Sheffield Autistic Society – April 2023 Newsletter

Hi Everyone

Here is a round-up of information and news which we hope you will find useful and of interest.

Get Involved – Adults

  • Adult Autism Peer Support Group (Zoom)

For autistic adults 18+ only – will meet online over Zoom on the following date from 7pm until 8.30pm:  Wednesday 12 April everyone welcome – new members too!

Please contact Helen for more information at  and she will send you the joining details if you wish to come along.  See attached for group guidelines which set out what to expect at the meetings which are friendly and supportive. Peer Group Online Group guidelines 2023

  • Join the A Team!

We are a group of adults on the autistic spectrum who meet socially on a regular basis either just to enjoy ourselves or to learn something new or to improve our physical or mental health.  Some of us are parents, some work for local employers or are self-employed, others engage in volunteering and other forms of work experience and others still are studying.

We have a number of regular activities which include a monthly meeting at a friendly city centre pub,  a monthly walk in the area, a monthly art/craft event, a fortnightly snooker club and a monthly online social group. We send out a weekly newsletter to members about activities that are coming up and wider events in Sheffield.

For details of how to join please see

  • ACCTing Out Social Group

ACCTing Out is a social group for young autistic adults aged 18 and above. We run fortnightly activities normally on Tuesday evenings, to places like the cinema, to play pool, go for a meal, and more.

The group runs supportive social opportunities that help young adults to get out of the house and participate in activities with friends and peers. The group aims to help boost the confidence and self-esteem of young adults, have a positive impact on mental health and build social, communication and life skills. Each ACCTing Out activity is led and supported by ACCT staff and volunteers.

For details of how to join please see

  • Inclusive LGBTQ+ Café

A social meet up for neurodiverse/disabled members of the LGBTQ+ community, alternate Thursdays on Zoom, 3-4pm or at Spirit of Sheffield, 3-5pm. Email for more information. Poster attached.

  • Autistic Women’s Network – WAND

WAND is an Autistic Women’s Network that is being established in Sheffield.

If you are interested in joining the network please contact Sylvia Johnson ( and she can sign you up.  WAND has recently launched an online Forum and Sylvia can explain how to access that.

  • New Mental Health Drop Hub in Sheffield city centre

A new drop-in Mental Health Support Hub has opened for people who are experiencing a mental health crisis and want support.  You can just turn up as there is no need to book. The staff team is available to provide emotional, social and practical support if you are in crisis or feel you are heading toward a crisis situation.  They also offer help in creating staying well and crisis plans.

They offer support in person, over the phone, or via video call. You can come just for a chat or to access one-to-one support and group sessions with r staff team. Help is available in person, over the phone and via video call. The Hub is on Bank Street S1 2DS and open in the evenings 6pm –12 pm and 2pm -12 pm at weekends. See the attached leaflet. Sheffield Support Hub – A5 Leaflet

  • Peer support – ADHD Adult Group

Face to face meetings upstairs at the NHS Walk In Centre on 75 Broad Lane, Sheffield, S1 3PB.  Second Wednesday of every month 6pm to 7.30pm.

For more details contact: ADHDPEERSSHEFFIELD@GMAIL.COM

  • Autistic friendly swim at Concord Sports Centre

An autism friendly session takes place on Sundays between 3.45pm – 4.30pm: Autism/Sensory Swim.  Please see website for details of pricing and booking

Get Involved – Children and Young People

  • Autism Hope Sheffield

We are a support group for parents and family members of children of all ages, with Autism Spectrum Conditions based in north Sheffield.  We meet weekly to offer support, understanding, advice and friendship to each other (during term time).  We have in person meetings with a cuppa, cake and chat and also zoom meetings if you can’t make it in person.  We have regular guest speakers from organisations that can help and signpost to other services.

Contact Details:  Email Address: Facebook: Autism Hope Sheffield Tel: 07968 984179 Web:

  • ACCT Sheffield

We run a wide range of in-person and online activity groups for autistic children and young people, parent-carers and whole family activities. We run several sessions each week, including multi-activity groups and specialist sessions focused on particular activities that children and young people attending ACCT has asked us to run.

