Parent carer support groups
Sometimes the most useful people to offer support are other parents who have been there before you. There are quite a few regular parent-to-parent support groups that meet locally. Some are general groups for parents of any child with a special educational need or disability (SEND) whilst others are for parents of children with a specific condition or disability. Some groups offer family activities and some are just for parents.
This page includes information about groups that are independent to the council. Although we make every effort to ensure these links are accurate, up to date and relevant, Brighton & Hove City Council cannot take responsibility for pages maintained by external groups. We are not responsible for, or recommend, any independent services.
Where groups offer services to children and young people, users should make their own checks including DBS information (Disclosure and Barring Service) and Ofsted and CQC registrations as appropriate.
If you know of any other groups that should be listed, or are no longer running, please use the 'Feedback on the Local Offer' button to the left to let us know.
- General disability
- Autism and Asperger syndrome
- Trisomy 21/Down's syndrome
- Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Hearing impairment
In addition to these parent carer support groups, there are some support groups available for young people with SEND, like the Amazing Futures peer support project for 14-25s with SEND, and the Power Group, a self advocacy group for 18-25s with learning disabilities. See Amaze for information about these and other support groups for young people.
Amaze coffee mornings for parent carers in Moulsecoomb, Hangleton & Knoll and Whitehawk.
Amaze (in association with local community projects) runs regular, friendly coffee mornings for parents of children with SEN, disabilities, health problems or behavioural issues in Moulsecoomb, Hangleton & Knoll and Whitehawk.
The Moulsecoomb coffee mornings take place at Moulsecoomb Primary School on the second Tuesday of the month. The Hangleton and Knoll coffee mornings are on the third Tuesday of the month at St Richard’s Community Centre on Egmont Road in Hangleton and the Whitehawk coffee mornings are on the last Thursday of the month at The Whitehawk Inn. All parents and carers from schools and neighbouring areas are welcome. Each session gives parents the chance to get together for a cuppa and a chat as well as to hear some expert advice from one of the services or groups who work with families of kids with SEN and disabilities in Brighton and Hove.
Telephone: 01273 234862 (Paolo)
Brighton Pebbles is a parent led charity supporting families with disabled children and young people in Brighton and Hove. They welcome children with any disability, generally school age and above, together with siblings of any age, but particularly those who find accessing mainstream activities difficult due to learning disabilities, autism and challenging behaviour. They offer a weekly after-school family drop-in session at the Manor Gym in Whitehawk on Fridays, together with trips out during weekends and school holidays, and where possible holidays for families.
Dads Group (previously Dads Like Us)
Dads Group is a regular social group for fathers and male carers of children with additional needs meets in the function room of the Stoneham Pub in Hove on the last Thursday of every month, from 7.30-9.30pm.
Website: www.facebook.com/groups/dadsgroupbrighton (closed Facebook group)
Telephone: Contact Amaze for information on 01273 772289
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (Darren Walker, Dads Group Coordinator) or contact Amaze at email@example.com
Little Darlings is an after school club for children aged 0-8 with any additional needs and their parents or carers. They meet on alternate Wednesdays at Hollingdean Community Centre. They also run summer activities.
Telephone: 07799 414837 (Sharon)
Sweet Peas parent and toddler group for children aged 0-6 with special needs meets on Fridays, from 12.15 to 3pm at Tarner Children’s Centre, Ivory Place, Brighton.
Telephone: 07875 377 961 (Kerry)
Amaze Autism Saturday Club
Held once a month from 10am to 12pm on the second Saturday of the month, this free group at Tarner Children’s Centre is for children with autism aged 7 and under, plus their friends and family. Toys, soft play, sensory play and outdoor space. Drinks and snacks provided. Call Amanda on 07917 887526 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone: 07917 887526 (Amanda)
Autism Sussex - Talk 1-1
Whilst not technically a parent-led support group, this recently launched online clinic is for parents, carers and extended family of children with autism to talk to autism specialists about their experiences and concerns and get support. It runs on Wednesday and Thursday evenings.
Telephone: 0345 450 0060
mASCot is a group for families who have a child or children with an Autistic Spectrum Condition. The group enables families to connect and meet others in the same situation as themselves. mASCot families are all from Brighton and Hove and all use the same schools and services. mASCot has a private online forum and they meet up regularly for a wide range of activities.
Groups and activities run by mASCot include:
- Twice monthly coffee morning at the Emmaus coffee shop in Portslade and Dottie's Community Cafe, East Brighton Park
- Lego Club for children and young people aged 5+ with ASC to build lego and make friends, whilst parent carers chat and meet others who may have similar experiences (see below for more details)
- Pub meets for parent carers a few times a year
- Girls Group for girls with ASC to meet and socialise
- Art sessions for 10-14 year olds with ASC
- Talks and workshops
Lego Social Club Brighton (mASCot)
This is a fortnightly club for ASC children and young people aged 5 and over where they can build Lego and make friends in a relaxing environment. Run by parent carer Terri Oatley, it also offers an opportunity for parent carers to meet and chat. The club is at Meadowview Community Centre, Meadow View, Brighton BN2 4NF and there's a Compass Card discount. See the Compass Card app for more info, or see the website listing.
Asserts run a monthly informal support group for parents, partners or carers of adults with Asperger syndrome or high functioning autism. They meet on the fourth Tuesday of the month in a pub in central Brighton to share experiences in a supportive environment.
ActAble offers social skills development for children aged 6 to teen with Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC), using play & drama. They run an inclusive group in Brighton on Tuesdays, as well as periodic workshops & courses specifically for children with ASC. ActAble supports social development by enabling children to hone their communication skills in a fun way, by using play hand in hand with acting. The group can be a good opportunity for parents to meet and chat together while their children learn and play.
T21 Brighton & Hove
This is a support group for children and young people with Trisomy 21 (also known as Down's syndrome) and their families. The group shares information and provides children’s activities.
Website: You can find T21 Brighton & Hove on Facebook - just send a request to join
Telephone: 07930 418298 (Pippa)
Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Parenting Kids With Dyslexia / Dyspraxia / SPD / ADHD Sussex
This is a community of parents that hosts monthly social meetups to make new friends who understand how it can be to parent a child with similar challenges. They meet once a month in Brighton or Hove on the first Saturday of the month.
Peer support groups for adults with ADHD. Meets second Wednesday of every month at Brighthelm Centre Cafe in Brighton.
Brighton, Hove and West Sussex Deaf Children’s Society
This is a large, friendly group for families with children with a hearing impairment. Their free coffee morning for parent carers runs on the first Friday of every month at Durrington Children's Centre, 81 Salvington Road, Worthing BN13 2JD in the Walnut Room from 10am to 12pm. They also run a variety of events throughout the year, including a Christmas party, Funplex, theatre trips, pizza/burger and bowling and Laserhub trips for teens, and more.
Springboard is a service for families with pre-school children who have a hearing loss. In a relaxed and friendly environment, through playing, singing and activities, you and your child are introduced to key signs that will enrich the communication you already share. The group is relaxed and welcoming, and is designed around the needs of the children. It is also a great opportunity to meet other parents and chat/sign. Springboard is run by Caroline Palmer, a Family Support Worker with BHISS Sensory Needs, and is supported by Teachers of the Deaf from the team.
BHISS Sensory Needs also runs Time Out on the last Saturday of every month from 3pm to 6pm for families of deaf children of all ages. The activities are different each time, details are sent out via WhatsApp and text message each month. Get in touch for more information.
Telephone: 01273 293610