Special Friends Club is a charity operating throughout the City and County of Bristol and the County of South Gloucestershire. The Charity was founded by and is run by parent volunteers. We are unique in providing support for families of children with special needs and disabilities by organising a wide range of weekend and School holiday activities that can be enjoyed by the whole family!
The club has a membership of 180 families who have at least one disabled child or young person aged between 3-25 years old. All have a diagnosed disability which inhibits them accessing mainstream activities and venues. The children and young people have a broad range of needs and disabilities including Profound and Multiple learning difficulties (PMLD), Severe learning difficulties (SLD), Cerebral palsy, physical disabilities, Autism, Down Syndrome and other genetic conditions.
The Club’s guiding principle is to provide a safe, stimulating and supportive environment for all our members. Our events and activities are chosen to be as accessible and inclusive as possible for all of our members.
We understand that it can be difficult and sometimes impossible for families to attend and take part in ‘mainstream’ holiday activities or visitor attractions.
We know it can be stressful to arrange a family outing when there is a disabled child in the family, and it can be emotionally testing when visiting attractions where most families don’t face the same issues day to day.
Being at events organised by the Club, knowing that you are there with a group of families with similar challenges, is hugely supportive. Families and children are able to try things that they hadn’t dreamed would be possible without this support.
Recent trips have included; Westonbirt Arboretum, Cattle Country, Avon Valley Country Park, Bowood and The Wardrobe Theatre to name a few. During the longer school holidays we have ventured as far afield as Diggerland and Drayton Manor Theme Park. We have regular sole-use of local soft play centres, swimming pools and cinemas.