"I'm a mom to two children, Brooke, aged 13 and Alfie, 9, and our family love 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 S.E N 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.
NB Some of these classes/activities may not be operating during the current Covid19 climate. Please check before setting off.
Inclusive Active Zone at Crystal Centre:
Offers free fun sports for children with learning or physical disabilities and their siblings, each school holiday. To book call Dale on 07970259921 or email.
Lifted Spirits is a support group for families and carers of children and young people with disabilities, held at Brierley Hill Methodist Church.
Inclusive Cycling: based at Stourport Sports Club this is run by British Cycling and Severn Valley Velo in partnership with Wyre Forest District Council. For more information on Inclusive Cycling please contact Dale Evans- email@example.com.
Little Big Town
This is a lovely role play cafe for little ones, based in Stouport on Severn. They also offe a relaxed S.E.N.D. session on selected days, designed to be of benefit to visitors who prefer a quieter and calmer experience, such as those with special educational needs and disabilities (S.E.N.D.). The session can be booked via their website.
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.
Relaxed SEN sessions coming up at Cadbury World in Bournville, on selected dates. Relaxed SEN sessions will have reduced sound, an increase in lighting where necessary, removal of strong scents and fewer visitors to help reduce stress. See their website for the dates of forthcoming sessions.
Merry Hill Centre: Autism Hour is on the first Wednesday of every month at intu Merry Hill, with the aim to make shopping more accessible for autistic people, with dimmed lights and reduced noise.
Irombridge: Special early opening at Enginuity for families with children who would enjoy the museum at a quieter time. This would particularly suit those with ASD or other sensory processing differences. See website for details.
in Dudley has all-inclusive indoor and outdoor play facilities. They also run go-karting sessions with dual-seated go-karts and wheelchair accessible bikes.
Wolverley Animal Centre:
Wolverley Animal Centre, based in Wolverley CE Seondary School, offers a range of animal encounters, holiday clubs and education sessions. Centre staff are experienced with SEND individuals and host many groups with additional needs. They also offer day placements to a small cohort of SEN individuals. Keep an eye on their social media for events, experiences and clubs: facebook/WolverleyAnimalCareCentre
Kids Orchard Centre at Lye. This is part of a national charity that strives to develop services for disabled young people in partnership with parents and 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 from ages 5 to 13 years, transitions group and youth clubs ages from 13 years to 25 years, Direct payments and Home Support, holiday play schemes and events and themed trips.
Stourbridge Library: The library has recently begun ‘Autism Awareness hour’ where the last hour of the day the children’s library will dim the lights and it will be a quiet area. The libraries often run special SEN activity days. Keep checking with them for up and coming events.
A playgroup for children with special needs, held at Hob Green School, Pedmore each Thursday, 6pm. £3 per child. Contact Wendy for details on 07807 030583.
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.
Kidderminster & District Youth Trust (KDYT) run a number of youth activities, at Bromsgrove Street and also Spennels Youth Centre.
Fusion Group is held at Youth House, Kidderminster on Tuesdays, 7pm - 9pm and is for children aged 13 - 25 with special needs (referral needed). They also host an inclusion Youth Club on Thursday
evenings for children in Years 5,6,7, from 6pm- 8pm.
Find out more at www.kdyt.org.uk
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. Find out more at www.hanselgretel.org.uk
This is a support service aimed at children over 8 years old. Based at Kidz First, Longbank, Bewdley. Call 01299 400 655 for more details.
A Kidderminster based charity that supports children with disabilities and their families providing specialist equipment and respite breaks. www.crackerjacks.org.uk
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.
Family Swim at Dudley Leisure Centre:
A weekly term time swimming session for people with disabilities and their families. Each Saturday, 5pm - 6pm.
Monday Sports Club:
Adaptive sports run by a specialist coach, at Dudley Leisure Centre. Held at 4.50pm, each Monday during Term Time. Contact Greg Southall 07875 646812.
Worcestershire Special Olympics:
Held at Wyre Forest Gymnastics Club, Lisle Avenue, Kidderminster. Call Sue Perks for details on 01562 68079.
Sealife Centre Birmingham
They regularly opens their doors early to provide a quieter experience for those with autism and other sensory requirements. Keep your eye on their Facebook page for future events.
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. BMAG museums will open early for you and your family to explore in a quiet and welcoming environment. Held on selected dates for each BMAG venue. Places must be pre-booked by calling 0121 348 8263
MAC Makes Music's Baby JAM is an exciting opportunity for parents/carers and their babies to come together to make and enjoy music with others. This inclusive course is aimed at babies and young children with and without additional needs (including but not limited to; physical disability, learning disability, autism, sensory impairment).
These relaxed sessions will involve approximately 30 minutes of creative music making activities led by a professional musician with the remaining time for parents and children to socialise, free flow with instruments and play.
Other useful information:
We Love Carers: is a group hosted by carers, for carers. They hold various activities and support groups, including 'Crafty Carers' which is held on the last Thursday of the month Term time only 10am – 12pm at Mary Stevens Centre, Stourbridge. Try a different activity each session (or bring along your own activity if your prefer) and have a cuppa and a chat at the same time. Free to members or £2 to non members
CEA card: 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
This is just a guide. Please contact each individual venue for further information and details may be subject to change. If you know of any activities or providers that should be added to the list, just let us know. Email Sally.
Editor of Raring2go! Kidderminster & Stourbridge since 2008. Local font of knowledge. Mother of two and wife of one.