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Introduction

Youth groups and clubs give the chance for young people to play and work together. They can develop new skills whilst having fun. Some clubs will be for young people with a specific condition or need. Some are clubs for everyone but include those with additional needs.

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What I might need for support

This tool is something you can bring with you to a youth group to help tell the youth group leaders what they can do to include you and make you feel comfortable.

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Specialist youth groups

Community Inclusion and Activity Monthly Teen Club

Taunton and Yeovil

A chance for teenagers to take part in activities, build friendships and develop life skills. Activities include bowling, pizza and more. For all children and young people aged 13 to 18 in Somerset with a disability or additional needs.  Venues change depending on activity. Find out more from the Community Inclusion and Activity Team.

Childrens Autism Outreach Team Teen Tea Out

Bridgwater and Shepton Mallet

An opportunity for young people with autism to learn new skills and meet new friends in a safe environment, and for their parents to also meet others who understand.  Some young people chose to sit with their family, and some have chosen to sit with other young people on the next table.  A trial offer for young people 11 years and older accessing support from Childrens Autism Outreach Team.  Parent carers must accompany their young people.  Find out more from the Childrens Autism Outreach Team.

Somerset Parent Carer Forum – Youth Group

Yeovil

A monthly Youth Group for 12 to 25 year olds with additional needs. There will be a craft activity, games and tuck shop so please bring some small change.  We ask for parents to stay for the first session. Places must be booked. Find out more from the Somerset Parent Carer Forum.

The Hive – SEND Youth Group

Wiveliscombe

A monthly Youth Group for 13 to 25 year olds with additional needs. Places must be booked. Find out more from In The Mix Project.

Somerset Time for Youth Special Needs Club

Highbridge and Bridgwater

Somerset Time for Youth is a club for children and young adults with additional needs and their families. They provide a safe and supported environment for our members and their families to socialise. The aim is to build on members interests, focus on what they can do, encourage positiveness, and have fun. Run weekly alternating between Highbridge and Bridgwater, find out more on the Somerset Time for Youth Facebook page.

Loveable Social

Taunton and Yeovil

Loveable group is particularly aimed at the over 18 neurodiverse/learning disabled community.  Their monthly socials are friendly, inclusive and relaxed. Its a great space to meet new people and socialise, if you don’t want to talk much at first that’s absolutely fine.  Support friends are welcome to come if that makes you more comfortable however our staff are experienced and friendly.  Find out more on the Loveable Facebook page.

Loveable Girl Group

Loveable girl group is friendship group for adult neurodiverse and or females with disabilities who meet regularly to support, encourage and empower one another.  Find out more on the Loveable Facebook page.

The POD – Youth Club

Frome

The POD is a youth club for young people with additional needs aged between 10 to 18 years in Frome. The ratio of staff to young people is typically 1 to 3. Young people with 1 to 1 needs are able to attend with a Carer or Personal Assistant however a waiting list may still apply. Activities are chosen by the members, but young people are free to take part or just relax and read a book if they wish.

The POD – Plus

Frome

The POD plus is a youth club for young adults with additional needs aged between 17 to 30 years in Frome. The ratio of staff to young people is typically 1 to 5. Young adults with 1 to 1 needs are able to attend with a Carer or Personal Assistant however a waiting list may still apply. Activities are chosen by the members, but young people are free to take part or just relax and read a book if they wish.

Bath Autism and Neurodiversity spectrums (BANDs) CIC

Frome, Bath and Weston

BANDs run social opportunities meetings for over 16s who identify on the autism, Asperger syndrome and similar spectrums, including (but not limited to) ADHD, Non-Verbal Learning Disorder, dyslexia, dyspraxia, social anxiety, dyscalculia, Bipolar, Borderline Personality disorder, Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder, OCD and schizophrenia. Participants may attend the group regardless of a diagnosis. BANDs aims to provide a safe and welcoming environment for people, especially those without social opportunities which encourage peer-to-peer networking and developing and maintaining shared interests. The groups include a cinema group, café group and pub group.  Attendees to the groups have to pay for any activities they participate in: the drinks, snacks, meals, cinema tickets, venue hire, transport to and from the groups.  Find out more about the groups in Frome, Bath, Weston-super mare and Trowbridge and Cardiff on the BANDs CIC website.

Ups and Downs Southwest Youth Clubs

Sherbourne, Weston and Bristol

Youth clubs for young people with Down Syndrome. Run by volunteers and overseen by youth workers they provide a safe and fun place for young people to meet, socialise and have fun. They include craft sessions, games nights and cooking lessons. Find out more about the groups run in Sherbourne, Weston and Bristol on the Ups and Downs website.

Hip!!Bones

Gillingham

Hipp!!Bones is a youth club for people with additional needs aged between 11 to 19 years but can go up to 25 years, in Gillingham. Hipp!!Bones staff are very knowledgeable and experienced in the fields of youth work and special education and are supported by a team of dedicated adult volunteers and young volunteers. The ground floor of the building is wheelchair accessible, and mobile hoisting facilities are available. All activities are appropriately differentiated to meet each young person’s needs, routines are in place giving a sense of security, and staff use simple language reinforced with visual clues and sign language to support communication. We have communication aids; switches and switch activated resources to enable young people with Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties to participate independently in activities and have greater control over their immediate environment.

