Sheffield Autistic Society July 2023 Newsletter


Welcome to all our new members and thank you to everyone for your support. Here is a round-up of information and news for JULY which we hope you will find useful and of interest.

Latest News

Adult Autism Support Hub to open this autumn

The aim of the new service is to develop and deliver drop-in provision offering support to autistic people aged 16 and above, and their (informal) carers and families. People will be provided with information, advice and opportunities to connect with community groups and support in a welcoming and safe environment.

MHM want to say a big thank you to everybody who has been involved with our recent focus groups, online forms or who have provided feedback via email or phone calls. This has been very well received and we already have a lot of information to help with the co-production of the Adult Autism Support Hub.

Below are the links for anybody who would like to have their say about the new service by completing the short online forms:

· What would you like the service to look like?

· How would you like the service to operate?

· How best to engage with the service and receive information?

We may not be able to do everything that has been suggested straight away to focus on ensuring the service is fit for purpose and allow time for the service to function effectively. We will always show in a ‘you said, we did or working on’ approach so that you are aware of what activities might be coming to the Adult Autism Support Hub once it goes live in the Autumn.

If there are any questions please contact the service directly using the contact details below

Adult Autism Support Hub, Mobile Number: 07811 589909


Website: Mental Health Matters

SAPAG Meeting and AGM Wednesday 19th July

The next Sheffield Aspergers Parent Support Group (SAPAG) support meeting will be at 7pm on Wednesday 19th July at The Curzon Cinema in the upstairs cafe bar area.

Look out for the table with the SAPAG label. Website:


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 July everyone welcome – new members too! This is a Sheffield Autistic Society group and meets on the second Wednesday of the month,

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 to peer support (Zoom)

These online only sessions are facilitated by Helen Purdie for the Sheffield Autistic Society. They will be an opportunity for individuals to check-in with themselves and to talk about their lived autistic experience with another autistic adult who is experienced in offering individual and group support in this way.

Sessions are free of charge and are for one hour – please contact for more information.

· 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. Email for more information.

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 give you more information and sign you up.

Space for new members at Gateway social groups

They can also support with the current cost-of-living crisis with sessions and advice on saving money, living well on a budget and cooking cheap and tasty meals.

Groups are held at Sheffield Mencap and Gateway each week on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 6:30pm – 8:30pm.

For more information, or to book a free trial session, please get in touch with Laura at or on 01142767757

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.

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

Support with accessibility during hospital visits

A new team has been set up within the hospital trust to support Autistic people and/or those with a learning disability in making their visits or stays more suitable. You can contact the team on 01142267472 or

Take part in research at the Diversity Lab in London

We are researchers from the Developmental Diversity Lab at University College London (UCL) conducting a research study on implicit mentalizing and voice processing among autistic people. Our target participants are autistic adults. In the study, participants will be invited to participate in two cognitive assessment tasks and a voice-processing task (in-person at UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience). The whole experiment takes around 2 hours, participants will be compensated for 9 pounds per hour, and reimbursed for come-and-return costs.

We assure you that all necessary information and materials will be provided promptly to facilitate the promotion process. We appreciate your consideration of our request, and should you require any information or have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. Thank you for your time, and we look forward to hearing from you soon.

To learn more about Developmental Diversity Lab at UCL, please click here

Get involved – children and young people

Sheffield Parent Carer Forum events

Free information session: Introduction to Autism
Tuesday 18th July 2023 at 10:00am – 12 noon
at St Mary’s Church and Community Centre, Bramall Lane, Sheffield, S2 4QZ

This is a two-hour presentation and workshop for parents who are starting their exploration of autism: whether you have recently received a diagnosis, are waiting for one, or perhaps you suspect that your child might be on the autism spectrum. We will discuss the main traits, challenges and strengths associated with autism and do a bit of myth-busting too.

Please book your place at

Information session: Autism and Anxiety
Thursday 13 July 10.30am til noon
Stocksbridge Children’s Centre, 648 Manchester Road, Sheffield, S36 1DY

This information session will be delivered by a member of our Peer Support Team. It will consist of a presentation on autism and anxiety, followed by plenty of time for discussion and peer support around any issues on this subject that parent carers would like help with. There is no charge for the session and no diagnosis is required, all are welcome to attend. Booking essential.

To book and for more details:

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

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:

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:

Sheffield Autistic Society