Update Summer Term 2019:   So sorry I haven’t posted any new meeting dates yet for this term.  Please bear with me, I’m struggling with my son now being out of school full time (since the start of this year) and after dragging him along several times last term, he is getting less and less willing to come along to support group meetings, making it nigh on impossible and very stressful for me!  So there aren’t any meetings planned as yet other than the Reading one – see the table below.

However,  I was successful in applying for an EHCP in January 2019, and its due to be finalised by the end of May.  And in the meantime I am working closely with his school, the Autism Advisory Team and the LEA on a program to gradually re-integrate him to school, so I’m hopeful I’ll be able to resume meetings again before too long.  For now the only meeting I’m doing will be the Reading PDA Support Group’s meeting on 3rd May (details below) and if I organise any meetings for our own group in West Berks this term, then its most likely to be of an evening in Newbury – watch this space or make sure you’re on my mailing list or on the Facebook group for further details.

Thanks for your understanding.

Forthcoming Meetings:

I will only be attending the Reading PDA Support Group meeting this term until my situation improves (as explained above):

Fri 3rd May 10.30 – 12.30 ‘Anonymous Coffee’ at The Tasting House
(with the Reading PDA Support Group)
30a Chain Street
Reading   RG1 2HX
 Find it by the side door to John Lewis!

Further info about meetings for newcomers to the site / group:

To date, meetings have been during term-times only, usually on a Friday morning, aiming to meet once a month or thereabouts.  We tried starting evening meetings last year, but due to lack of attendance these have not taken off, so for the past couple of years we have generally just met during the school day.  But if there is strong demand for evening meetings and because my situation is beginning to change (with evenings now becoming easier for me), then I may start them up again… let me know if interested!  Or if there is anyone out there who wants to take the lead and stand in so that meetings can continue to happen when I can’t make it, then do let me know!

Where we usually meet:

Caffe Nero:  88 Northbrook Street, Central Newbury, RG14 1AE

This is the big branch of Caffe Nero on the main shopping street in town (not the small one at the Kennet Centre!).  I will try and get the biggest table I can and will have a sign on the table for the support group so look out for it if visiting for the first time.   Parking is in one of the town centre car parks and Newbury train and bus stations are a short walk away.

Swings & Smiles: Lower Way, Thatcham, RG19 3RR

Swings & Smiles is a local charity that provides recreational facilities and services to families with special needs. They very kindly allow us to use their premises for some of our meetings, in return for a small donation for the teas and coffees we consume.  There is a play area (including soft play room), so those with children in tow can come along and we have exclusive use of the facilities whilst there, along with any other SEND parents attending the general drop-in.

Please bear in mind that if you bring children they remain your responsibility to supervise, as there is no official childcare available at meetings.  We would also really appreciate help parents tidying up after children at the end too…. thanks.

There is lots of free parking out the front and its easily accessible on the ground floor. You turn in to Glebelands Way off Lower Way to access the centre. Its fairly close to the Nature Discovery Centre so look out for the brown signs for this if you’re new to the area.