Local Services

Local Services

Below are a number of services/organisations in and around Plymouth that may be of interest to you. We have tried to group these as logically as possible but some of these may overlap into other groupings too. We have also tried to avoid services/organisations that require a formal referral from adult services to access. Please be aware that most of the services/organisations make charges for their activities or services provided and they may not necessarily be autism specific. Disclaimer


Active for Life - Active for Life is a service which supports and promotes physical activity in adults with mental health problems and/or learning disabilities. The aim of Active for Life is to improve health and wellbeing by helping people find something active they can do regularly and enjoy.


Animation & Media - Computer skills have become increasingly important both socially and for the purpose of general day-to-day communication. Computer knowledge means that you can communicate with others using multimedia such as sound, video or photographs. The Animation Club allows people to improve their computer skills in a creative and interactive way.


Funky Llama - Funky Llama celebrates the creative talents of adults with different abilities in the performing arts involving large scale events and social events. Each year they host an autumn Club Night for over 18's, with live music, DJs, films and cabaret. In the summer they hold an outdoor festival for all ages featuring live bands, DJs, dance, poetry, performance, workshops and much more. They also offer opportunities for volunteering, work experience and training within the theatre industry.


The Horticultural Therapy Trust - has various projects supporting adults towards wellbeing. There is something to suit everyone daily, and there are always a choice of tasks depending on how you feel on the day.


Our Space - Our Space is a theatre programme for adults who feel unable to access other arts provision. Members come from all walks of life, some may have faced challenges involving homelessness, mental health issues, substance misuse or re-offending, or they may feel excluded for other reasons. By engaging in drama and theatre making activities, Our Space aims to raise the confidence, self-esteem and mental well-being of members. Participants develop transferable skills in communication, decision making, risk taking and teamwork with a view to feeling more able to get involved with other mainstream arts events and therefore feel less isolated.


Plymouth Music Zone - Plymouth Music Zone is an award winning music charity that believes passionately in the power of music to reach out and help transform the lives of some of the most vulnerable children, young people and adults across Plymouth and beyond.


Plymouth Pisces Swimming Club - Provides regular private swimming sessions for people of all ages with any type of disability. Aims to provide a friendly and safe environment where members, together with their families and carers, can swim in comfort and privacy. For more information please contact: Mary Cole Tel: 01752 558168 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Advice and Information

Advice Plymouth - Advice Plymouth is a service commissioned by Plymouth City Council to deliver a coordinated advice and information service for the people who live, work or study in Plymouth. Selected for their track record in delivering quality advice services to groups, including those with special needs, Advice Plymouth comprises of Citizens Advice Plymouth, Age UK Plymouth, Plymouth Guild and Routeways. They can provide information and guidance in the following areas: Benefits and Tax Credits, Consumer Rights, Employment, Health and Social Care, Housing, your legal rights, Money and Debt, and more.


DIAC - DIAC (Disability Information and Advice Centre) provides a specialist disability service, and advocacy, to support people with physical or sensory impairments, disability, long term health conditions and mental health issues.


Plymouth MIND - is your local centre of excellence for mental health advice, information and support for all sections of the community in Plymouth. They run various activities, courses and services.


Plymouth Online Directory - POD is a website that provides information about social care provision services and health services in Plymouth. The aim of the directory is to offer information about advice, help and support services for people who live and work in Plymouth. You do not need to be receiving help from adult social care to see what is available and there are activities and services available that do not require a formal referral from adult services.



Plymouth Advocacy - Advocacy service to help people: access information and services, be involved in decisions about their lives, explore choices and options, defend and promote an individual's rights and responsibilities, speak out about issues that matter to them.


Counselling Directory - The Counselling Directory is a website that connects you with professional support. They only list professional counsellors and psychotherapists who hold relevant qualifications and insurance cover, or who are members of a professional body. The link provided will take you directly to counsellors and psychotherapists within 10 miles of Plymouth who have listed Asperger Syndrome as an area they can discuss with you. Use the 'Refine your search' area on the left hand side of the page to change your search options.


Eklipse Projects - is a free, professional person-centred counselling practice (Eklipse Counselling) based in Plymouth. They are also now able to offer a limited, private, e-video counselling service.


Plymouth Options - Plymouth Options (IAPT) Anxiety & Depression Service is a city wide service for adults in Plymouth with common problems such as anxiety and depression. They run various courses, ie, Stress Control and Mindfulness, amongst others, and are based in the city centre on Exeter Street.


Simply Counselling - offers one to one counselling for all members of the community, as well as for couples and families. Where it is not possible for you to go to them, they are happy to come to you and provide you with a home visit. They have a sliding scale of fees payable but may be able to provide some free sessions subject to certain criteria. Please check for further details.



