Welcome to Special Friends Club!
Special Friends Club is a charity operating throughout the City of Bristol and South Gloucestershire and run by parent volunteers. We are unique in that we provide support for families of children with special needs by organising a wide range of activities that can be shared and enjoyed by the whole family!
The club has a membership of 145 families with over 280 children whose ages range from 3-18 years. The children have a diagnosed disability which inhibits them accessing mainstream actvities and venues. The children have a broad range of needs and disabilities including Profound and Multiple learning difficulties (PMLD), severe learning difficulties (SLD), Cerebral palsy, physical disabilities, Autism , Downs Syndrome and other genetic conditions.
The Club’s guiding principle is to provide a safe, stimulating and supportive environment for all our members.
Due to the nature of their disabilities it is difficult and sometimes impossible for the children and their families to attend and take part in ‘mainstream’ holiday activities or attend visitor attractions. It can be very difficult and stressful to arrange a family outing when there is a disabled child in the family. To be in an environment where you are surrounded by ‘normal’ families who don’t face the same challenges can be very hard and emotionally testing, but knowing that you are there with a group of families with similar problems 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 At Bristol to name a few. During the longer school holidays we have ventured as far afield as Legoland, Cadbury World, Diggerland and Drayton Manor. We have regular use of local soft play centres, swimming pools and cinemas. Annual events include the Summer Barbeque and Christmas Party