Autism Hampshire Serendipity Social groups are for adults who are on the autism spectrum. The groups were started in response to requests for more social opportunities and the chance to meet other people who are on the autism spectrum. They 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 user-led and many group members chose to take an active role in organising or supporting their group in some way.
What the groups do is determined by the interests of it’s 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 organize other activities such as bowling, meals out or cinema trips.
To download an information sheet about the social groups please click here
Overview and dates of current groups (scroll down for more information about each group).
Aldershot Wellbeing Centre
Monday 2-4 pm
Eastleigh Wellbeing Centre
Friday 2-4 pm
Fareham, Highlands Hub Cafe
Wednesday 10-11.30 am
6th, 13th, 20th, 27th
Park Gate, Village Inn Pub
St James Park, Southampton
Winchester, Unit 12
Tuesday, 2-3.30 pm
5th, 12th, 26th
Serendipity Social Group Coordinator: Kathryn Cornish
Tel: 078 23344302
Postal Address: 1648 Parkway, Solent Business Park, Whiteley, Fareham, PO15 7AH
More details about the groups
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.
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.
Fareham, Highlands Hub
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.
Autism Hampshire staff facilitate the group, supported by our volunteer Tina who is on the autismspectrum. 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 sometimes arranges bowling and other social events.
Mayflower Theatre Group, Southampton
A special interest social group which meets monthly, normally on Tuesdays 11-12.30 pm, at the Mayflower Theatre Commercial Road, Southampton.Members meet in the foyer just before 11 am. The group is facilitated by staff from the Mayflower and Autism Hampshire, with assistance from group members.
Free teas, coffees and cold drinks are provided by the Mayflower.
The group arrange to attend performances and other theatre related activities.
Park Gate, nr Swanwick station
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.
St James Park, Southampton
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.
Winchester Social Group, Unit 12
This group meets fortnightly at Unit 12 Community Centre, Winnall Valley Rd, Winchester SO23 0LD, The venue has a cafe style seating area, games, area with space for table tennis, a room with a games consul. There is free parking, a bus that stops at the ned of the road and it is an short walk from Winchester city centre. Some refreshments will be available for a small voluntary donation.
Attending a group for the first time?
Always contact the Serendipity coordinator to check the group schedule and let them know you are planning to attend for the first time, as dates can vary. 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 co-ordinator 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.
Email Newsletter - The Serendipity coordinator will share a regular email newsletter with group members. This provides information about the all groups. If you would like to receive this newsletter please email the coordinator to ask to be added. Please note that your email will only be used for this Serendipity newsletter, will not be shared with other group members and you can ask to be removed from the list at any time. The newsletter will also be on the Serendipity page on the Autism Hampshire website.
Autism Hampshire Facebook Page - Weekly posts about the Serendipity groups are shared on our facebook page, as well as other local autism related information. https://www.facebook.com/AutismHampshire/
Volunteers Needed - Many group members help with the running their groups in a variety of ways. However some people are willing to take more on more of an active role and become a fully recruited Autism Hampshire Volunteer. If you have knowledge of autism and/ or experience of running a social group or you would like to help in some other way, we need more volunteers to keep our groups running.
We need people to help with group facilitation (to lead or assist), new member support and a variety of administration roles. Please note, you DO NOT need to be able to attend every week, as we aim to build a team of volunteers who can support in a variety of ways. If you have an idea for a new group in a particular area or with a shared interest and would like to volunteer to lead it, please do contact the coordinator to discuss.
Please note that Autism Hampshire volunteers have to go through a full application process, including a DBS check and induction day. Please contact the Serendipity Social Group Co-Ordinator for more details.
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.
Other Social Groups in Hampshire - Other social groups for adults on the autism spectrum in Hampshire are listed on the Local Autism Directory under groups, clubs and forums: https://www.autismhampshire.org.uk/local-autism-di...