coffee morning
Parent and carer support

Coffee Mornings & Meet Ups

“It was so great to meet other parents who understand.”

One of our main aims here at Bristol Autism Support is to connect parents and carers of autistic people with each other.  We want to create supportive safe spaces where we can share information with no judgement.  It can make all the difference talking through things with people who truly get it. One of the ways we do this is through our meet up’s and coffee mornings.

Our in person coffee mornings and meet-up groups are intended to be casual opportunities to meet other parents and carers along with our team. No need to book just turn up on the day.

Who are our sessions for?

The sessions are for parents and carers of autistic people (any age), no diagnosis is required / any level of support need.  Many people come whilst they are exploring if their family member may be autistic.

People come to our coffee mornings and meet ups for all kinds of reasons:

* To ask for advice and support. If the team can’t advise you, they will be able to signpost you to someone who can.

* To chat to other parents and carers of autistic children and share their experiences with people who understand.

* To meet others and make new friends.

* To feel seen and heard.

Some sessions will be aimed at specific groups to bring those people together such as:

BAS Dads & Male Carers – click here to find out more about BAS Dad’s

BAS Grandparents

We also have a Post 16 group which is aimed at parents and carers of young people and adults over 16.

Who will be there?

Our meet ups and coffee mornings will have lived experience team members from Bristol Autism Support there.  Details of our core team can be found here.

Other parents and carers – Our team members will do their best to talk to everyone at our meet ups it is also an opportunity to meet other parents and carers who are there just like you.

Peer Educators – Most of our meet ups are currently run through the Autism Central Peer Education programme which means one of our Peer Educators will be at the group.  Peer Educators are parents and carers of autistic people or autistic individuals who have been trained to support other families.  They have lived experience and will be able to help you navigate systems and find services/ information and the support you need.

Volunteers– some of our meet ups / coffee mornings are run by our volunteer team, these are parents and carers who have volunteered to support others.

Our Partners – there are many other support organisations such as parent carer forums, autism charities and SENDIAS services that help us with some of our groups.  Some of our meet ups are in partnership with these organisations, occasionally we will invite relevant partners to attend our meet ups. Any organisations or individuals we invite to join us will be trusted partners of Bristol Autism Support that can offer support to our families.

What to expect

Most of our meet ups are held at coffee shops or public venues, this means they can be busy / noisy environments.  We have alternative options if these venues are not suitable such as our support groups and helpline/ 1-1’s.

When you arrive look for our  A4 sized ‘BAS Meet Up’ sign on the table – pictured below, there will usually be 1-2 team members who will be wearing lanyards that say Bristol Autism Support. Please note some signs will say ‘Autism Support Meet Up’. The team member will say hello and introduce themselves, if we have a few people arrive at once it may take them a moment to get to you but please take a seat at the table and say hi to other parents and carers.

Coffee morning lanyards and sign

BAS will purchase teas, coffee’s and soft drinks for attendees so the team member will probably ask you what you want to drink. This is kindly funded by our various funders.

As it is a drop in meet up numbers vary at each session but generally we get around 1-10 people at each session. There is no pressure to share anything, unless you want to.  The volunteers and other parents and carers are friendly and the atmosphere is very supportive.

It can be hard to come along for the first time so if you are nervous or anxious about coming get in touch with us at enquiries@bristolautismsupport.org or our contact our helpline (07835727394) and we will put you in touch with a team member to talk through it.

Do I need to book?

There is no need to book our coffee mornings or meet up groups you can just show up on the day.  You are welcome to bring a friend / family member with you. The sessions are designed for peer to peer support. You are able to bring your children with you but keep in mind these are often in public spaces and activities are not provided for them and they will be exposed to the conversations.

You can find details of our upcoming coffee mornings and meet ups here:

www.bristolautismsupport.org/whats-on/

https://www.autismcentral.org.uk/hubs/bristol-autism-support

Meet up

Where are the meet ups?

Where possible we use regular venues however these will change for various reasons and we may add one off sessions so keep an eye on our what’s on pages, social media and newsletters to keep up to date.

Bristol based:

  • Fishponds Coffee Morning: Porto Lounge, 784 & 782a Fishponds Rd, Bristol BS16 3TT
  • Bishopston Coffee Morning: Boston Tea Party, 293 Gloucester Rd BS7 8PE
  • South Bristol – various venues
  • Easton Coffee Morning: Easton Community Centre, Kilburn St, Easton BS5 6AW
  • BAS Dads South: Lodekka, Tramway Rd, Brislington BS4 3DS, usually the first Thursday evening of each month
  • BAS Dads North: Crafty Cow, Gloucester Rd BS7 0BJ, usually the third Thursday evening of each month
  • Post-16 Coffee Morning: Bristol Loaf, 96 Bedminster Parade, BS34HL
  • Grandparents Coffee Morning: Grounded 747-749 Fishponds rd BS16 3UP
  • Grandparents: Barranco Lounge, Unit 7, Abbeywood Retail Park, Stoke Gifford BS34 7JL

Bath & North East Somerset

  • Keynsham Coffee Morning: Mokka, 34 High Street, Keynsham BS31 1DQ

South Gloucestershire

  • Yate Coffee Morning: YMCA, Station road, Yate BS374PQ

North Somerset

  • Weston-super-Mare Coffee Morning: NSPCWT, The Firs, 89a Drove Road, WestonSuper-Mare, BS23 3NX

Devon

  • Exmouth: Brunch Lunch & Munch Café, 18 Parade, Exmouth EX8 1RW.
  • Exeter: Wonford Community Centre, Burnthoise Lane, Exeter. EX26NF

Plymouth

  • Leadworks, Plymouth Theatre, 170 Rendle St, Plymouth, PL1 1TP.

Wiltshire

  • Bradford-on-Avon: The Hub, Church Street, Bradford-on-Avon, BA15 1LS
  • Chippenham Grounded, 1 Bath Road, Chippenham SN15 2BB
  • Salisbury, Cosy Club, 49 New Street, Salisbury SP1 2PH

Somerset

  • Taunton

Gloucestershire

  • Stroud

We hope to have groups coming up in Cornwall, Torbay, Swindon, Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole from September onwards.