Overview

We provide fun sociable activities for children and young people, as well as useful training on stuff we know young people want to learn more about. Our regular activities are:
  • Youth Groups

    !! NEWS!!! Unfortunately we have temporarily CLOSED applications for all our Youth Groups. This was a difficult decision – but necessary due to the long waiting list for youth groups, and to allow us to review the application process. We hope to re-open applications after Summer 2021  and will announce the reopening via Facebook and our email mailing list.

    If you have already submitted an application form: Your application remains on the waiting list and we will contact you as soon as we have news.

    We are trying to keep Admin to a minimum – so please do be patient and await further news.

    Many thanks for your patience and understanding.

    For details of other youth groups and activities across Oxfordshire please visit the Family Information Directory https://fisd.oxfordshire.gov.uk/kb5/oxfordshire/directory/home.page

    We run 4 weekly groups for young people with Asperger’s Syndrome / High Functioning Autism. The groups cover ages 8–21, and are based in Oxford and Abingdon. Please see the Youth Groups section for more information.
  • Holiday Activities

    We run activities in the Summer and Easter school holidays for 8-17 year olds with Asperger’s Syndrome / high functioning autism. Please join our mailing list to receive details, simply email us at info@afso.org.uk
We can also run occasional workshops, including Social Skills, and Sex & Relationships Education. Our activities are focused on young people with Asperger’s Syndrome / High Functioning Autism, because there is very little on offer for these children in Oxfordshire.  If this does not suit your child please see Oxfordshire’s Family Information Directory for details of other activities and organisations. Click HERE for the Family Information Directory, or visit the Oxfordshire County Council website.Some of our young people

Youth Groups

We run 4 weekly youth groups specifically for young people with Asperger’s Syndrome (or High Functioning Autism/ASD presenting similar to Asperger’s Syndrome). We aim to create a fun and safe place for members to be themselves, meet other young people, have opportunities to socialise, make friends, or just chill out. The youth groups are arranged according to age:
Age Group When & where Staff:Child ratios   
8–12 year olds Saturdays 10am ‐ 12pm Wolvercote, Oxford Staff : child ratio is approx. 1:5 plus volunteers
13–16 year olds Friday evenings 6:30pm ‐ 8:30pm Wolvercote, Oxford Staff : child ratio is approx. 1:8 plus volunteers
11–16 year olds of Secondary school age Thursdays 6pm ‐ 8pm Abingdon Staff : child ratio is approx. 1:8 plus volunteers
16–21 year olds Wednesdays, 6:30pm ‐ 9pm Headington, Oxford. Staff : child ratio is approx. 1:9 plus volunteers This group has lots of participation and decision-making from the members. There are regular off-site activities which are agreed and organised by the members.
We focus on having fun, socialising, discussing and agreeing activities, group activities, and chilling out. There is opportunity to participate in group activities, as well as equipment such as a pool table, games consoles, arts & crafts, sports games, board games, or just chilling and chatting. We encourage peer interaction, and once settled, members should attend the group unaccompanied by parent/carers. Occasionally there are optional off-site activities which are discussed and agreed by the group. Previous trips have included visits to the cinema, bowling, ice skating, meals out, laser tag, theatre, and theme parks. Each group is staffed by at least two members of staff: a Youth Group Coordinator, and Youth Support Worker(s). Additional support is provided by volunteers.
It has helped to build confidence to go out more because I’m able to mix with people at Youth Club who are like me and my age. It has helped me to talk to people more and I’m making more friends. The staff and the volunteers understand me. Jamie, aged 13

APPLY TO JOIN OUR YOUTH GROUPS

!! NEWS: Unfortunately we have temporarily CLOSED applications for all our Youth Groups. This difficult but necessary decision is due to the long waiting list for youth groups, and to allow us to review the application process.

We hope to re-open applications after Summer 2021  and will announce the reopening via Facebook and our email mailing list.  

