Buddies

At Bede, we can help you travel more independently on foot or on buses, tubes and trains. This can save you money and help to improve your health. We will complete a travel assessment with you and make a plan to match you with a Bede Travel Buddy.

Bede’s Travel Buddies are volunteers who are recruited and specially trained by Bede’s staff team and carefully matched to each person they support. Training is tailored to the individual and every Travel Buddy attends a two-day Travel Safety and Awareness session. This includes good practice techniques, road/bus/train safety, and emergency procedures. We welcome potential Travel Buddies who have a disability themselves. Once trained and matched they can earn a wage as a Bede Travel Buddy. This programme is supported by Equip Grants on behalf of the European Social Fund.

To find out more about being a Bede Travel Buddy contact our Manager, Carole Brady,

A journey to our Bede Centre with a Travel Buddy - one of the many services offered through our Bede Learning Disabilities programme.

Supported Volunteering

There are many ways to give your time to help other people, supported by one of our team. For example:

  • assisting older people in their homes and gardens by being part of the Inside Outside project*
  • learning to grow fruit and vegetables on our allotment in Southwark Park
  • working for a charity in their office or shop
  • helping at a city farm

*Our Inside Outside project introduces volunteers with a learning disability to frail and elderly householders. It won The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service – recognition of how Bede connects people of different backgrounds so they can make life better, together.

People of all ages and abilities get together for mutual fun and assistance through our Bede Learning Disabilities Inside Outside programme.

Our Activities

You can do social, sporting and arts activities – everything from a film club to pilates, from a music group to drama. These will help you to:

  • learn new skills for all areas of your life
  • make new friends
  • learn how to stay healthy

This video by one of our supporters, the Arch Climbing Wall, shows some of the activities available at Bede Centre. Our thanks to them for making this video.

Bede Cafe

The Bede Café is a working café, open to the public, training you in skills for work and home to help you:

  • work as part of a team and on your own
  • learn about food hygiene and safe preparation
  • get ready for service and clean up afterwards
  • learn how to serve customers
Meals cooked and served at our Bede Cafe by clients of our Bede Learning Disabilities programme.


“Bede is special because they let me do exciting projects. I get to write on computers, do work experience and volunteering.”

“I did some allotment work today. We harvested potatoes and runner beans. I also watered all the plants.”

We are delighted that one of our volunteers, David Omorogbe, won the 2021 Southwark Stars award for Disabled Volunteer of the Year.

Our team supports David to tend elderly householders’ gardens in our local area. His work keeping garden areas safe and free of debris and trip hazards has been particularly praised.

He follows in the footsteps of Luke Holmes, who was named Young Volunteer of the Year in 2018. Luke has a number of volunteering roles including gardening and DIY. He also participates in our Helping Hound scheme, taking our lovable dog, Hapus, to spend time with pet-lovers unable to care for animals themselves.


Contact Us

Bede Learning Disabilities at Bede Centre
Abbeyfield Road
London SE16 2BS

020 7237 8930

Carole Brady (Manager)