Leisure and Social Activities


Autism Berkshire delivers a wide range of leisure and social activities for children and adults living with autism.

Children can benefit from our youth groups and longstanding favourites such as trampolining sessions and the Games Club, as well as the Lego Club.

Autistic adults enjoy meeting up at our social groups, the 197 Club in Reading, the Bear With Me group, which meets in Maidenhead, and the Bracknell adult social group, as well as the Level Up Club, where the focus is on video and board games.

Events for all the family are also available, with regular fun days at the Thames Valley Adventure Playground in Taplow, along with special events, such as an excursion to the Warner Brothers Studio Tour London – the home of the Harry Potter films.

Click on the links below to find out more.

Activities for Adults

Bear With Me Group, Maidenhead

This group for adults with autism spectrum conditions in Windsor and Maidenhead meets on Wednesday evenings at The Bear pub, 8-10 High Street, Maidenhead, SL6 1QJ. Helen Harris is the coordinator of this group.

The session on December 18, 2018, will be a Christmas Party at Maidenhead Rugby Club. Places must be booked in advance.

The group will then be taking a two-week break over the Christmas and New Year period, with the next session at The Bear being on the evening of Wednesday, January 9, 2019.

All prospective members of this group must be referred by a professional support worker.

Referrals can be made by downloading the Bear With Me registration form, which should be completed and returned to the Autism Berkshire office by email to admin@autismberkshire.org.uk or by post to 40 Caversham Road, Reading, RG1 7EB.

For more information about the group, call 01189 594 594 or email admin@autismberkshire.org.uk

Level Up Club, Reading

The club is open to young people aged 16 to 25 with autism spectrum conditions who live in Berkshire and is run by Kevin Jackson. We have places available for new members – please get in touch using the details below.

Meetings to play video and board games, including Pokemon TCG, are held on the first and third Saturdays of each month, except August, between 2pm and 4pm, at Emmer Green Youth and Community Centre, Grove Road, Reading, RG4 8LN.

There is a charge of £5 per person, per meeting.

Forthcoming sessions:

2018: December 15.

2019: January 5, January 19, February 2, February 16, March 2, March 16.

For more information about the group or to request an application form, call 01189 594 594 or email contact@autismberkshire.org.uk

The club is funded by the DM Thomas Foundation for Young People and the Ironmongers’ Company.

197 Club, Reading

This club for adults with autism spectrum conditions and their parents/carers meets fortnightly in Reading, normally on Monday evenings.

Every other meeting takes place at The Outlook pub, 76/78A Kings Road, Reading, RG1 3BJ. Venues for the other meetings vary and can include bowling arcades, restaurants or walks. The club is run by Kevin Jackson.

Forthcoming meetings:

Monday, December 17: Christmas Meal at Great Expectations, London Street, Reading. From 7pm.

For more information about the group, call 01189 594 594 or email 197club@autismberkshire.org.uk

Adult Social Group, Bracknell

This club for adults with autism spectrum conditions meets every Monday evening (except bank holidays) from 6.30pm to 8.30pm at the Willows and Maples Children’s Centre, Priestwood Court Road, Bracknell, RG42 1TU.

Garrick Rahal coordinates the group, which is for residents of the Bracknell Forest area.

The last session in 2018 will be on Monday, December 17. The first session in 2019 will be on Monday, January 7.

For more information and to register to join the group, call 01189 594 594 or email contact@autismberkshire.org.uk

Activities for Children and Young People

Reading Games Club

This club for children aged eight to 15 with an autism spectrum condition diagnosis, or on the CAMHS waiting list for an ASC assessment, and their siblings, meets twice a month in Reading.

It gives children the chance to make friends, play board games and video games and take part in other activities, including table tennis, table football, art and crafts, or use the outdoor play equipment.

Meetings are held on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month (except for school holidays), between 2pm and 4pm, at Emmer Green Youth and Community Centre, Grove Road, Reading, RG4 8LN. There is a charge of £5 per child, per meeting.

2019: TBA.

Please note that because the club is funded by Reading Borough Council and Wokingham Borough Council as part of their Short Breaks programmes, we can only offer new places to children who are residents of the two borough council areas. Contact the Autism Berkshire office using the details below for more information about the eligibility criteria.

Advance booking is essential and places are limited. Bookings can be made up to two sessions in advance at club meetings or via the Autism Berkshire office.

For more information about the club, call 01189 594 594 or email contact@autismberkshire.org.uk

If you would like to register your child/children for the Games Club, please click here to complete our online registration form.

Family Swimming

You do not need to be a member of Autism Berkshire to take part and sessions are open to families living with autism throughout Berkshire.

These one-hour sessions, when the lights and music are turned down, take place once a month, on Saturdays at 4pm, at Rivermead Leisure Complex, Richfield Avenue, Reading, RG1 8EQ, and are funded by Children in Need.

Advance booking is essential and places are limited. Please ensure you provide details of how many adults and children will be attending each session to ensure sufficient lifeguards are on duty.

Due to building work at the leisure centre, sessions are currently suspended. Dates for future swimming sessions will be posted here once available.

For more information about our family swimming sessions or if you have problems booking online, call 01189 594 594 or email contact@autismberkshire.org.uk

Trampolining

Autism Berkshire runs trampolining sessions for children and young people aged five to 17 with autism spectrum conditions in Reading and Bracknell, funded by the BBC’s Children in Need appeal.

Classes are currently fully subscribed, but we are operating a waiting list.

If you would like to put your child/children on the waiting list, please click here and complete the online registration form.  We will notify parents when places become available.

If you are unable to complete the form online, please contact Sarah Brown at the Autism Berkshire office on 01189 594 594 or email admin@autismberkshire.org.uk

Sessions in Reading are held at Crosfields School, Shinfield Road, RG2 9BL, and Meadway Sports Centre, Conwy Close, RG30 4BZ.