Our regular activities currently include:

    • Acctivate – multi-activity in-person group for autistic 5-12 year-olds held on Saturday mornings (9.45am-12.15pm). Places available through Sheffield City Council’s referral process.
    • Teenage Club – in-person group for autistic teenagers aged up to 18, held on Wednesday evenings (7-9pm). Places available through Sheffield City Council’s referral process.
    • ACCT Academy Football Coaching  – Friday evenings (6 -7pm) at Goals on Norfolk Park Road. Book a place by contacting ACCT.
    • Minecraft Club (Online groups) – facilitated by ACCT staff and run through a private server. For any age, every Saturday morning. ACCT has guest logins available for participants who don’t have their own. Book a place by contacting ACCT.
    • Dungeons and Dragons (Online groups) – facilitated by ACCT staff and run over Zoom. For teenagers and young adults. Every Monday evening or Saturday afternoon. Book a place by contacting ACCT.
    • Parent-Carer Meetings – ACCT runs fortnightly meetings, on Tuesday evenings, via Zoom, for peer support, information sharing and discussion of topics of interest and importance to parent-carers of autistic children and young people. Book a place by contacting ACCT. We also run workshops and training for parent-carers.

Places at Acctivate and Teenage Club are available through referral by contacting Sheffield City Council. All other activities are available directly from ACCT. Join ACCT as a member (it’s free), then contact us to book a place. More information about referrals and joining ACCT available here

  • The Peer Support Service for parents/carers

The Peer Support Service was created in response to feedback from parents of children and young people aged 0-25 with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in Sheffield. Feedback clearly showed that there is a lack of support both before and after a child receives a diagnosis. Although the funding for the project has a focus on autism and other neurodevelopmental needs, our service is available for ALL families, with or without a diagnosis. We will continue to work closely with families in Sheffield, listening to their ideas and concerns, using these to shape the service going forward.

If you would like a 1-1 appointment, please call our main number 0300 321 4721 and select option 1 for our Peer Support Service. Alternatively, please email

  • Coffee Morning at the Parent Carer Forum

Coffee mornings are run by our friendly volunteers. They are open to all parent carers, whatever their children’s needs, whether diagnosed or undiagnosed, mild or severe. Pre-schoolers and home-educated children are welcome too. Pop in for a few minutes or stay for the whole session – no need to book. You can be sure of a warm welcome and plenty of tea, coffee and cake!

Next session is: 10:30am – 12:00pm on Tuesday 25th Apr 2023 at St Mary’s Church and Community Centre, Bramall Lane, Sheffield, S2 4QZ

  • SSENDIAS information sessions
    Sheffield SENDIAS (Sheffield SEND Information and Advice Service) offer free online information sessions.  These are for parents and carers of young people aged 0-25 with SEND.   The sessions answer some of the most frequently asked questions.

There are various sessions available, which run in both the daytime and evenings covering topics such as:

    • – What is an EHC Needs Assessment
    • – SEN Support in Schools
    • – Checking a Draft EHC Plan

Details are at

  • SEND Youth Clubs

Sheffield City Council Community Youth Services run the following youth clubs for young people aged 13 to 25 years with special educational needs and/or disabilities:

    • Leo’s SEND club: Monday 6-8pm, Centre in the Park, Guildford Avenue, Norfolk Park, Sheffield S2 2PL
    • S Club 5 SEND club: Tuesday 6-8pm, Milan Youth Centre, Longley Lane, Sheffield S5 7JS

Just turn up to your chosen club and a Youth Worker will help you to complete the registration form. For further information contact Community Youth Services on 0114 2057450 or e-mail  