SWALLOW Youth Group

Midsomer Norton

SWALLOW Youth Group is a weekly youth club for teenagers with learning disabilities aged between 13 to 19 in Midsomer Norton.  They offer a range of activities promoting independence and work towards increasing social and practical skills.  They provide a safe, secure environment with trained, DBS checked staff where you can meet new friends and have plenty of fun!

Youth Matters Peer Support Groups

Minehead, Taunton, Langport, Chard, Bridgwater, Shepton Mallet, Frome, Yeovil, Bridport, Weston

Run by Mind in Somerset, these groups are free and informal and give you the chance to meet other young people who may be experiencing similar emotional health issues in a safe, friendly and non-judgmental environment and allow you to both give and receive support to each other.  Run by a team of staff and volunteers for 11 to 18-year-olds and 18 to 24- year-olds, their sessions are an opportunity to talk and share experiences, whilst learning some tools and resources to build self-confidence and self-esteem, and to help you cope better with life’s ups and downs. However, they do not make anyone talk about why they have joined if they do not want to.

Space Base – Youth Club

Cheddar Valley

Space Base – Youth Club is a weekly youth club for young people experiencing low mental health and emotional resilience in the Cheddar Valley area.  They offer a range of activities to help young people come together to have fun, chat and chill. To support those with additional needs they restrict their numbers to 25 per session.

Young Carers

Minehead, Taunton, Bridgwater, Shepton Mallet, Yeovil

Somerset Young Carers Groups are run in five locations across the county. Anyone under 18 in a substantial and regular caring role can be referred. The service is free, although contributions are sometimes asked for, to help with the cost of a trip or activity. These groups are accessible for any young carer in Somerset, you do not need to be formally assessed as a ‘young carer’ to attend, but they do require parent/carer’s consent so Somerset Council can share relevant information with other professionals as appropriate.

Somerset Carers Service offer Carers Groups for anyone over 18 in a substantial and regular caring role.  Some have activity groups for the people you care for so you can attend the group without paring for respite care.

Inclusive youth groups and clubs

YMCA Youth Clubs

Taunton, Yeovil, Glastonbury, Street, Shepton Mallet, Bridgwater, Weston

YMCA run a variety of youth club sessions across the county who welcome anyone. Some young people may be vulnerable and/or have additional needs. They provide safe environments and ensure continued engagement and participation in planned programmes of non-formal educational positive activities, sports and issue-based work that are enjoyable and challenging; where young people can socialise, relevant to the needs and development of individuals and peer groups. See more at YMCA Taunton GroupYMCA Brunel Group (Mendip and South Somerset) and Dulverton Group (Bridgwater and Weston) .

Scouts

countywide

Scouts (including Squirrels, Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, and Explorers) is about actively involving everyone, adapting activities so that they are in everybody’s reach. You can find out more on the National Scout website.  There is a lot of flexibility within the Scouts programme to meet individual needs, whether that be a disability, neurodiversity, or an educational, mental health or medical need. It is recommended for parent carers to talk with local leaders to help them understand what changes would be appropriate, but there is also the option to talk to the County Advisor for Special Needs and Inclusion to consider more options.

Girlguiding

countywide

Girlguiding (including Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and Rangers) strives to make sure that every girl and young woman is given full access to the opportunities that they offer. You can find out more on the National Girlguiding website.  Sometimes this means taking a bespoke approach, making adjustments for members on a case-by-case basis. It is recommended for parent carers to talk with local leaders to help them understand what changes would be appropriate, but there is also the option to talk to the County Advisor for Inclusion to consider more options.

Green Goblins Games Club

Taunton

This is an inclusive club run in Taunton for people that enjoy Trading Card Games, Tabletop Strategy Games, Paper Based Role Play and all other game enthusiasts. All ages and experience levels are welcome (under tens require adult supervision). Children and young people over the age of ten can attend on their own under group supervision or with parent/carer if additional 1:1 support is required – please call the organisation to have a chat about needs or visit their Green Goblins UK Facebook Page

Game Changer

Taunton, Yeovil and Bridgwater

Game Changer is a place for Neurodivergent people, people with Learning Disabilities, Autism or just people (!) 18+ to come socialise, relax, chat, chill and most importantly play video Games! Advice and Help is available.

Find their events in Taunton, Yeovil, and Bridgwater on Association for Neurodiversity in Video Games Facebook page.

Player Ready

Taunton

Player Ready offer a Minecraft and Coding Club for children and young people aged 7 to 17 years.  They welcome children and young people from all backgrounds.  But also offer an inclusive quieter session limited to 6 spaces.  Clubs are not just about learning; they’re about exploring, socialising, teamwork, coding, creating and belonging.

Lego and Switch Clubs

countywide

Many of Somerset Libraries run Lego sessions and some of the larger libraries run Nintendo Switch clubs. Check the libraries events calendar for more information. And don’t forget that Somerset Libraries have virtual tours and social stories to help make your visits easier, staff are happy to work with you to help plan your visit.

Virtual Hubs

countywide

Virtual Hubs for young people are a safe online space designed for young people to find out about what services are available for you in your area. Informative workshops are led every week by Young Somerset’s team, providing professional advice and guidance on how to maintain positive wellbeing, and look after your mental health.

Last reviewed: April 2, 2024 by Gemma

Next review due: October 2, 2024

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