Autumn Term 2018 dates:

Crosfields School Team A: December 22.

Crosfields School Team B: December 15.

Crosfields School Team C: December 22

Crosfields School Team D: December 15.

Spring Term 2019 dates:

Crosfields School Team A: January 12, January 26, February 9, February 23, March 9, March 23.

Crosfields School Team B: January 19, February 2, February 16, March 2, March 16, March 30.

Crosfields School Team C: January 12, January 26, February 9, February 23, March 9, March 23.

Crosfields School Team D: January 19, February 2, February 16, March 2, March 16, March 30.

Meadway Sports Centre: January 19, February 2, February 16, March 2, March 16, March 30.

Sessions in Bracknell are held at Bracknell Trampoline Centre, Coningsby, Bracknell, RG12 7BA. The centre is in the grounds of Brakenhale School.

Spring Term 2019 dates: January 13, January 27, February 10, February 24. March session dates to be advised.

We recently asked parents if their children would be continuing to attend trampolining sessions and were delighted to get lots of complimentary comments about the classes, along with their responses. Here is a selection.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Autism Berkshire and Children in Need for the years that both my boys have benefited from trampolining. Rebound therapy has had enormously positive effects on both the boys and we count ourselves as very fortunate to have had access to these fantastic sessions.”

“This is just to confirm that G is loving the trampolining sessions, and that he would most definitely like to keep his spot. Many thanks for this, it’s made a real difference in his Saturdays!”

“Fantastic club and coaching. Thanks for getting us a place.”

“Yes, both C and D would like to continue with the trampolining – they both enjoy it a lot!”

“We would love to keep our place please. K still enjoys the club very much.”

“My son would like to continue attending the trampolining sessions at Crosfields. He really enjoys this activity and the tutoring he receives from Dugald.”

“R is enjoying trampolining and really keen to continue.”

Lego Club

The club is for children aged eight to 15 with an autism spectrum condition and meets at Woolhampton, in West Berkshire.

Sessions take place on Saturdays from 9.30am to 11.30am at Woolhampton Village Hall, in Bath Road, RG7 5RE. There is a charge of £5 per child, per session.

2019: To be advised.

Due to the club’s popularity, it is currently fully subscribed. We are operating a waiting list and will notify parents when places become available.

Click here to complete our online registration form to put your child’s name on the waiting list for a place.

The club’s co-ordinator is Lisa Greetham, an experienced early years professional.

For more information about Lego Club, please contact the office on 01189 594 594 or email contact@autismberkshire.org.uk

Bracknell CAYP Youth Group

The Bracknell Children and Young People Youth Group is for children and young people aged eight to 17 on the autism spectrum who live in the Bracknell Forest area and is funded by the East Berkshire NHS Clinical Commissioning Group.

It provides an opportunity for children to meet others in the same situation, make new friends and have fun.

Activities at the group’s sessions include table tennis, arts, crafts and board games and the chance to play a range of Wii and Xbox games.

Meetings take place every Friday during school terms, between 4.30pm and 6.30pm, at Willows and Maples Children’s Centre, Priestwood Court Road, off Windmill Road, Bracknell, RG42 1TU. The group coordinator is Garrick Rahal.

Forthcoming sessions:

2018: December 14.

2019: January 11, January 18, January 25, February 1, February 8, February 15, March 1, March 8, March 15, March 22, March 29.

For more information about the group, call 01189 594 594 or email contact@autismberkshire.org.uk

If you would like to register your child/children for the Bracknell CAYP Group, please click here to complete our online registration form.

Due to the group’s popularity, it is currently fully subscribed. We are operating a waiting list and will notify parents when places become available.

Slough Youth Group

This group offers an opportunity for children and young people aged eight to 17 with autism spectrum conditions or who are on the waiting list for an assessment – and their siblings – to get together and enjoy activities including games, arts & crafts and drama.

The aim is to develop communication and social skills in a fun, playful and creative environment. 

The group is funded by the East Berkshire NHS Clinical Commissioning Group.

Sessions are held fortnightly from 4pm to 6pm on Saturdays at Burnham Youth Centre, in Minniecroft Road, SL1 7DE.

Forthcoming sessions: To be advised.

For more information and to book, call 01189 594 594 or email admin@autismberkshire.org.uk

If you would like to register your child/children for the Slough Youth Group, please click here to complete our online registration form.

Family Fun Days

Autism Berkshire arranges fun days for its members and their families in alternate months.

These are usually held at the Thames Valley Adventure Playground, in Taplow, near Maidenhead, SL6 0PR.

What some of our members say about Family Fun Days

The fun days give families the chance to relax and have fun in a safe, stimulating environment, specially designed for adults and children with special needs.

The events are also a good opportunity to meet other parents and siblings of people living with autism.

There is lots to do indoors and outdoors, whatever the weather, with the facilities including a sandpit and other outdoor play equipment, bikes, a soft playroom, sensory room and art and craft activities.

TVAP fun days run on Sundays from noon to 4pm. Families are invited to bring their own lunch and we provide drinks.

Please note that fun days are only open to Autism Berkshire members and their families.
If you are not a member, please join us to be able to book tickets. Click here for details of membership.
2019 Fun Days: February 10, April 7, June 2, August 4, September 22, November 24.

We will notify members online and in our email newsletter when we open bookings for tickets.

For more details, or if you have difficulty booking online or have not received the members’ newsletter, call 01189 594 594 or email admin@autismberkshire.org.uk

We always need volunteers to help set up before and clear up after the fun days. If you are able to help, please contact the office.

For more information about the facilities at the Thames Valley Adventure Playground, see www.tvap.co.uk