Serendipity Social Groups

Small, social groups led by members and facilitated by volunteers

Autism Hampshire Serendipity Social groups are for adults on the autism spectrum. The groups were started in response to requests for more social opportunities and the chance to meet other people on the autism spectrum. Most groups are free to attend and provide a safe, friendly environment to share interests and meet new people.

Autism Hampshire provides support and co-ordination for the groups, through our group coordinator. The groups are mostly facilitated by one or two volunteers, some of whom started as group members themselves. The ethos of the groups is that they are led by members, and many group members choose to take an active role in organising or supporting their group in some way.

What the groups do is determined by the interests of its members, for example some enjoy board games, cards, chess or scrabble, many enjoy quizzes, some invite guest speakers while others prefer just to chat or nominate topics for discussion/debate. The groups often organise other activities such as bowling, meals out or cinema trips.

Overview and dates of current groups (scroll down for more information about each group).

Sep-19 Oct-19 Future
Aldershot Wellbeing Centre Monday 2-4pm Fortnightly 2, 16, 30 14, 28
Atypical Tabletop, Aldershot Game Shop Monday 2-4pm Fortnightly 9, 23 7, 21
Eastleigh Wellbeing Centre Friday 2-4pm Fortnightly 13, 27 11, 25
Fareham, Highlands Hub Cafe Wednesday 10-11.30am Weekly 4, 11, 18, 25 2, 9, 16, 23
Park Gate, Village Inn Pub Monday 7-9pm Fortnightly 9, 23 7, 21
Portsmouth, King Street Tavern Thursday 6-7.30pm Fortnightly 5, 19 3, 17, 31
Mayflower Theatre, Southampton Tuesday 11am-12.30 Monthly 17 15 19/11, 10/12
Nuffield City Theatre, Southampton Saturday 11am - 1 Monthly 21 19 16/11,
St James Park, Southampton Tuesday 11am - 1pm Fortnightly 10, 24 8, 22
Southampton Common Walking Friday 10.30am - 12.30pm Various 6, 20 TBC
Winchester, Wellbeing Centre Tuesday 2- 3.30pm Fortnightly 10, 24 8, 22

Serendipity Social Group Coordinator: Kathryn Cornish

Contact Details: Tel: 078 23344302


Always contact the Serendipity coordinator to check the group schedule and let them know you are planning to attend, as dates can change. Group facilitators find it helpful to know to expect a new person.

The Serendipity coordinator is available by email or telephone to answer any questions you may have about the groups. If you prefer a face to face meeting, this can generally be arranged on request. We can arrange for you to meet with a volunteer or group member before attending a new group, if it helps you to find out more about the group before you attend.

You do not to have a formal diagnosis or need to show any proof of diagnosis when you attend. Many group members bring someone for moral support, particularly at first. Our groups are inclusive and welcoming. However, if you have high supervision and support needs when accessing activities in the community, please contact the coordinator to discuss further. When you start to attend a group they will ask for a way to contact you, so that they can let you know about group dates and activities. This might be an email or a mobile phone number. It is not essential that you provide this.

Our groups are very informal. We are often asked whether there are group rules - our main rule is that all group members should treat each other with respect and kindness, as it is VERY important that ALL group members feel safe and welcome at the group. If you have any concerns about how to behave in the group or how somebody else is behaving, please ask to discuss this privately with the group facilitator or the Serendipity group co-ordinator.

Email Information Share - The Serendipity coordinator will share regular news about groups and events via email. If you would like to receive the emails please email the coordinator to ask to be added to the list. Please note that your email will only be used for Serendipity information, will not be shared with other group members and you can ask to be removed from the list at any time.

Autism Hampshire Facebook Page - Weekly posts about the Serendipity groups are shared on our Facebook page, as well as other local autism related information:

Expression of Interest for New Groups - If you cannot see a group which would suit you, we keep an ‘expression of interest’ list for people who have specific interests or geographical areas where they would like to see a group. Let the coordinator know your ideas/needs and we will use this information to guide future group development.