Plymouth MIND Recovery College - The Recovery College has been developed to support people in recognising and making the most of their talents and resources in becoming experts in self care – in dealing with the mental health challenges people experience, and to do the things that people want to do in life. All the courses and support groups provided in the Recovery College are designed to contribute towards wellbeing and recovery. One of their courses, "Introduction to understanding communication and social interaction for adults with ASC", is designed for adults with high functioning Asperger Syndrome.

Educational/Employment Support

Access to Work - An Access to Work grant can pay for practical support if you have a disability, health or mental health condition, to help you: start working, stay in work, move into self-employment or start a business (the grant is NOT for business start-up costs). Visit your local Jobcentre for more information.


Autism Resource Centre - formally known as the New Hope Training Centre, ARC is a sensory friendly and nurturing life skills training centre that provides a therapeutic environment for young people and adults, up to the age of 25, who have ASC and other complex needs. They aim to give young people the training skills and qualifications they need to progress to further education and employment.


PLUSS - Pluss is a social enterprise that supports thousands of people with disabilities and other disadvantages into employment each year. They do this through a range of specialist, local employment services and through direct employment within their own social enterprises.


Independent Skills Support/Services

Asteroids - is an independent consultancy offering support and strategies to help individuals manage aspects of autism in daily life, support packages tailored to meet individual needs, training and support to parents, schools and other groups and individuals working with people on the autism spectrum. Fees will be payable.

Asteroids is run by Sara Lyons. Sara has a masters degree in Enabling Learning, specialising in inclusive education and autism spectrum disorders. She is a qualified teacher with over 10 years of teaching experience in mainstream primary schools and further education. She has also worked as a specialist teacher; supporting children with autism spectrum disorders in mainstream secondary schools. In 2003, Sara was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. Her own difficulties, combined with her teaching experience, provide her with a rare view of the complexities of autism spectrum disorders and enable her to offer advice and support to people with the condition as well as those who work with them.

Independent Living Skills - A number of providers can provide independent living training skills for people on the autism spectrum which can be found on the Plymouth Online Directory.

NAS Support and Outreach Service - offer a wide range of activities outside the home that enable adults to pursue their interests and develop their life skills in a meaningful way. They can provide support with: goal setting, general issues relating to autism or Asperger syndrome, strategies to keep safe, maintaining relationships with family and friends, supporting people to attend college and university, developing independent living skills, building confidence and self esteem, developing a healthy life style, etc. This is not a free service but people are able to self-refer.

Social Groups

Autism Assemble Social Club - meets on the first and third Wednesday's of every month at the The Bread & Roses Community Pub on Ebrington Street, 6:00pm-9:00pm. Autism Assemble is an upcoming social enterprise dedicated to mental health awareness in Plymouth through workshops and community events. For more information see their page on Facebook and/or email Jack Whitfield at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Get Our Nerd On By Playing Board Games - run by the Plymouth Anxiety Support Group, a chance to meet up weekly and play board games in the relaxed setting of Carpe Diem on North Hill. For more info please contact 01752 560273 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Meetup Groups - Meetup is the world's largest network of local groups. Meetup makes it easy for anyone to organise a local group or find one of the thousands already meeting up face-to-face. You can find all sorts of groups involved in all kinds of activities using the websites' easy to use search facilities.


Plymouth University Autism Society - a social group for students run by students who have an autism spectrum diagnosis. The group aims to be a fun environment and give members a chance to try new activities.


Support Groups

Plymouth Anxiety Support Group - This is a support group run by sufferers for sufferers of social anxiety. However they welcome people suffering from other anxiety disorders and overlapping conditions including: extreme introversion and shyness, generalized anxiety/heavy stress, panic disorders/phobias, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, depression and Dysthymia, Aspergers and high functioning Autism. The group primarily meets at Plymouth & District Mind on a Thursday evening once a month.

Other Useful Organisations

CHIL (Community Health in Lipson) - CHIL is a small charitable organisation which operates city wide. It aims to improve service users mental health and wellbeing through a community development approach. They work with their members in a holistic way by offering one to one support, advice and information and a variety of groups. They currently run a sewing group, a drop-in, two support groups, and a social group.


Crossroads Fun and Fellowship Group - is a registered charity supported by Morice Baptist Church and Plymouth City Council. It provides a unique drop-in centre for adults in Plymouth aged 18+ with mental health support needs. It has over 21 years experience in providing a wide variety of quality recreational, leisure and educational activities. All their activities are delivered by trained staff in a warm, friendly and safe environment that engages and values everyone. You can be referred by other agencies or self-refer.


The Oasis Project - is an internet cafe and resource centre which also provides healthy cooking courses for a range of abilities and can be tailored to specific needs. They also provide a range of life skill courses such as literacy, numeracy, and computer skills. They encourage people to develop new skills through a community music group and art groups, or through becoming a volunteer and helping in the kitchen/cafe or in the foodbank warehouse.


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