 

If you are NEW to us: 

  • First complete a general  Referral Form – this may be completed by a parent/carer, or a professional.
  • Then complete a Youth Group Application Form. (Applications are temporarily closed)

If you are already know to us:

  • Please complete a Youth Group Application Form. (Applications are temporarily closed)

When we receive the Youth Group Application Form

  • Our Activity Coordinator, Georgina Palmer, will contact the parent/carer to discuss the application and usually arrange to meet the young person and parent/carers.
  • If a placement is suitable, and places are available, the young person will join initially on a trial period.
  • Please note: places are limited and there is currently long waiting lists for all groups.

Befriending

Our Befriending Scheme recruits and trains and supports volunteers to befriend a child, young person or adult on the autism spectrum. Befrienders typically spend an hour a week with the befriendee, either visiting them at home engaging in play and leisure activities such as playing board games, computer games, chatting, outdoor games, watching TV and chilling out; or if deemed suitable the befriender and befriendee may go outside and enjoy activities such as cinema, cafes, using public transport, parks, sports and walks.
  • We recruit new volunteers twice a year
  • Volunteers are aged 18 years and over
  • Befriendees – all ages and across the autism spectrum
  • Volunteers agree to a one year commitment
  • All volunteers receive training, references and a CRB check
  • We have a thorough matching process and volunteers and families are asked to provide us with as much detail as possible including their availability, times and days available, and preferences, in order for us to make a successful match.
  • Befrienders visit on average one hour per week
  • Activities are play and leisure activities in the home or offsite activities if deemed suitable and safe.
  • Volunteer travel expenses to the child’s/person’s home is reimbursed by us, any activity costs must be paid by the family/adult.
Befriending has been a god-send – a parent.

As expected Befriending is a much needed and valued service. There is a high demand and a waiting list – we have a careful matching process and can not guarantee a Befriender to all on our waiting list.

Parent/carers or adults on the spectrum can complete a Befriender Request Form.We are always in need of Befrienders from across Oxfordshire. If you are interested in becoming a Befriender please see our Volunteering page.

Activities

Our activity programmes for the Summer and Easter holidays are very popular and provide a variety of community-based activities and opportunities to meet other young people with Asperger’s Syndrome.

SUMMER & EASTER HOLIDAY ACTIVITIES 

  • Our holiday activities are specifically for 8 – 17 yrs olds with Asperger’s Syndrome (or High Functioning Autism/ASD presenting similar to Asperger’s Syndrome).
  • Approx 3 activities per week.
  • Activities are community based and include activities our young people enjoy and as much group games as possible e,g. video gaming, laser tag, digital workshops, horse-riding, science workshops, outdoor play, rowing/kayaking family days, and using local venues and organisations.
  • The staff:child ratio is generally 1:4 (additional support may be possible).
  • Participants must be able to participate in group activities and group discussions.
  • The activities are advertised in our Newsletter and emailed to parents and professionals on our mailing list, or posted if requested.
 
Kayaking Climbing wall
To join our mailing list please complete a referral form. Referral Form for children under 13 Referral Form for 14-25 Year Olds If you need to notify us of your change of details please contact us.

Workshops

Our courses for young people with Asperger’s Syndrome have developed over the years in an effort to provide relevant training, and listening to the feedback from young people and parents/carers. We work in partnership with relevant professionals from across Oxfordshire, including Oxfordshire County Council, Oxford Health and private individuals, in order to deliver appropriate and flexible training. Courses range from one day workshops to 10-week courses. Past courses have included:

Stuff U need 2 know about … Social Situations

A social skills course focusing on friendships, emotions, socialising, including practical tips and keeping safe.

Stuff U need 2 know about … Sex and Relationships

A day workshop which includes discussion on sexual behaviour, keeping safe, contraception, and STIs. We usually provide a follow-up session for young people and parents.

For details of our current courses please see our courses page.