Activities, News & Events

Views expressed on this website are not necessarily those of The National Autistic Society and reference to specific services or approaches to autism does not

imply endorsement, nor does the absence of any services or approaches imply that NAS Richmond does not support them.

Images in this website credited to Allan Sears (who has autism), Alison Sears, and the Microsoft Office plus Bing Clip Art image library.

All material © The National Autistic Society (Richmond Branch) 2017 and cannot be reproduced without permission.

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Knots Arts continue to successfully support youngsters with social and communication difficulties.  Drama sessions for children aged 5 to 13, and a youth group for for teenagers run every Saturday in term-time in East Sheen/Mortlake. They have a limited number of funded and assisted places for the clubs.  

If you would like to find out more, please contact Cassie Yates on 07947 212485 or email


Would you like to chat with other family carers in a similar situation? Have you ever wanted the opportunity to get some support from someone who's been in your shoes? The Challenging Behaviour Foundation's Family Carers' Email Network could be for you!

The network is open to any family member caring for a relative with severe learning disabilities whose behaviour is described as challenging. So whether you are a parent, sibling, grandparent or even an aunt or uncle, you will be very welcome to join.

All the messages are anonymous and you can ask for advice on any issue you'd like. There have been questions about challenging behaviour, iPad apps, strong furniture, how to become a deputy, renovating your house...the possibilities are endless.

To join the network you can email Jessica at For more information about the Challenging Behaviour Foundation and what it can offer you, please visit their website:


Dimensions works with Showcase, Vue, Cineworld and Odeon Cinemas to screen a variety of films on Sundays throughout the year in a sensory friendly environment.

During these special screenings, the lights will be on low, the volume will be turned down, there will be no trailers at the beginning of the film, you'll be able to take your own food and drinks and be able to move around the cinema if you wish.

Details of what films are being shown by which cinema chain are given below:

Sunday 20th August - ‘The Emoji Movie' - Odeon

Sunday 27th August - 'Paw Patrol' - Vue

Sunday 6th August - 'Captain Underpants' - Cineworld

Sunday 13th August - 'Captain Underpants ' - Showcase

During the school holidays, participating Odeon cinemas are putting on some extra autism-friendly screenings on the following dates:

Monday 7th August - 'Captain Underpants'

Monday 14th August - 'The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature'

Monday 21st August: 'Despicable Me 3'

To find your nearest participating cinema and to make an online booking, please visit Dimension's Latest autism friendly films webpage. To book a tickets by telephone, call Odeon cinemas on 0800 138 3315, Cineworld on 0871 200 2000, Showcase on 0871 220 1000 and for Vue cinemas, please call them on 08712 240 240.



Richmond Inclusive Sports and Exercise (RISE) provides a varied programme of activities for children and young people who have a disability.

These activities include football, Fusion junior dance, golf, rugby, swimming, tennis trampolining and wheelchair basket ball. RISE also offers its Saturday Multi-Sport Club plus Rise to Shine. Rise to Shine is a project to get young people who live or go to school in Richmond Borough involved in the London Youth Games.

For more detail of these activities, please visit RISE children/young people. If you would like any further information about RISE, inclusive and disability specific sport or exercise activities, call RISE on 020 8831 6181/6134 or email

from Monday to Friday between 9.00am and 5.00pm.

RISE also offers sporting opportunities to adults, the details of which can be found on the Young People and Adults page.


This August, Aladdin and the National Autistic Society have partnered to create a friendly and supportive environment to enjoy Disney's spectacular new West End musical. Breathtaking sets, mind-blowing special effects, over 350 lavish costumes and a fabulous cast and orchestra bring the magic of Disney's Aladdin to life on the West End stage.

This specially adapted performance is suitable for people with autism, with trained staff on hand, and dedicated quiet and activity areas set up should anyone need to leave their seats. The theatre lighting will kept on at a low level during the performance, and sound levels of some the special effects will also be reduced, in order to make the environment comfortable for all.

When: Tuesday 29th August 2017, 1.30pm

Where: Prince Edward Theatre, Old Compton Street, London. W1D 4HS

Age range: 6 years and above

Please visit Aladdin Tickets or call Prince Edward Theatre's access booking line on 0844 482 5152 for price information and to purchase your tickets. Tickets for this autism friendly performance will be posted one month prior to the performance. For access bookings, should you experience any problems, call 0344 482 5137.

For more information, including links to a visual story and a walk-through film of the Prince Edward Theatre, please visit Aladdin Autism Friendly.


The Curly Hair Project aims to help women and girls who have an autism spectrum condition and their loved ones who don't have this condition to communicate and understand each other better.

Should you have a daughter who has a diagnosis of an autism spectrum condition, or if you have this diagnosis yourself or think you could be 'on the spectrum', why not book a place on a Curly Hair Project workshop?

