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. We are funded to provide activities for young people who are autistic and without a learning disability because there is little on offer for these children and it has been identified as a need. If this does not suit your child there are several other organisations who provide activities for children – 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.

Youth Groups

!!  IMPORTANT NOTICE: Applications are temporarily CLOSED

We are currently not accepting new applications to any of our youth groups  

Unfortunately, we have temporarily closed new applications to all our youth groups. This is due to the long waiting list for all youth groups, and the need to secure long-term funding. Depending on funding, we hope to re-open applications after April 2024 and will announce the reopening via Facebook and our email mailing list. xxxxxx

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 a small team and are trying to keep admin to a minimum – so please do be patient and await further news. xxxxx

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

Many thanks for your patience and understanding.

xxxx

We run three weekly groups for young people who are autistic and without a learning disability. The different groups cover ages 8–21, and are based in Oxford and Wolvercote. 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 who are autistic and without a learning disability. Please see the Holiday Activities section for more information. 
We can also run occasional workshops, including Social Skills, and Sex & Relationships Education. Some of our young people

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YOUTH GROUPS 

We run weekly youth groups in Oxford and Wolvercote.  We aim to create a fun, social, and safe place for members to be themselves, meet other young people, socialise, make friends, chill out, and discuss and agree on activities.  Our youth groups run during school term-time only.
Our youth groups are restricted by our current funding, and therefore available to young people who are:
  • aged 8-21 and
  • have a diagnosis of autism, without a learning disability, and
  • live in Oxfordshire or receive education or health service in Oxfordshire, and
  • are unable to access mainstream social groups, and
  • can attend a social group with a staff:child ratio of approximately 1:8 (do not typically require 1:1 support)
The youth groups are arranged according to age. Early applications: If a child is not yet the minimum age of the youth group, an Application will only be accepted up to 6 months before the child is the minimum age.
Age range When & where Staff:Child ratios   
8–12 year olds Saturdays 10am ‐ 12pm Wolvercote, Oxford Staff : child ratio is approx. 1:5 plus volunteers
13–17 year olds Friday evenings 6:30pm ‐ 8:30pm Wolvercote, Oxford Staff : child ratio is approx. 1:8 plus volunteers
18–21 year olds Wednesdays, 6:30pm ‐ 9pm Headington, Oxford. Staff : child ratio is approx. 1:9 plus volunteers This group has a lot 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 on activities, group activities, and chilling out. Members are especially encouraged to participate in group activities, activities include a pool table, board games, arts & crafts, sports/active games, games consoles, 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 that 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 A YOUTH GROUP

!!  IMPORTANT NOTICE: Applications are temporarily CLOSED

We are currently not accepting new applications to any of our youth groups  

Unfortunately, we have temporarily closed new applications to all our youth groups. This is due to the long waiting list for all youth groups, and the need to secure long-term funding. Depending on funding, we hope to re-open applications after April 2024 and will announce the reopening via Facebook and our email mailing list. xxxxxx

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 a small team and are trying to keep admin to a minimum – so please do be patient and await further news. xxxxx

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

Many thanks for your patience and understanding.

X

Please note:
  • Places are limited and all groups have a waiting list.
  • Early applications: If a child is younger than the youth group’s age range, an application will only be accepted up to 6 months early. For example, if the age range is 8-12 years old, the earliest an application form can be submitted is when the child is 7 years and 6 months.

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 (the Application Form is currently not available as we are currently not accepting new applications) 

If you are already known to us:

  • Please complete a Youth Group Application Form (the Application Form is currently not available as we are currently not accepting new applications) 
DOWNLOADING THE FORM: Please click the link to download the form. If you use Google Chrome, the download will be placed in the download folder which can be accessed using the download symbol in the browser site bar. Alternatively right click the link and open in a new tab.

When we receive the Youth Group Application Form

  • Our Activity Coordinator, will contact the parent/carer to discuss the application and may arrange to meet the young person and parent/carers.
  • If a placement is suitable, and a place is available, the young person will join initially on a trial period.
  • Please note: Places are limited and there is currently a long waiting list 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 Summer and Easter Activities are very popular and provide a variety of community-based activities and opportunities to meet other young people.

Summer & Easter holiday activities  

  • Our holiday activities are specifically for 8 – 17 yrs olds who are autistic, without a learning disability.
  • We run approximately 4 activities per week.
  • The staff:child ratio is generally 1:4.
  • Participants must be able to participate in group activities and group discussions.
  • Activities are community-based and include group games as much 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 activities are advertised in our Newsletter and emailed to parents and professionals on our mailing list.
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.