Overview

We aim to 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. The range of services include:
  • 4 Youth Groups — weekly groups for young people with Asperger’s Syndrome / high functioning autism covering ages 8–21, based in Oxford and Abingdon. Please see the Youth Groups section for more information.
  • Activities in the Summer and Easter school holidays for 8-17 year olds with Asperger’s Syndrome / high functioning autism.
  •   Our activities are focused on young people with Asperger’s Syndrome / high functioning autism, as there is very little on offer for this group across Oxfordshire.  If you would like information about other activities run across Oxfordshire by other groups, as well as more information on our work, please do look at our Fact File document. The Fact File is available to download here We can also run occasional workshops, including Social Skills, and Sex & Relationships Education.   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). The youth groups provide a fun and safe place for members to be themselves, meet other young people with Asperger’s Syndrome, and have opportunities to socialise, make friends, or just chill out with peers. The youth groups are arranged according to age:
    Age Group When & where Other criteria
    8–12 year olds Saturdays 10am ‐ 12pm Wolvercote, Oxford Children living in Oxfordshire
    13–16 year olds Friday evenings 6:30pm ‐ 8:30pm Wolvercote, Oxford Young people living in Oxfordshire
    13–18 year olds ‘Stuff’, Thursdays 4:30pm ‐ 6:30pm The Hub, Abingdon Young people living in the Abingdon or Didcot area
    16–21 year olds Wednesdays, 6:30pm ‐ 9pm Headington, Oxford. 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. Young people living in Oxfordshire
    Our youth groups focus on having fun, socialising, and chilling out. There is the opportunity to participate in group activities, as well as equipment such as 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

    Referral Process for joining all our youth groups:

    • If you are NEW to us, a general  Referral Form must first be completed by a parent/carer, or a professional.
    • Then (or if you are already known to us) please complete a Youth Group Application Form.
    • When we receive the Application Form our Family Support Worker or Community Outreach Worker 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 usually a waiting list and priority criteria.
    The Youth Group Application Form is available by clicking here.

    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.  
  • The 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 (e,g. video gaming, laser tag, digital workshops, horse-riding, rowing/kayaking family days, using local venues and organisations)
  • The staff:child ratio is generally 1:4 (additional support may be possible).
  • The young people must be able to attend group activities.
  • The activities are advertised in our Newsletter and emailed to parents and professionals on our mailing list, or posted if requested.
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    Kayaking Climbing wall
    To join our mailing list please fill in a referral form. Referral Form for children under 13 Referral Form for 14-25 Year Olds If you need to notify us of a 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.