Details of forthcoming workshops can be found on the Young People and Adults page  and if you would like to learn more about the Curly Hair Project, its services and resources, do visit


NAS Kingston is again offering children with autism and their families the opportunity to attend their Sunday Play sessions. These are based at two locations:

The Pod, Hawker Centre, Lower Ham Road, Kingston. KT2 5BH

When: Sunday 1st October, 17th December. 3.30pm to 5.15pm

Based at the YMCA Hawker Centre, the Pod is a two storey soft play installation including a multi-sensory room situated to the rear of the play area. The room has bubble mirrors, a laser star projector, bubble tube and infinity tunnel. NAS Kingston will have private use of the space, their is a cafe available for drinks, etc, and siblings are welcome. Please remember that parents are responsible for their children throughout the session and must supervise them.

If you would like to join in the fun, please email so that NAS Kingston have an idea of numbers because there is a limit on the number of children they can take.  


Where: Warren Park (Action for Children), Kingston Hill, KT2 7LX

When: Sunday 17th September, 19th November, 3.00pm to 5.00pm

The facilities here include a sensory room, soft play, an outdoor trampoline, a slide and bikes. There is no need to book - just turn up. Parents are responsible for their children, and no children are allowed in the kitchen area.


Starting this September, NAS Richmond and the Educational Psychology Team will be running a series of group meetings to offer support to families who are 'on the pathway' or have just received a diagnosis of autism for their child, irrespective of any other needs. These groups are funded by the Richmond Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

When: Friday 22nd September, 10.30am to 12.30pm

Where: Castlenau Centre, 7 Stillingfleet Road, Barnes, SW13 9AQ

Please note that there is street parking with some restrictions on weekdays between 10.00am and 12.00pm. The Centre has parking vouchers which can be bought if you are coming to an activity in the morning.

When: Monday 20th November, 10.30am to 12.30pm

Where: York House, Richmond Rd, Twickenham, TW1 3AA

When: Friday 12th January 2018, 10.30am to 12noon

Where: The CrossWay Centre, 306, Richmond Road, East Twickenham, TW1 2PD

There is a creche facility available during the morning meeting, and you will need to book places with Me Too and Co in advance. Email them at  or phone 07946 646033.


This spring, Tower Bridge's Autism Friendly Early Open Mornings return, opening its doors early for children with autism and other needs, as well as their siblings, families and carers.

Families will be able to explore the Exhibition and Engine Rooms in a calm, relaxed atmosphere and also take part in a family craft activity if they wish. Also available will be a family trail, which visitors can complete at their own pace. You can also download a Visual Story to help prepare for the visit.

Autism Friendly Open Mornings will take place on the following Saturdays:

19th August, 16th September

Places are limited so booking is essential.To ensure a calm, relaxed environment in the ticket office, Tower Bridge will be operating a timed entry system.

Entry times: 8.45am, 9.00am, 9.15am, 9.30am (general public admitted at 10.00am)

Tickets for the April event are on sale via an Eventbrite page  and for any questions beforehand, email or call 020 7940 8397


Available to eligible families, this pass enables free entry to a range of family programmes at Orleans House Gallery, including Dad Day, Sunday Afternoon Art, Family Explorers Art, Draw and Explore, plus My Richmond.

These passes are available for those who are:

Unemployed, receiving benefits (including Income Support, Job Seekers or Disability Allowance), caring for a child with a disability, have English as an additional language or are foster parents.

Please contact if you would like to apply for a Family Pass. You can also find out more about the family programmes and the Family Pass by visiting Free Family Passes.


Following the success of previous relaxed performances, the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) is delighted to present the fourth relaxed performance of Matilda The Musical this June. This is the story of an extraordinary little girl who, armed with a vivid imagination and a sharp mind, dares to take a stand and change her own destiny.

This performance provides a relaxed environment, with elements of the environment adapted to reduce anxiety or stress. Lighting and sound levels are adjusted to soften their impact, and there is a relaxed attitude to noise and people moving around the auditorium during the performance. There will also be designated 'chill out' areas outside the auditorium with soft seating, plus activities for people to use should being in the auditorium become overwhelming for them.

When: Sunday 11th August 2017, 3.00pm

Where: Cambridge Theatre, Earlham St, London WC2H 9HU

Price: £25.00 and £10.00

Age range: 6 years and above

The RSC is offering tickets at this reduced rate which can be bought through the RSC Ticket Hotline on 01789 403493, or else you can buy them in person at the Box Office. All bookers will be provided with a visual story to help them familiarise themselves with the characters and settings before they arrive at the theatre.


Knots Arts are please to announce that they will be running arts and drama activities specially designed for children and young people with social communication difficulties again this summer.

Summer Arts

Summer Arts sessions provide fun, exciting and interesting two hour tasters of drama, dance, storytelling, art and music specifically for children with social communication difficulties. Children will be split into two age and ability appropriate groups and supported to engage with activities by a team of experienced staff and play guides from Knots Arts.

