“I’m a mom to two children, Brooke, and Alfie, and our family loves getting out and about doing different activities and seeing new places. But having a child with additional needs or disabilities means certain activities can be challenging and not always suitable. I’ve noticed that appropriate activities for Special Educational Needs (SEN) children are hard to find, so I’ve started doing my own research. With the help of Raring2go! we have compiled this list for parents who are in a similar situation to me. I’d love to hear your own recommendations too!”
Sarah Baynam, Wollaston.
Dudley SENDIASS is a statutory service providing impartial information, support and advice to families of children and young people up to the age of 25 with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND). Throughout the year we have a range of events taking place which parents and young people can get involved in. To find out more email: Dudley.Sendiass@dudley.gov.uk
A support group for families and carers of children and young people with disabilities, held at Brierley Hill Methodist Church. Contact Elaine/Esther via the Facebook page Lifted Spirits Dudley and Surrounding areas or email: email@example.com.
Unlock a world of fun at our Inclusive Play Session in Dudley! Tailored for children with disabilities, our Adventure Playground invites every child to experience the magic of play. From the sensory delight of water play to the thrill of climbing, zooming on pedal go-karts, and expressing creativity through arts and crafts – every moment is designed for inclusivity and fun! Our trained staff ensures a supportive environment, fostering friendship and smiles. Limited spaces are available, reserve your spot now for a day of laughter and shared adventures!
All Stars Youth Club:
Himley Road, Dudley. All Stars Youth Club caters for young people with SEN and disabilities ages 11+ years. £3.00 Admission fee per week. First week free.
Kids Orchard Centre:
This is part of a national charity that strives to develop services for disabled young people in partnership with parents. The Kids Orchard Centre is committed to working to ensure children maximise their skills and fulfil their potential, irrespective of their impairment or disability. They offer activities which include after-school clubs for ages 5 to 13 years, transition groups and youth clubs for ages from 13 years to 25 years, Direct payments and Home Support, holiday play schemes and events and themed trips. Find more info on the local centre here.
A term-time playgroup for children with special needs, held at Wollescote Community Centre each Wednesday, 5.45pm – 7.45pm, and, Sutton School, Dudley each Monday, 4.15pm – 6.15pm. £4.50 per child. Contact Wendy for details on 07807 030583. Activities include Arts and crafts, playing and dancing, outside play (weather permitting) and seasonal activities. Disabled toilets are available, and staff are DBS checked.
Baby Glow Bugs:
A sensory experience for little ones. Sessions take place in a darkened room and enable you and your little one to explore an array of light and sensory activities, with a different theme each week. Classes are held in Stourbridge, Bromsgrove and Wall Heath.
Merry Hill Odeon hosts specially adapted Autism Friendly Screenings of new releases one Sunday morning each month. The screenings have low lighting, limited sound levels and no adverts.
Offer a SEN session every Sunday 4.30pm – 5.30pm. These sessions provide exclusive jump time for our jumpers with special needs, open to all ages. One carer jumps free with each special needs jumper. One additional sibling/extra carer will also be allowed but must stay with the SEN jumper at all times. Separate jumping will not be allowed. Lighting and music will be SEN-friendly, and squash and biscuits will be available. Members of the public will not be allowed admission and proof of SEN may be required. Please book online before arrival as places will be limited to ensure comfort and safety.
60-minute session £10.00, one carer free. Sibling/extra carer £6.00.
Kewford Eagles SAS Inclusive Football:
Held on Sundays, 10am – 12pm, at Wall Heath. The club is run by specially qualified coaches. Contact Jane Beach for details on 01902 561 652.
A small family business that offers a range of services that appeal to children and adults with special education needs and disabilities. We do this by creating opportunities for individuals to stimulate their senses and practice other key developmental skills, by providing different sensory activities, catering for a range of sensory needs and delivering services that are in are much needed at an affordable price.
The World Outside Forest School:
Don’t run anything specifically for SEN, however, due to the nature of Forest School it is well suited to a lot of SEN, as they have space to stand away from the group, they are not required to take part in set activities and as Forest School is child-led they can choose the activity they want to do and how long they spend doing it. They have space to be away from the group and observe and watch until they feel comfortable to join in. Additionally, parents can easily move away from the group without causing too much disruption or feeling embarrassed.
Sandra who runs The World Outside Forest School recommends these links to read how Forest School can be great for those with SEN;
Stourport Riding Centre:
The centre offers ‘Riding for the Disabled’ horse riding lessons. They meet weekly during term time. The centre was awarded its Riding for the Disabled Accessibility Mark in 2014.
Offer a SEN session on a Sunday Morning 9 – 10am, which is a quiet session that siblings can come to too.
Kidderminster & District Youth Trust:
(KDYT) run a number of youth activities, at Bromsgrove Street.
Fusion Group is held at Youth House, Kidderminster on Tuesdays, 6.30pm – 8.30pm and is for children aged 13 – 25 with special needs (referral needed). They also host a Youth Club on Thursday evenings for children in years 5, 6, 7, from 6pm – 8pm.
Hansel and Gretel Group:
This is a registered charity in the Wyre Forest area. They run a Saturday morning support club for children with special needs and their families. NB You do need to live in the Wyre Forest area to access their services.
Worcestershire libraries are autism-friendly. They have ear defenders and designated quiet areas if it all gets too much. They also have Booktrust baby packs for VIP children and those with additional needs.
Wyre Forest Trampers:
Visitors with permanent or temporary limited mobility can hire one of our Trampers.
