Serendipity Social Groups

Small, social groups led by members and facilitated by volunteers

  • A variety of groups across the county
  • A friendly environment to meet other adults who are on the autism spectrum
  • Meet in venues like pubs or cafes
  • Facilitated by volunteers many of whom are on the autism spectrum
  • Many people attend independently, but a friend, partner or carer is welcome
  • No formal diagnosis is necessary
  • Please follow this link to find our latest Serendipity Social Group newsletter

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, with a small charge for refreshments. 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. Some groups organise additional activities such as bowling, meals out or cinema trips.

Autism Hampshire provides support and co-ordination for the groups, through our group co-ordinator.

Overview and dates of current groups

Detailed information about each group can be found here.

NB: Groups do not usually run on bank holidays

Aldershot Wellbeing Centre - Alternate Monday 2-4 pm - Mar 2,16, 30 Apr 3

Aldershot Atypical Tabletop Group - Alternate Mondays 2-4 pm - Mar 9,23

Art House Gallery Cafe Group, Southampton City Centre - Once a month Wednesday 3-5 pm - Feb 5, Mar 4, Apr 1

Eastleigh Wellbeing Centre - Alternate Fridays 2-4 pm - Mar 13,27 Apr 27

Fareham Highlands Hub - Every Wednesday, 10-11:30 am

Park Gate, Village Inn Pub - Alternate Mondays 7-9 pm - Mar 9,23

Portsmouth Group - Alternate Mondays 5-7 pm - Mar 2,16,30 Apr 27th

Mayflower Theatre Group - Usually 2nd Tuesday of each month, 11 am-12:30 pm - Mar 17, Apr TBC, May 12, Jun 9, Jul 7

St James' Park, Southampton - Alternate Tuesdays 11 am-1 pm - Mar 10,24, Apr 7,21

Winchester Wellbeing Centre - Alternate Tuesdays 2-3:30 pm - Mar 3,17,31

Other Social Groups

Interested in Volunteering at one of our groups? Click here.

Serendipity Group Co-ordinator contact details:

Email: serendipity@autismhampshire.org.uk

Mobile: 07823 344302

Serendipity Social Group update March 2020.pdf


Information for New Members

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: https://www.facebook.com/AutismHampshire/

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.


Thoughts from Members about the Groups

“

"I like that I get to spend time with others with autism, knowing that others go through the same things you do"

"The only people I saw apart from my daughter and granddaughter were the people at the social group. It helped greatly."

"I enjoy everything about the groups - the people, the venues, the ability to socialise and to make new friends."

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