When: Monday 7th to Friday 11th August, 10.00am to 12.00pm, 1.00pm to 3.00pm

Where: Holy Trinity Church Hall, 162 Castelnau, Barnes, London SW13 9ET

Age Range: 4 to 12 years

Price: £10.00 per session, £20.00 for a full day (bursary places are available)

Please contact Knots Arts at or call them on 07947 212485 for more information or to book your space. Do visit Play In A Week or Summer Arts for further details of these activities.


Role Models have organised Summer Camps for children who have mild to moderate additional needs. These Camps will be located in Southfields, Regent's Park and Richmond.

Where: Strathmore @ Grey Court, Ham Street, Richmond, TW10 7HN

             Albermarle School, Princes Way, Southfields, SW19 6JP

             Netley Primary School, 74 Stanhope Street, Regents Park, NW1 3EX

When: All Camps run between 9.30am and 3.30pm on the following dates

           Monday 24th to Friday 28th July (Southfields, Regents Park & Richmond)

           Monday 21st to Friday 25th August (Southfields, Regents Park & Richmond)

           Tuesday 29th August to Friday 1st September (Southfields and Richmond)

Price: £72.00 a day, discounted to £60 a day if all 5 days of the course are booked.  

Age Range: 6 to 12 years

Do visit Role Models Summer Camps if you would like to find out more about the camps or to make a booking. If you would like to discuss the Camps, please contact Miranda on 07771 931869 or at


Autistica have partnered with the world-renowned Art of the Brick: DC Superheroes LEGO exhibition in London to help them design autism-friendly sessions. Autistica know it’s often difficult for parents of children with autism to have a family day out but it’s so important to give them the chance.

By advising Art of the Brick: DC Superheroes to make small adjustments to their events, hundreds of families with autistic children will now find it easier to plan a visit. Autistica are proud of these autism friendly sessions and are grateful to the organisers for their support of Autistica's longer-term research work.

When: Sunday 27th August, 9.00am

Where: The Art of the Brick: DC Superheroes exhibition is in a purpose built tent on South Bank's Upper Ground, directly behind the National Theatre and the BFI, and next door to the Rambert Ballet Company. The venue is easily accessible via public transport.

The early sessions will allow those with autism and their families to experience and enjoy the exhibit in a relaxed environment. Quiet areas will be provided along with advance information sheets to assist with planning and arrival. For more information and to book tickets, please visit Art of The Brick: DC Super Heroes.


The summer holidays are approaching and the Holly Lodge Centre are providing some free Summer Fun activities in Richmond Park. You can find more details by downloading Holly Lodge Centre's Isabella or Roehampton flyers.  


The activities are suitable for young children and their families and for those with special educational needs and disabilities. Activities are themed around invertebrates in the park and there will be crafts, sensory activities and storytelling. if your son or daughter likes nature and the outdoors, this may very well be of interest to them. Holly Lodge Centre has asked that children must be accompanied at all times.

When and where:

25th and 26th July, drop-in 11.00am to 2.00pm, Isabella Plantation

1st and 2nd August, drop-in 11.00am to 2.00pm, Roehampton Gate Garden


Morning Explorers is a free event and provides an informal atmosphere in which to explore the museum, sensitive to the needs of children with autistic spectrum conditions.

There will also be lots of activities on the theme of archaeology and tunnelling including an imitation archaeological dig, object handling and a sensory space. The September event will also be the last opportunity for families to visit the very popular exhibition Tunnel: The Archaeology of Crossrail.

When: Saturday 2nd September,  8.30am (usual opening hours 10.00am to 6.00pm)

Where: No 1 Warehouse, West India Quay, London E14 4AL

Age range: Up to 13 years old

Price: Free, but please book tickets in advance

Please visit Museum of Docklands for more information and to book your tickets.


Have you ever wondered if museum objects truly come alive once the lights go out? Find out at this exclusive after-dark exploration of the Museum, including camping in one of the galleries!

When: Saturday 5th August, Doors open at 7.30pm

Where: Science Museum. Exhibition Road, Kensington. SW7 2DD

Age Range: 7 to 14 years (campers must be accompanied by at least one adult)

Price: £25.00 per camper

For more information and booking details, do visit SENsory Science Night.


We have been offered the opportunity of a presentation by trainee educational psychologist Karen McMorrow on the subject of Managing Anxiety in the context of autism.

The plan will be that this will be part presentation and then an open conversation on the things that parents find difficult, or perhaps sharing ideas on things that have worked for their family.

When: Thursday 7th September, 10.15am for 10.30am to 12.00pm

Where: The Winter Garden, York House, Twickenham. TW1 3AA

Do let us know if you'd like to come along by emailing us at Looking forward to seeing you there.

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