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SEND-Friendly Events for Spring Half-term

Half-term can sometimes be a tricky time for all parents, much more for parent-carers of children and young people (CYP) with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND). Aside from it being a break from the routine that very much helps our children (specially those with ASD) cope better with the daily grind, the school holidays also present the challenge of keeping the kids active, entertained and engaged.

To help our fellow parent-carers in Manchester, we have asked around and searched for inclusive and SEND-friendly activities and events all across the city. This list includes events meant for SEND families, for parent-carers, and for the young people themselves. Please also note that this is not an exhaustive list; if you know of anything that we could add to this article, we encourage you to message us so we can share with families far and wide.

You may also check Manchester’s Local Offer for more ideas about what’s on in Manchester during this time.

Sunday, 17 February

ASD & Disability Trampolining Sessions, 10am, Flip Out Manchester (M11 4TA)

Flip Out trampoline park turns down the music and switches off the disco lights during these weekly SEND-friendly sessions to create a more relaxing environment for visitors.

Entry is £7.50 per jumper and carers can come along for free. (Flip Out trampolining socks are required; £2 each.)

Visit Flip Out Manchester’s website for more details and to book your places.

Autism-friendly Screening of “How to Train Your Dragon 3”, 10:15am, @ participating ODEON cinemas

ODEON regularly hosts autism-friendly screenings of select movies at least one Sunday a month. These screenings are designed to provide an inclusive and welcoming environment (e.g. low sound and lights, freedom to move around, etc) for people with sensory sensitivities and their loved ones. For February, ODEON will run 2 Sunday screenings – on the 17th (“How to Train Your Dragon 3”) and 24th (“The Lego Movie 2”).

Visit Dimensions’ website to learn more about their campaign for autism-friendly cinema screenings.

Be Hear Now“, 10:45am, Bridgewater Hall (M2 3WS)

This inclusive “musical discovery session” for children, young people and adults with SEND and their families starts with a relaxed concert in the morning, followed by a musical workshop from One Education’s Beth Bishop.

Tickets are £3 for under-19s and £5 otherwise.

Visit the Bridgewater Hall website for more details and to book your places.

Simply Cycling’s All-ability Cycling Session, 1-3pm, Longford Park Athletic Stadium (M21 9TA)

Simply Cycling offers regular all-ability cycling sessions at different venues across Manchester – Boggart Hole Clough (Wednesdays), Longford Park (Mondays, Fridays, Sundays) and Wythenshawe Park (Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays).

Entry is £2 per cyclist per session.

Visit Simply Cycling’s website for more details.

Monday, 18 February

Simply Cycling’s All-ability Cycling Session, 9am-12pm, Longford Park Athletic Stadium (M21 9TA)

Simply Cycling offers regular all-ability cycling sessions at different venues across Manchester – Boggart Hole Clough (Wednesdays), Longford Park (Mondays, Fridays, Sundays) and Wythenshawe Park (Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays).

The sessions for this day are 9-10:30am & 10:30am-12pm.

Entry is £2 per cyclist per session.

Visit Simply Cycling’s website for more details.

Screen Shot of GMCDP's "Half term meetup - Feb 19" flyer

“Make Our Rights Reality” session by GMCDP, 1-3pm, The Space (M4 5AG)

Taken from Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People‘s poster:

What do you think your rights are as a young person? Do you know how to make sure they are respected and protected?

Come along to discuss this, speak out about problems and see what other young people think at a session delivered by 42nd Street.

This session is for young people 15-25 years old who identify as having a disability.

Please contact Hannah of GMCDP for support with access needs (including transport) and for more information about this session:
hannah@gmcdp.com or 0161 636 7537

Tuesday, 19 February

Simply Cycling’s All-ability Cycling Session, 9am-3pm, Wythenshawe Park Athletics Track (M23 0PH)

Simply Cycling offers regular all-ability cycling sessions at different venues across Manchester – Boggart Hole Clough (Wednesdays), Longford Park (Mondays, Fridays, Sundays) and Wythenshawe Park (Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays).

The sessions for this day are 9-10:30am, 10:30am-12pm, 12-1:30pm, and 1:30-3pm.

Entry is £2 per cyclist per session.

Visit Simply Cycling’s website for more details.

Access BMX, 6:30-8pm, National Cycling Centre (M11 4DQ)

Access BMX is an inclusive session for people with physical and learning disabilities aged 7+ at the National Cycling Centre.

The sessions run every Tuesday evening and is run by qualified BMX coaches and volunteers.

Entry is £3 per cyclist and includes the bike, a full-face helmet, pads, and gloves.

Visit National Cycling Centre’s website for more details.

Wednesday, 20 February

Simply Cycling’s All-ability Cycling Session, 9am-12pm, Wythenshawe Park Athletics Track (M23 0PH)

Simply Cycling offers regular all-ability cycling sessions at different venues across Manchester – Boggart Hole Clough (Wednesdays), Longford Park (Mondays, Fridays, Sundays) and Wythenshawe Park (Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays).

The sessions for this day are 9-10:30am & 10:30am-12pm.

Entry is £2 per cyclist per session.

Visit Simply Cycling’s website for more details.