Trampers are off-road mobility scooters, which are easy to use and able to tackle a range of surfaces and gradients come rain or shine. Our Tramper is suitable for:
- Easy Access, Giants and Arboretum Trails
- Our extensive network of forest roads
Our tramper hire is available thanks to our partnership with the Countryside Mobility Scheme. You do not have to be registered disabled to hire a Tramper.
SociABLEs Hub is a registered charity providing services in support of people with Disabilities and Health Conditions including Mental Health. We are based in Bewdley but serve the whole of Worcestershire and other residents out of the county, also travel to our service.
SociABLEs Hub provides activities to support transition from ages 14 years to adults of all ages and this includes social and friendship clubs, outings and activities, sleepover clubs/overnight breaks away/holidays/residentials, as well as supported work placements, work-based skills workshops and PA support.
Services are provided all year round, 7 days per week and are usually funded by direct payments although where funding allows, we offer subsidised or sponsored places for those in need.
A Kidderminster-based charity that supports children with disabilities and their families providing specialist equipment and respite breaks.
We are delighted to be able to offer relaxed SEN Sessions for guests on selected dates and times.
The sessions are designed to be of benefit to visitors who prefer a quieter and calmer experience, such as those with autism or SEN needs.
Check the website for upcoming dates.
Sealife Centre Birmingham:
On selected dates we’re opening our doors an hour early, with limited tickets available, to provide a quieter SEA LIFE experience that aims to provide a more comfortable visit for those with autism and other sensory requirements.
BMAG to Morning Explorers:
If you’re an adult or child on the autistic spectrum or with other special needs and would prefer a quieter visit to Birmingham’s museums, join one of the Morning Explorers sessions at ThinkTank. It will open early for you and your family to explore in a quiet and welcoming environment. Held on selected dates, places must be pre-booked by calling 0121 348 8263 or through the event page on our website when we have a session listed.
MAC is committed to offering a welcoming and accessible environment in which everyone can feel comfortable. MAC offers complimentary tickets to companions and carers assisting disabled customers for performances, cinema, talks and courses. There are Relaxed screenings of shows and films, BSL-interpreted performances and events, Audio Described and Closed Captions screenings, and accessible courses available. MAC is wheelchair accessible and has a Changing Places facility along with other accessible facilities. Their touchscreen events are specially designed for children and young people with additional needs. Find out more here: https://macbirmingham.co.uk/visit/access
Additionally, in February 2024, look out for these shows:
Touch screen events, designed for disabled children and their families/carers: touch screen: Love & Friendship | Midlands Arts Centre 2023 (macbirmingham.co.uk)
The Wildlife Trust:
Limited mobility needn’t mean missing out on nature. With many of our reserves equipped with accessible paths, lifts, sensory gardens, disabled facilities and buggy hire, nothing needs to hold you back from enjoying the great outdoors. All their paths that are wheelchair/buggy friendly are listed online, link above.
PLAY @ Lower Drayton Farm:
Has a relaxed session – visit after school on Fridays for a limited capacity quieter PLAY session. Starts at 3pm until 6pm. The farm also offers SEN sessions on Sunday mornings from 9am during school breaks – SEN families can explore while it is quieter and choose when they leave as the sessions get busier toward the afternoon. Please check online booking for dates and further details.
Other useful information:
Planet Play soft play sessions take place at Duncan Edwards and Halesowen leisure centres.
- Halesowen session takes place every Monday from 4.30pm – 6pm
- Duncan Edwards session take place every Wednesday from 5pm – 6pm
Both sessions are suitable for children under 11 years of age with disabilities, special educational needs, ASD and their siblings.
SEN swimming sessions:
Term time Every Thursday 6pm to 8pm (in leisure pool)
During school holidays Friday 2pm to 4pm (in leisure pool) – this session is included in the free swimming initiative
Term time Saturday fun session takes place all year round on a Saturday from 1.15pm to 2.15pm. This is not included in free swimming and is chargeable during both term time and school holidays.
During school holidays in addition to the above chargeable session, a session is offered on a Wednesday usually from 3.10pm to 5pm, however sometimes the time can change slightly if there are NPLQ courses taking place. The Wednesday school holiday session is included in the free swimming initiative.
Term time Every Saturday 2.30pm to 3.45pm
During school holidays Saturday 2.30pm to 3.45pm – this session is included in the free swimming initiative.
Further details are available on our following webpages:
WeLoveCarers is a charity run by unpaid Carers to support other unpaid Carers. They provide information, peer support, advice and much more to ensure Carers have access to all the support they need, reduce isolation, and empower them. They provide the following activities:
- Grandparents Cuppa & Chat; 2nd Tuesday of the month 9.30 – 11.30am
- Carers Cuppa & Chat; Wednesdays 9.30 – 11.30am
- Total CHAOS!; Saturdays 10am – 12pm (children 5 – 12 with disabilities and siblings, stay & play)
- Little CHAOS!; Wednesday 12.30 – 2pm (for under 5’s where there is a disability in the family)
- Extreme CHAOS!; 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month 7 – 8.30pm (for age 13+ with disabilities or additional needs)
For more information, call 01384 396626 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Based in Stourbridge, serving the Dudley Borough.
The Card enables a disabled cinema guest to receive a complimentary ticket for someone to go with them when they visit a participating cinema. To apply visit https://www.ceacard.co.uk/apply. Applicants must be aged 8+.
National Trust: Essential Companion Card:
The Essential Companion card makes it simple to bring one or two carers or companions with you, free of charge. Just show the card when you arrive, and your carer(s) or companion(s) won’t need to pay an entry fee. To apply call 0344 800 1895.
If you know of any relevant information, do let us know. Email us here.