Meets fortnightly on Monday 2-4pm, Venue Aldershot Wellbeing Centre, 121-123 Victoria Road, Aldershot, GU11 1JN

Facilitated by our volunteer Dan who is on the autism spectrum and an Autism Hampshire staff member.The group meet in the Solent Mind building in a café /open meeting area. Teas, coffees and cold drinks are available for a small donation.

The nearest parking is the Birchett Road car park - £1 for 2 hours or £1.50 for 3 hours. You then walk along Gordon Road to Victoria Road. I’ll add this information to the web page, as it will be useful for other people.

Are you interested in playing tabletop games? Here's your chance to get involved with a new group who will be meeting up to play tabletop role playing games and board games.

When most people hear board games they probably think of things like scrabble and monopoly, but board games have come a long way since 1948 (scrabble) and 1902 (monopoly). In recent years there has been a board games resurgence, and now there are games of various depths to suit all tastes.

In a tabletop role playing game all of the players assume the roles of different characters and are guided around a fantasy world by a Game (or Dungeon) Master. The Game Master describes the world to the players, and acts as the other characters in this world. Whenever there is a conflict of any sort it is resolved through a roll of the die.

We will be meeting fortnightly on Mondays from 2 pm-4 pm at The Games Shop in Aldershot to play tabletop role playing games and board games, although other tabletop games will be considered depending on the demand. The first session will take place on the 11th of March. There is a cost of £2-3 per person, per week, dependent on the game. This is a fee charged by the game shop for use of their space and is payable on the day (no advance booking needed). It's £3 each when we are playing board games (including use of the games in the shop) and £2 each when we are playing role playing games.

The group is open to players of all experience levels whether you have never played a tabletop game in your life or you are a die hard tabletop gamer, come along and give it a try. We have a potential opportunity to have a Serendipity group multi sports session in Southampton. Active Nation currently offer this session as an open session, but would be willing to make this a Serendipity, autism only group, if we can get a group together. I think it would be really nice to get a more active group going, but need to see if there are a few people who would commit to come along. Do let me know if you are interested and share this widely with anyone who might be interested.

Meets fortnightly on Friday 2-4pm, Venue Eastleigh Wellbeing Centre, 111 Leigh Road, Eastleigh, SO50 9DS. This is 5 minutes walk from the main Eastleigh shopping centre. There is a limited amount of free parking available behind the centre.

Facilitated by our volunteer Marjory with lots of assistance from the group members. Autism Hampshire staff attend the group occasionally. The group meet in the Solent Mind building, where Solent Mind kindly offer them a free room. Teas, coffees and cold drinks can be made in the kitchen for a small donation.You are welcome to bring your own drinks. Some group members also regularly meet to play pool.

Meets weekly on Wednesdays, 10-11.30am, at Highlands Hub Café, Highlands Road, Fareham, PO15 6HZ. This is a 20-30 minute walk from Fareham centre and the train station, there is a bus service. There is free parking in front of the café.

Our volunteer for this group is Tina (who is on the autism spectrum). As the group meet in a café, members can buy hot drinks, cakes and sandwiches from the café. Please note that whilst it is not essential to buy food and drinks and you can bring your own water bottle, it is not acceptable to bring your own drinks and food into the café.

The group also arranges bowling and other social events.

Our group meet at the Nuffield City theatre cafe, in Southampton, on the 3rd Saturday of each month, (unless we have plans to see a show),

The cafe is on the 1st floor, accessible by stairs or a lift, and is a quiet safe space, where we enjoy a drink and chat, and may occasionally have a quiz, theatre tour or see a show.

Our aim is to get together, with like minded people, in a friendly sociable space.

Friends and carers are welcome.

Group Dates:

Aug 17th

Sep 21st

Oct 19th

Nov 16th

No group in December

Pip, Dan and Dawn outside the Nuffiield Theatre in Southampton Cultural Quarter

The Mayflower group meets once a month at the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton. This is a special interest theatre social group which meets monthly, normally on Tuesdays 11-12.30 pm, at the Mayflower Theatre Commercial Road, Southampton. Members usually meet in the foyer just before 11 am.

