Local Support and Groups
Many of our parents often report that being the parent of a child with autism can be lonely! There are many support groups, both locally and nationally, however they can sometimes be a bit tricky to find. Below you will find a selection of groups that we think may be of interest as they are local. Information about national organisations can be found on the Links page.
Hardwick House School is not affiliated to these groups and cannot guarantee that they will always be available, however they are definitely a good place to start.
The Leicestershire Autistic Society is a well-established group that provides support, information and advice to families and professionals dealing with Autism in Leicestershire, Leicester City and Rutland. They are a volunteer led organisation, with the majority of volunteers being parents or carers of someone with autism. They produce a regular newsletter called Link-Up. Their helpline is 0116 291 6958.
This is a really supportive and knowledgeable group of parents who have a “Closed Group” on Facebook. Please do look them up!
Similar to the Leicestershire group, but for parents and carers living in the city. Again, this is a supportive Facebook group.
Jigsaw (part of the Leicestershire Autistic Society)
Jigsaw is a parent support group for families of children with an ASD aged 0-19 years. Sunday Softplay Sessions held at the Bell Fountain in Wigston. As well as providing supervised play for ASD children and siblings up to age 12, other parents and carers are welcome to drop into Softplay for a chat and catch up with the latest issues surrounding ASD and for any information on Jigsaw's activities and other support that's available. Alternately you are welcome to join them over a coffee in the lounge at the Salvation Army Centre, Ladysmith Road, South Wigston, LE18 4UZ from 7.00 to 9.00pm at the A.S.D. County Youth Club held on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday's of the month. Jigsaw also organises an annual summer playscheme for children with ASD, and other activities and outings, often free or subsidised and available to all members of the family.
A family swim session is held each week at Bosworth Community College in Desford from 3.30 – 5.30pm. Please contact John Brotherhood on 07895 519816. This session is FREE but donation to the Leicestershire Autistic Society are welcomed.
Charnwood Autism Support Group
Charnwood Autism Support Group is for parents and carers to meet and support each other. Meetings are held on the last Monday of the month (except Bank holidays, July, August & December - please check) from 7.30pm-9.30pm at John Storer House in Loughborough. The group shares knowledge and information, offers refreshments and has occassional speakers. They are part of the Leicestershire Autistic Society (LAS).
Find them on Facebook by searching for 'charnwood autism support', or email
Aspire Life Skills are a local not for profit organisation who support young people and adults with a diagnosis of autism. They run a weekly Saturday Club at Shepshed High School and also a summer scheme.
ASD Coffee Mornings
These are held on the last Friday of the month during term time at Kirby Muxloe Free church. It’s a great chance to meet with other parents and carers for a coffee and chat. Contact Rox on 0116 287 4517
LEAT is a charity for young people and adults with Asperger Syndrome. They can help with several services including advocacy. LEAT may be able to offer advice if you are turning 16 and are transferring from Disability Living Allowance to the new PIP benefit.
Memphys are a voluntary organisation which offers a wide range of services to children and young people with special educational needs, disabilities and complex health needs, and their families, living in Leicestershire and Leicester. Memphys are also able to offer support to families who are struggling with things like Disablility Living Allowance applications.
The SibsService is a, non profit making, charity that specialises in supporting the brothers and sisters of individuals with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder or Asperger's Syndrome. The SibsService provide the siblings with a safe place where they have the freedom to be themselves and share experiences with other children in similar situations. They deliver many different activities, art, craft, cooking, sport, games, drama, trips out, and more. There is a whole family summer BBQ, Christmas party and Sibs Summer camp. Whenever possible they plan activities and discussions as requested by the siblings or parents either for fun or to support a particular difficulty they are experiencing.
S.P.A.C.E (Support and Play for Autistic Children with Energy
This is at Castle Donnington Community College on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month. Call 01332 810528 for more information.
This is a support group for parents and carers in Market Harborough. They meet on the first Wednesday of the month from7pm – 9pm. They can be found on Facebook, or email
Tanglewood run a programme of monthly activities for children with ASD, ADHD and other special needs. They are also inclusive to siblings and family carers.
Translate is a Loughborough based group for adults living with Asperger Syndrome and ASD. It is run by a lacal man Paul Ssndford who received his diagnosis in his forties. They run a monthly informal meeting on the first Monday of the month at The Moira Centre in Loughborough.
Youth Club – National Autistic Society
This is for children aged 10-16 years old with ASD. It is held at Blaby and Whetstone Youth Club, Warwick Road, Whetstone, LE8 6LW on the first Tuesday evening of the month. Contact Maz on 0116 277 5997