Barnet Independent Living Service (BILS) offers specialist support to adults with a range of physical and sensory impairments.

We work with individuals and in partnership with other organisations to help people reach their potential and get the most out of their life. In doing so we have a strong focus on the values and principles of the social model of disability.

Contact us

Phone: 020 8359 3750
Email: bils@yourchoicebarnet.org

For general enquiries about Your Choice Barnet visit our contact us page.

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What we offer

The BILS staff are very experienced and offer a proactive approach to:

  • safeguarding
  • responsible risk taking
  • risk assessment.

No referral is for life – that’s our philosophy. It’s a time-limited intervention where people:

  • gain the skills and confidence to organise their own lives
  • take part in activities of their choice
  • learn skills to support independent living
  • gain the confidence to no longer require our services.

Our support covers three main themes.

Rehabilitation and enablement

We can offer advice and information on particular health conditions and disabilities to help people lead a more independent life.

We also offer advice on home Telecare options, using sensors and other technology. These give our service users peace of mind that they will receive fast and effective help if they get into any difficulties at home.

Promoting independence

We help people access a range of sports and leisure services, whether it’s swimming or pottery, yoga or art, photography or healthy eating.

We support individuals in determining their own life – to recognise the skills and abilities they already possess and how these can be adapted to enable further achievement, choice and control.

Our aim is to help people overcome barriers to live life to the full.

This may include:

  • support to move home
  • travel training and other daily living skills
  • introduction to British Sign Language
  • counselling.
Employment and training

We can offer support needed to help people enter the workplace or volunteer in a safe environment, including help to:

  • access training or a college course
  • develop IT skills
  • improve CVs
  • guide people through the interview process.

To find out if BILS can help you or a family member please contact us today.

We can support people from their home, in the community or at our Resource Centre in Colindale – it’s entirely up to them!

“A lifeline for both of us”

Carlos was attacked 12 years ago and now needs round the clock care.

“The Barnet Independent Living Service is the only outside support we receive. Carlos comes here twice a week and it’s really the only place where he gets to meet other people.

“If he’s upset, the staff know how to deal with it. It’s difficult to understand Carlos when he speaks, but the staff here will understand what he means. If this place did not exist, Carlos wouldn’t go anywhere and would lose confidence.

“Before he was attacked, Carlos was working as a music editor and he’s had the opportunity to carry on with some of that through music projects at BILS. He also gets to take part in everything from quizzes to flower arranging.

“This place is an absolute lifeline for both of us. The two days he comes here are the only two nights he sleeps well. They are definitely his best days.”

Carlos' mother Elva

Giving something back to BILS

“I’ve been coming to BILS for four years now. They’ve really brought me along, I’d have been lost without them. I enjoy the art and pottery, and I’m coming to grips with it. I now volunteer five days a week – I just want to give something back for all they’ve given me.

“Another service user M had a stroke six years ago. When she first came to BILS she cried all the time, was upset and quiet and was not communicating. Now, thanks to BILS, she’s come out of herself, she’s bubbly and interactive and tells me what to do in our 1:1 meetings!

“I think all my ‘wows’ started four years ago when BILS turned my life around. Look at me now, I’m confident enough to sit here and tell you how proud I am of what M and I have achieved!”

E’s story

“He’s so full of himself!”

“Our son is partially sighted and profoundly deaf. He’s been in out of the care and support system since he was ten years old. When he was seventeen, he got a job, but his behaviour became odder and odder. He was diagnosed with mental health problems and then developed cancer, and returned home to live with us.

“He eventually managed to get a flat of his own, but would sit alone all day long, withdrawn and non-communicative. He was referred to BILS five years ago, and now attends two days a week.

“BILS has transformed our son’s communication skills and confidence. He’s doing things he never had the chance to do before like photography, computer skills, art, drumming, theatre and public service. In March he received Your Choice Barnet’s ‘Striving forIndependence’ Award, a red letter day for him.

“BILS has transformed all our lives for the better. P is just so full of himself now, thanks to BILS.”

A mother’s story