Support for Carers

  • Sheffield Carers Centre is a local independent charity founded in 1993, that is also affiliated to the national Carers Trust charity. They provide a range of high quality services to unpaid adult carers in Sheffield. They can offer a range of support including:
  • Carer Advice Line: Call us for personalised expert advice on anything related to your caring role. One of the team is an Urdu and Punjabi speaker, and we use an interpretation service for other languages.
  • Carer Card: This offers discounts on a wide range of services, products and activities from local and national businesses; plus there is space to record two emergency contact numbers.
  • Carer Activities & Carers Workshops: Regular activities for carers to have a break from their caring role and look after their own wellbeing and a programme of workshops to help carers share experiences and learn new skills.
  • Legal Advice Clinic: Free 30-minute individual legal advice sessions with a legal expert, offering advice around topics such as wills, estate planning and power of attorney. Clinics are held on a monthly basis.
  • Carer Café & Support Groups: The Café is held every Friday and is a great chance to meet other carers. The Support Groups take place at various locations around Sheffield on a regular basis.
  • Community Connect: A telephone support service providing regular phone calls from volunteers to reduce social isolation and connect carers with their local community.
  • Emergency Planning:  We provide information to help carers make an emergency plan if something unexpectedly stopped them from looking after the person they care for.
  • Carer’s Assessment: A carer’s assessment provides an opportunity to discuss the impact of your caring role with our Carer Advisors, who will discuss the support you might need and help put this in place.
  • Time for a Break Grant:  Small grants for short breaks or activities that support wellbeing and help you take a break from your caring role. We’ll assess your eligibility as part of a Carers Assessment.
  • Information and resources:  Easy access to a range of information and resources on our website from expert sources covering more than 20 topics to help with your caring role.
  • Digital Resources for Carers: Carers can access the free online ‘Digital Resources for Carers’  provided by Carers UK and Sheffield City Council, includes information, eLearning, resources, and the Jointly app.
  • Carers News: This free monthly E-newsletter provides up-to-date information about our services and activities, along with key news items that affect carers.

Details of all of the above are at:

  • Carer’s Credit

To get a full state pension you need a certain number of years of NI contributions. Carer’s Credit is a National Insurance credit that helps with gaps in your National Insurance record. Your State Pension is based on your National Insurance record. Your income, savings or investments will not affect eligibility for Carer’s Credit.

You could get Carer’s Credit if you’re caring for someone for at least 20 hours a week and they don’t have to be in receipt of benefits themselves. It is worth checking your eligibility as could make a difference to your pension.  Full details are at:

You can also check your NI record to see if you have any gaps and your State Retirement Pension at:

  • Council webpage with links to lots of practical and helpful information on cost of living

Everyone is affected by the cost-of-living crisis in some shape or form. Sheffield City Council has a special page on their website highlighting some of the local and national support available to help you manage the cost-of-living in Sheffield.

The webpage has sections for areas such as Money Support, Food Support, Help with Energy Costs plus information on community help.

Working in Partnership for Better Services

  • What is the Sheffield Autism Partnership Board?

Sheffield’s Autism Partnership Board (APB) currently meets each month to improve the provision of services and support for autistic children, adults, their families and carers in Sheffield, including young autistic persons in transition to adulthood. Members include representatives from Sheffield City Council and local NHS bodies, community and voluntary sector organisations and services; autistic adults, their parents, carers and family members, professionals and other relevant organisations and individuals.

You can read more about the work of the APB on our website here

  • Sheffield Autism Partnership Network (SAPN)

The Sheffield Autism Partnership Network is a Sheffield based consortium focusing on improving the lives of Autistic people and their families in our city.

It is a network of organisations (voluntary, community, public, private and statutory), Autistic individuals and their support systems (parents, carers, friends, partners, etc) who work with Autistic people, their families and carers.  For information about the network, its member organisations and how they can help you and your support system see the website:

  • Autism Support Hub

Limited funding has been made available for an Autism Support Hub in Sheffield.  The proposal will develop and deliver a service specification of drop-in provision accessible to and offering support to autistic people in Sheffield. This will be available to people aged 16 and above with or without a formal diagnosis of autism.  Services will be provided in easy to access community venue/s through the support of recognised, established, and specialised organisations.

If you would like to be part of the working group around developing this concept then please email

Best wishes
Sheffield Autistic Society