Sheffield Autistic Society – December 2023 Newsletter

Season’s greetings to all

 Here is a round-up of information and news for DECEMBER.

We are focussing on support for mental health this month I hope which we hope you will find useful and of interest.

Latest News

  • Adult Autism Support Hub – now open

The aim of the new service is to develop and deliver 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. What we can help with:

  • Benefits Support
  • Confidence Building
  • Understanding and information around diagnosis support
  • Finding out what is happening within Sheffield to support with other avenues or support and/or social opportunities
  • Employment Support
  • Family Support
  • Mental health advice/signposting
  • Peer Support

Opening Hours: Monday, 10am-2pm, Tuesday, 5.30pm-8.30pm (Virtual support), Wednesday,10am-2pm, Sunday, 5pm-8.30pm (Virtual support)
Address: MHM Building, 44 Bank Street, Sheffield, S1 2DS (Monday & Wednesday only)*
Who can access this service: Anyone 16+ can access this service
Referral criteria: People can self-refer

Support available: One to One and Group support via phone calls, face to face appointments, online video consultation and email.
Get in touch: 07811 589 909 |


  • Sheffield Parent Carer Forum Information sessions

Booking essential
Transition subgroup meeting
WHEN: 10am til 12 pm Tuesday 13 December
Adult: free

WHERE: St Mary’s Church and Community Centre,
Bramall Lane,
S2 4QZ

Introduction to demand avoidant behaviour

WHEN: 7pm – 9pm Wednesday 20 December
Adult: free

WHERE: Online

For full information and to book please click on the link Events | Sheffield Parent Carer Forum


Focus on mental health

Sheffield Flourish

Sheffield Flourish is a charity that works collaboratively on innovative digital and community projects, recognising the untapped strengths of people who’ve experienced mental health challenges.  They also run a variety of groups from gardening to football to drama to arts.  See here for details:

Website is at


Sheffield Mental Health Guide

The Sheffield Mental Health Guide offers a clear, simple, and trusted guide to services across the city.  Packed full of useful information about local and national services.


Sheffield Support Hub

What can you expect from us?

The Sheffield Support Hub offers free mental health support in a welcoming, comfortable, non-judgmental, and non-clinical environment.

Our experienced 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.

Phone: 07890 987 384
Opening hours: see attached
Address: 44 Bank Street, Sheffield, S1 2DS

Sheffield Talking Therapies

Sheffield Talking Therapies is an NHS service.  It provides free psychological therapies for adults suffering from mild to moderate depression and anxiety or stress.

To access any of the Sheffield Talking Therapies services you can get a referral from your GP, but you can self-refer by phoning 0114 226 4380 or fill in a referral form on their website. They will then arrange for you to have a short assessment to agree the best support option for you. This could be one-to-one talking therapy with a practitioner, an online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) programme called SilverCloud or joining a course with others.  There are also self-help guides too in both leaflet and audio, suggested apps and signposting to other helpful organisations.

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 13 December  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.

  • 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

  • WAND – Autistic Women’s Network

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.

  • 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

  • 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

  • Inclusive LGBTQ+ Café

A social meet up for neurodiverse/disabled members of the LGBTQ+ community. Email for more information.

  • Referred for a diagnostic assessment at SAANS? – latest waiting times

Please see the link below for information on the waiting times for an adult autism or adult ADHD assessment at the Sheffield Adult Autism and Neurodevelopmental Service (SAANS)

If you think you would benefit from a referral to this service you need to speak to your GP or health professional who is supporting you. If they agree that an assessment would be appropriate they need to complete a referral form.

Get Involved Children and Young People

  • The Peer Support Service for parents/carers from Sheffield Parent Carer Forum

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


Family Support Groups

  • 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

  • Sparkle Sheffield

Sparkle Sheffield is a local registered charity that supports children and young people from birth to 25 with Autism Spectrum Conditions and other social communication difficulties. Founded and run by parents who have autistic children, we understand what life is like and how we can work together to improve our children’s and our family’s life. Sparkle Sheffield exists to support families with autistic children meet the challenges they face, feel less isolated, less frightened and more empowered. Autism affects individuals and their families in a wide variety of ways and the approach we use recognises these individualities.

Sparkle Sheffield aim to support and help individuals and families by providing:

  • Opportunities for children and families to create a support network with others in similar situations – we regularly organise online and in-person events where children and families can meet others without fear of judgment.
  • Providing support for autistic individuals: social groups, activities and forming friendships – we host regular events such as Ninja Warrior, swimming, cinema trips and other fun activities.
  • Providing a circle of support for individuals to feel they belong and fit in, have friends and develop the strategies and skills they need to succeed in life.

Most importantly – we have lots of fun in the process!


  • 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.


From next year the APB will change structure to be more streamlined and to ensure a good representation across all parties.  It will have several working groups that will feed into the APB meetings which will then meet every two months.

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:

Best wishes