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Building community.
Enabling independence.
Finding belonging.


Who we are.

Brighter Horizons is an independent charity that provides support services for neurodiverse adults and those with learning disabilities in southeast London. Our flagship day centre is based at Downham Community Centre and offers opportunities for personal and social development from 09.15 – 15.30 Monday – Friday.

Our values.

We put
people first

brighter horizons lewisham

We have integrity & respect 

brighter horizons lewisham

We are inclusive and accessible 

brighter horizons lewisham

We have

brighter horizons lewisham

Our story.

Brighter Horizons was conceived in 2015 in response to Lewisham Council calling time on its day service provision for adults with learning disabilities. Concerned that would be no support for their now grown up children, a small group of parent-carers took matters into their own hands and setup their own centre. With no assurance of success, our first day centre opened in January 2016 to find 22 families wanting to attend. Since then, we’ve tripled in size and support more than 65 service users each week. Our team has grown a bit too, from a modest six people to 18 carers and a small support team.

Community activism is in our blood. It’s why we’re so passionate about running a service which places service users at the heart of their community. Over half of our activities take place in the community and we now successfully run our own small fleet of minibuses.

We were born putting service users and their families at the heart of everything Brighter Horizons does and we still do the same today. We promote choice, foster wellbeing, build independence and support personal development. It’s the reason that all of our service users have a dedicated key worker. It’s the reason that we run a service user forum which has its own budget. And it’s the reason we offer support and training to our families through our Parent-Carer Forum.
Ignition logo.png
In 2023, we took over Ignition Brewery, a vibrant local brewery which employs and trains people with learning disabilities to brew and serve great beer. We currently have a team of 7 staff and offer employment and development opportunities for adults whose disability means that other employers might not give them a fair chance. To find our more visit

Who we support.

Our day services are open to anyone with autism and/or a mild-moderate learning disability aged 18 or over and who are looking for long term support. You can attend from as little as half-a-day a week right up to five full days.

We also offer a non-term time support programme for young adults attending college.

50% of our service users are male

An average service user attends for 22 hours per week

A third of our service users are under 30


Services we offer.

We believe that everyone has the right to live a full and active life and that they have a responsibility to get involved in their community.

We offer over 30 activities a week and we work closely with each service user and their family and carers to build a unique package of support designed around the service users’ own interests and needs. Over half of our activities are based away from our centre and in the community.

There are over a million combinations of activities, so your timetable really is unique.

Our programme is split into three strands.

Our physical wellbeing strand is designed to keep you healthy and challenge you, whatever your ability. It includes kickboxing, swimming, tennis, walking, football, cheerleading, going to the gym, yoga, trampolining, bike riding and golf. We are proud to have our own football team and cheerleading squad.

Our skills for life strand is designed to help you build on the essential life skills that you already have and includes cooking sessions, computer clubs, travel training, eating out, developing communication, bowling and looking after our allotment.

Our arts strand is designed to give you the opportunity to express yourself. It offers something for everyone and encourages teamwork and communication alongside having fun. Activities include music recording, drama, arts and crafts, joining our steel band, street dance and the ever-popular Friday karaoke.

In addition to our regular activities we offer a year-round programme of extra-curricular events. These include Easter, Eid, Diwali and Christmas celebrations as well as Valentine's Day & Halloween parties. We also run a subsidised programme of trips out in the summer. 

Additional services

One-to-one support

If you would benefit from one-to-one support with some or all of your timetable, we can provide you with a dedicated one-to-one support worker. This carries an additional cost, charged on a half or full day basis.


We run our own transport service which can collect you in the morning and take you home at the end of the day on either, all or some of the days that you attend. This carries an additional cost, charged on a per day basis.

Personal funds account

We know that some of our service users won’t be able to manage their own money. If this is you, you can set up a personal account with us so we can look after a small amount of money for you while you are with us. From this you can pay for any lunches out you have or for any activities you take part in that carry a supplementary cost. We provide you with a monthly statement and you can make a deposit into our dedicated bank account at any time. This is offered free of charge.
Brighter horizons day centre, Lewisham
Brighter horizons day centre, Lewisham
Brighter horizons day centre, Lewisham
Brighter horizons day centre, Lewisham
Brighter horizons day centre, Lewisham
Brighter horizons day centre, Lewisham
Howit works

How it works.

Our daily charge covers the cost of all activities*, your transport into the community during the day, refreshments and our staff support at a minimum ratio of 1:5. Usually it’s higher at 1:4.

Depending on your needs we have two rates for charging. Our standard lower rate will apply for most service users. If you need one-to-one support while you’re eating, help with your personal care, extra help with managing your behaviour or have complex medical conditions, our higher rate of funding will probably apply. We’ll talk to you about this upon application.

Please note that lunch is not provided, and you will need to bring in lunch each day. We have microwave facilities for warming food up. Hot and cold drinks and fresh fruit are provided every day free of charge.

We're open year round, closing only for 1 week at Christmas and on bank holidays.

*some optional activities carry an additional charge. You can see what these are on our price list.

Help with funding.

97% of our service users are local authority funded. This means that their local council pay for the cost of their care with us. Usually this also involves the service user paying a small amount towards their service directly to the council. This is known as their ‘care contribution’ and is means tested, based on the service user’s income and expenditure.

The first step in getting help with funding is to contact the adult social care department at your local council. They will need to undertake a Care Act Assessment to determine what support you need and a Financial Assessment to determine what, if any, care contribution you will need to make towards it.


Bromley adult
social care team:
020 8461 7777


Greenwich adult social care team:
020 8921 2304


Lewisham adult social care team: 
020 8314 7777 


Southwark adult social care team: 
020 7525 5000 

Our referral process.

Demand for our services has increased over the past year and we’re humbled that so many people are choosing us for their daytime care and support.

We’re still accepting new referrals for placements but, in order to maintain the best quality of support for everyone who already comes to Brighter Horizons, we can’t offer start dates until we’ve expanded our team even further than we already have. We expect that to be in December.

We know that this will be disappointing if you were hoping to come to us regularly (or if you would like to place someone with us immediately) but we’re doing all we can to be able to expand our support services while maintaining the level of service you expect from us.

We continue to undertake assessments for anyone who would like to start making use of our day services so that we will be able to quickly offer our services to more people as soon as we are able. If you’d like to discuss a new referral with us, please contact our Day Services Manager, Sam, on 020 8698 8858.

Accessing our support is as easy as 1 2 3


Come and see us. It’s the only way you’ll know if we’re right for you. You can make an appointment by calling Sam, our Day Services Manager on
020 8698 8858.


Send in your Care Act Assessment (or EHCP if you’re under 25) for us to read over. This will help us to decide if we’re right for you. If we think we are, we’ll start building your care plan.


Enjoy a free trial day. Spending the day with us free of charge will help you to decide if you want to join our family. It will also help us to make sure that our team are able to support you and keep you safe. 

After your trial day we’ll sit down with you and agree on your care plan and personal timetable. You’ll be able to start as soon as funding is in place.  


How to find us.

Our nearest stations are Grove Park and Beckenham Hill. We're a short bus journey from each; the 136, 181 and 336 buses run right outside our centre. There is plenty of free on-street parking outside.

Contact us.

Building community.
Enabling independence.
Finding belonging.

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