The group is run jointly by staff from the Mayflower ‘Engage’ team and Autism Hampshire volunteers. The group meet in one of the social spaces in the Mayflower and they enjoy a range of activities which might include a tour of the theatre, drama games, theatre related quizzes, singalong sessions and time to socialise. The group also, sometimes goes to see a show. A programme of activities is provided, so you will know which activity to expect each month. Tea and coffee is available at each session, with a suggested donation of 50p per drink, this is then used to support Autism Hampshire or the Mayflower charities.

The Autism Hampshire volunteers for the Mayflower group, are Dan and Pip, supported by Dawn. They will be there to make you feel welcome.

Pip and Dan also host the Nuffield City Theatre group and organise a range of theatre trips for group members.

Group Dates:


17th September. Archive talk

15th October. Singing with Will

19th November. Autism Awareness

10th December . General talk

Pip and Dawn enjoying a show at the Mayflower

Dan and Pip

Outside the Mayflower

On Stage at the Mayflower - enjoying a backstage tour

Meets fortnightly on Mondays 7-9 pm, at The Village Inn Pub, Botley Road, Park Gate, SO31 1AZ . The group is facilitated by a member of staff from Autism Hampshire. The Village Inn is an easy 5 minute walk from Swanwick Railway Station and has a large free car park.

As the group meet in a pub, members can (and often do) buy a drink or meal. Whilst it is not essential to do this, it is not acceptable to bring your own drinks and food into the pub.

Meets fortnightly on Tuesdays 11-1pm, at St James' Park Community Room, Church Street Shirley Southampton, SO15 5LW. The Community Room is behind the café in St James' Park. There is free, but time limited parking around the park; check the signs carefully.

Facilitated by our volunteer Joanne who is on the autism spectrum and Marina who is the coordinator at St James' Park. Teas, coffees and cold drinks available to make and some food and drinks can be purchased in the café next door.

Activities are determined by group users. These include colouring, puzzles, board games, lego and some conversation.

The group meet fortnightly 2-3.30 pm, at the Winchester Wellbeing Centre, Priory Gardens, Parchment St, Winchester SO23 8AU. This group meets fortnightly.

The Winchester Wellbeing Centre have kindly offered us the use of a room. We can make teas and coffees in the centre kitchen for which there is a 30p charge.

The Centre looks like an ordinary residence. You have to walk through the arch to the rear of the building past the parking area. This picture shows what the building looks like.

The nearest bus stop is North Walls.

This map shows the walking route from Winchester train station to the centre, which is 0.4 miles

If you are driving you can drive down Parchment Street to drop off, but there is no on-site parking. 2 public car parks less than a few minutes’ walk away are St Peters and Upper Brook Street.

We are delighted to announce the start of a new Portsmouth Serendipity Social group and would like to invite you come and meet Veronica our new group facilitator and myself. Any adult who is on the autism spectrum is welcome. During the first few meetings, we would like to meet people to find out more about their interests and what they might like from a social group – so do try to come along.

Please let me know if you plan to attend and share this information widely with anyone who might be interested.

Portsmouth Serendipity Social Group

Alternate Thursdays 6-7.30pm

Kings Street Tavern – not far from central Portsmouth and a nice friendly pub. 70 King Street Portsmouth PO5 4EH

Follow this link for more information about the King Street Tavern including pictures of what it looks like and what food is served.

Dates of first 3 meetings:

Thursday 25th July

Thursday 8th August

Thursday 22nd August

Veronica and I will be there to meet group members. There is no charge to attend the group, but as we will be meeting in a pub you will need to buy a drink. They also do food, so some group members may wish to buy a meal, although this is completely optional.

If you need any help to start attending the group, do let me know. As with all our groups you are very welcome to bring someone along to support you.

The King Street Tavern is a 12 minute walk from Portsmouth and Southsea train station:

The King Street Tavern is a 22 minute walk from Portsmouth Harbour Train station:

Other social groups for adults on the autism spectrum in Hampshire are listed on the Local Autism Directory under groups, clubs and forums:

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