At RDA, our horses and ponies provide therapy, achievement and enjoyment to people with disabilities all over the UK. Our network of 500 volunteer groups organise activities such as riding, carriage driving, vaulting and showjumping to up to 28,000 people each year.
We cover Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire and Oxfordshire and have 49 groups within those counties. The groups vary in size and facilities, and offer riding and/or carriage driving for adults and/or children. All instructors have to meet RDA National standards and work closely with physiotherapists to ensure that every individual is encouraged to participate as fully as possible and obtain a sense of achievement.
Dance and Drama Groups
Spotlight UK provides activities and groups for children with special needs and disabilities, as well as activities for their siblings and for their parents/care.
Our aim is to run inclusive activities, so although we run specific classes for those with special needs anyone is welcome in any of our classes. If your child needs one-to-one support please contact us with any questions. Parents and Care are welcome in any of our classes too. With a centre in Basingstoke and classes now extending to Church Crookham and Aldershot.
The Popley Spotlight Centre, Basingstoke offers inclusive activity classes ‘Shining Stars’ on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, as well as support groups for parents. Follow the link here for further information.
Reach up Reach out, Turners Wood Children’s Centre, Elvetham Heath, Fleet. Special educational needs support group for children and their families with Early Support Coordinator, who also works with children on the autistic spectrum; including speech and language sessions and music therapy; Meets alternate Mondays and Fridays; Call 01252 813 756 to find exact times and dates.
Our group is run by parents, for parents and carers of children with Down syndrome in North Hampshire, Berkshire and Surrey. We have a catchment area for membership, click for a map to show postcodes included.
We meet up once a month for informal stay and play sessions on the 1st Friday of each month at Turner’s Wood Children’s Centre (0945-1145). We also hold other events such as summer trips out, Christmas parties and social evenings for the grown ups. In addition to this we run training events for parents, carers and local professionals (such as pre-school and school teachers, portage workers, health visitors and speech therapists).
We also have an extensive lending library with books and other useful resources which our members are welcome to borrow.
We also currently run:
- Sensory Suite sessions At Mencap in Aldershot. We run regular sessions at the sensory suite, please see Whats On for details of forthcoming dates.
- Little Squirtz A fortnightly play activity to help children develop their gross motor skills (for children 6mths – walking)
- Training courses For parents, carers and professionals. Please see our Training page for details of forthcoming dates
- Playball Once a month on a Saturday morning for children who are walking confidently. These sessions are designed to help develop gross motor skills.
Music & Movement Once a month on a Saturday morning for children who are 3yrs to end of YrR at school. A range of fun activities for preschool children
Baby Groups and Communication Groups Eligible children are invited to attend our baby groups and communication groups which take place once a month. The scheme runs September to July each year, subject to funding being in place. Our baby groups focus on early development and our communications groups focus more on developing appropriate communication and speech & language skills.
Please click here for a full timetable of forthcoming activities.
Adventure Playgrounds and Multi Sensory Centres
Since 1982 the Thames Valley Adventure Playground has provided a chance for children & adults with all types of special need to enjoy the fun, freedom and friendship afforded by the opportunity to play and share experiences in a safe and stimulating environment, with users travelling from Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, London and beyond. Wheelchair-accessible roundabouts and swings, elevated walkways allowing someone with profound and multiple problems to enjoy the excitement of ‘climbing’ trees, bucket seats with safety harnesses to enable them to experience the thrill of whizzing down a zip wire, multi-sensory rooms to stimulate and relax, with specially-trained staff to provide help and support – these are just a few of the things on offer.
Disability Challengers, Guildford and Farnham
Disability Challengers is a registered children’s charity, established in 1979, dedicated to providing exciting and challenging play and leisure opportunities for disabled children and young people. We do this through our play and youth centres in Guilford and Farnham and through our range of community based projects across Surrey and Hampshire.
A significant benefit of our service is that it provides families with short-breaks during high pressure times e.g. at the weekend or during the school holidays, enabling them to do ‘ordinary’ activities such as shopping or spending time with their other children. Families have told us that this lifeline of support keeps them strong.
Offering schemes from ages 2 – 25 years old.
Local centres Turner’s Wood, Wild Rose and Fleet Fireflies all have further information on local services and support. Click here for contact details.
Information on Hampshire Children’s Services short breaks programme can be found here.
The Bluebells is our unique holiday home offering respite breaks in the Hampshire countryside, 365 days a year, to the families of children with serious, life-limiting or life-threatening medical conditions.
The house opened in July 2011 and aims to enable 100 families each year to spend a week or a few days in one of its two spacious self-catering apartments, free of charge. A further 500 people will be able to visit The Bluebells for a day and benefit from time playing and relaxing in its leisure facilities.
The Bluebells consists of:
- two four-bedroom self-catering apartments, each with a lounge and kitchen diner
- a live-in house keeper’s apartment and laundry room
- an indoor pool with spa
- an indoor games area with a wide selection of computer games, traditional board games and toys
- a home cinema
- a multi-sensory room
- a music room
- an art room
- a therapies room
- an outdoor adventure play area
- a nine-hole mini golf course
- a secret meadow