Becoming Independent

How to apply for your provisional driving licence

Your PA will help you to apply either online or using a postal application using a D1 form that you can pick up at a post office. The 16+ team will pay for your licence. 

To apply you must:

Be at least 15 years and 9 months’ old

Be able to read a number plate from 20 metres away

Have legally lived in the UK for at least 185 days in total in the past 12 months

It costs £34 to apply online and £43 to apply by post

You can pay by MasterCard, Visa, Electron or Delta debit or credit card.

You’ll need:

An identity document, such as your passport

Addresses where you’ve lived for up to the last 3 years

You might be asked for additional information, such as your National Insurance number if you know it.

To find out more about applying online click on this link

To apply at a Post office, click this link

How to apply for a passport

Your PA will help you to apply for a passport and the 16+ service will pay for it. It costs £75.50 online and £85 by post. 

You can pick up passport application forms from your local Post Office and apply by post, or use the Post Office Check and Send Service

You can also apply online

How to apply for your National Insurance number

Everybody is given a National Insurance Number just before their sixteenth birthday.  The number is required when working and is used to record and track the Income Tax and National Insurance paid and any benefits received.

Call HMRC 0300 200 3500 to get advice if: you’re between 15 years and 9 months and 20 years old and have not received a National Insurance number.

Your PA will help you with this.

How to join the electoral roll

If you living in settled accommodation it is really helpful to register on the electoral roll, this will enable you to vote and will also help you to improve your credit rating (see Managing your money and budgeting) 

Click on this link to find out more

How to apply for a replacement birth certificate

Click on the link below

What do I need to buy on my first shop?

Here’s our top 10 things to buy in your first food shop and other essentials you may need 

  1. Carbs 

Rice, Pasta and potatoes are fantastic, cheap, and nutritious which make up a pretty substantial part of every meal. They’re versatile, filling and provide the ultimate ‘brain fuel.’ Avoid expensive micro-rice and cook your own rice – you’ll save yourself a fortune and always have plenty of leftovers for the next day.

  1. A pint of Long life milk

Keep a pint or two of this in your cupboard for an emergency  eg to have with cereal when you are hungry

  1. Frozen fruit and veg

Why frozen? Although fresh fruit and veg are considered the kings of healthy eating, don’t be too quick to overlook frozen versions. Whilst they are a little pricier, they keep for a lot longer. They can be quite convenient and save you time when cooking if you’ve bought some prepared (chopped etc) varieties. An important thing to remember when buying frozen produce is that it loses little to no nutrients compared to fresh produce.

  1. Cereals

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Try to avoid the sugarier varieties, and opt for ones high in fibre, as this will keep you full for longer. Consider things like unsweetened granola or porridge oats/oatmeal. 

  1. Bread.

Freeze it on the day of purchase and you can toast straight from the freezer, to get more healthy fibre into your system, buy wholemeal or wholegrain varieties.

  1. Passata / Tinned Tomatoes

Forget expensive ready-made sauces! A jar of passata or tinned chopped tomatoes can be whizzed up in to a Chilli con carne, Curry, Soup, Spag bol, Lasagne or Casserole in no time.  

  1. Herbs & Spices

You don’t need many to begin with, a simple curry powder, mixed Italian herbs and chilli (if you like it hot!) along with stock cubes and salt & pepper is more than enough to get you started 

  1. Preserves

Peanut butter, marmite, jam or Nutella on toast are a great snack

  1. Tins

Tuna, baked beans, tinned tomatoes, soup, kidney beans are likely to be the basis of many meals

  1. Protein (Eggs/Frozen Meat/Meat substitute)

Include protein in every meal to keep you full for longer. Cheese and eggs are a great all rounders. Mince is a fantastic versatile protein to have available. Quorn can be cooked straight from frozen.

Skinless white meat such as turkey or chicken as these are considered the healthiest because of the low amount of saturated fat. If you fancy something redder, then try to choose lean cuts.

Other essentials 

Toilet paper 

Toilet cleaner 

Cleaning sprays 

Soap and toiletries 

Washing up liquid, washing up brush, dish cloths

Paper towels

Laundry detergent

Bin bags

Dustpan and brush

Cleaning cloths 


Cooking your own meals

Food is an important part of everyone’s lives, remember food is a fuel for your body as well as for your mind

In the future we hope to develop a Carefree Cookbook – watch this space! 

In the meantime here is a link to student recipes from Tesco, doesn’t matter if you are not a student these are really simple to make and easy to follow instructions

How to use a washing machine

Here is a useful link to do’s and don’ts when washing your clothes

Staying Safe in your home

Make sure that you have a smoke alarm and check it regularly to see that it works

Make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector 

Get a fire extinguisher and a fire blanket and know where they are

Be aware of what to do in the event of a fire

Know where your stop cock is so that you can turn off the water in an emergency eg if you have a flood

Make sure that you have seen the gas safety certificate for your property 

Know what to do if you smell gas – ring the emergency number 0800 111999

Getting from here to there

Here is a useful to link to information on how to use public transport, eg buses and trains

Here is a link to information about public transport in Cornwall

Other useful links