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Local activities for teenagers with special educational needs or disabilities

Activities for teenagers with special educational needs or disabilities

Local accessible and inclusive activities, including sports, volunteering, community groups and online communities for disabled people.

There are many local activities your child can get involved in.

Volunteering

Scope and Volunteering Matters work with businesses and local organisations to support young people with a disability who want to volunteer.

Mencap have volunteering positions for disabled people.

Day centres


There are three Bristol Community Links (BCL) Day Centres where your child can make friends and join group activities. BCL North and South have sensory rooms for young people with autism or complex learning disabilities. 

Sport

If your child is disabled and wants to take part in sport:

Short breaks

Short breaks are:

  • services allowing a child or young person to have a break from their parents or carers
  • services allowing parents and carers to have a break from their caring responsibilities
  • a chance for families to take a break from their normal routines and do fun things together

Short breaks must meet both the parents and young persons’ needs. 

They can be for example:

  • a day care away from home, such as a couple of hours at a playgroup or a weekend club
  • help from someone who will look after your child at home
  • a family link scheme where your child stays with another family

Museums and arts

Young people can express their creativity by taking part in plays, workshops or art performances with other disabled people:

  • Bristol Museums’ staff are trained to help families with autism and M Shed has an art course for people with low level mental health issues using museum exhibits to inspire creativity
  • the Misfits Theatre Company is a performance art company with creative workshops led by people with learning difficulties
  • MusicSpace is a music therapy charity for disabled people of all ages helping them build relationships

They can also find inspiration by attending plays or exhibitions by other disabled people:

  • Firebird Theatre is a company of twelve disabled artists based in Bristol 
  • Artists First is an art group run by artists with learning difficulties, who exhibit their work regularly

Activities and days out

Many venues are accessible to people with disabilities. You can find them with:

  • DisabledGo, a search engine to discover accessible places such as restaurants, cinemas and play areas for you and your child
  • Visitbristol.co.uk, which has a list of accessible activities and attractions in the city
  • Yourlocalcinema.com, for cinemas showing accessible and subtitled films for people with hearing loss 

There are organisations running days out and activities for young disabled people:

  • The West of England Centre for Inclusive Living (WECIL) has regular activities such as cooking, sports, games and day trips
  • The Brandon Trust, a charity that runs a holiday club for children and young people aged 11 to 18 with mild and moderate learning disabilities or autism
  • Young and Free, a friendship group offering activities such as bowling, theatre trips or disco and quizzes for disabled young people aged 16 to 25

Help when out and about

The Safe Places scheme gives your child somewhere to go and be safe if they become worried when out.

Accessible toilets

You can buy a Radar Key and guide to locked accessible toilets from the Disability Rights UK shop.

The Bristol Parent Carers website has a map of all the accessible toilets and changing facilities. 

Online communities

There are plenty of blogs and forums which are made by and for disabled people:

You can find tips and advice on the Online safety for young people with SEND web page.

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