Simply Cycling’s All-ability Cycling Session, 9am-3pm, Boggart Hole Clough Athletics Track (M9 7DH)

Simply Cycling offers regular all-ability cycling sessions at different venues across Manchester – Boggart Hole Clough (Wednesdays), Longford Park (Mondays, Fridays, Sundays) and Wythenshawe Park (Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays).

The sessions for this day are 9-10:30am, 10:30am-12pm, 12-1:30pm, and 1:30-3pm.

Entry is £2 per cyclist per session.

Visit Simply Cycling’s website for more details.

“Hangout at Alexandra Park Café” with GMCDP, 1-3pm, Alexandra Park (M16 8PJ)

Taken from Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People‘s poster:

A chance to have a brew and relax with other young people in Alexandra Park’s Coffee Crank Co-op’s café.

This social activity is for young people 15-25 years old who identify as having a disability.

Please contact Hannah of GMCDP for support with access needs (including transport) and for more information about this session:
hannah@gmcdp.com or 0161 636 7537

Friday, 22 February

Simply Cycling’s All-ability Cycling Session, 9am-12pm, Longford Park Athletic Stadium (M21 9TA)

Simply Cycling offers regular all-ability cycling sessions at different venues across Manchester – Boggart Hole Clough (Wednesdays), Longford Park (Mondays, Fridays, Sundays) and Wythenshawe Park (Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays).

The sessions for this day are 9-10:30am & 10:30am-12pm.

Entry is £2 per cyclist per session.

Visit Simply Cycling’s website for more details.

Simply Cycling’s All-ability Cycling Session, 9am-3pm, Wythenshawe Park Athletics Track (M23 0PH)

Simply Cycling offers regular all-ability cycling sessions at different venues across Manchester – Boggart Hole Clough (Wednesdays), Longford Park (Mondays, Fridays, Sundays) and Wythenshawe Park (Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays).

The sessions for this day are 9-10:30am, 10:30am-12pm, 12-1:30pm, and 1:30-3pm.

Entry is £2 per cyclist per session.

Visit Simply Cycling’s website for more details.

Saturday, 23 February

Jamie’s Concert“, 11am-12:30pm, Bridgewater Hall (M2 3WS)

Screen Shot of "Jamie's Concert" event page at Bridgewater Hall's website, showing a photo of acclaimed pianist Noriko Ogawa

Screen Shot of the “Jamie’s Concert” event page at Bridgewater Hall’s website, showing a photo of acclaimed pianist Noriko Ogawa

This is a relaxed piano recital by the acclaimed pianist, Noriko Ogawa, specially designed for parents and carers of children with autism and other physical or special educational needs & disabilities. The event will last 1.5 hours in total, including an informal welcome, the relaxed performance by Noriko Ogawa, and an opportunity to socialise afterwards.

The Bridgewater Hall describes Jamie’s Concert as:

The setting provides a rare opportunity for families and carers to get together for a chat in a relaxed and inspiring setting. Children with autism are very welcome at the concerts but Noriko understands that not all are happy in such an environment and so leaves that decision to the discretion of parents and carers.

Tickets are £5 but Under 16s can attend for free. The price includes free tea and coffee after the concert.

Visit the Bridgewater Hall website for more details and to book your places.

Simply Cycling’s All-ability Cycling Session, 1-3pm, Wythenshawe Park Athletics Track (M23 0PH)

Simply Cycling offers regular all-ability cycling sessions at different venues across Manchester – Boggart Hole Clough (Wednesdays), Longford Park (Mondays, Fridays, Sundays) and Wythenshawe Park (Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays).

Entry is £2 per cyclist per session.

Visit Simply Cycling’s website for more details.

Sunday, 24 February

ASD & Disability Trampolining Sessions, 10am, Flip Out Manchester (M11 4TA)

Flip Out trampoline park turns down the music and switches off the disco lights during these weekly SEND-friendly sessions to create a more relaxing environment for visitors.

Entry is £7.50 per jumper and carers can come along for free. (Flip Out trampolining socks are required; £2 each.)

Visit Flip Out Manchester’s website for more details and to book your places.

Autism-friendly Screening of “The Lego Movie 2”, 10:15am, @ participating ODEON cinemas

ODEON regularly hosts autism-friendly screenings of select movies at least one Sunday a month. These screenings are designed to provide an inclusive and welcoming environment (e.g. low sound and lights, freedom to move around, etc) for people with sensory sensitivities and their loved ones. For February, ODEON will run 2 Sunday screenings – on the 17th (“How to Train Your Dragon 3”) and 24th (“The Lego Movie 2”).

[ODEON will also hold a trial screening for older audiences (only in 10 selected cinemas) of “Alita Battle Angel” on Monday the 25th of February at 6:15pm.]

Visit Dimensions’ website to learn more about their campaign for autism-friendly cinema screenings.

Autism-friendly Screening of “The Grinch”, 10:15am, @ participating Vue cinemas

Vue hosts autism-friendly screenings of select movies on the last Sunday of every month. These screenings are designed to provide an inclusive and welcoming environment (e.g. low sound and lights, freedom to move around, etc) for people with sensory sensitivities and their loved ones.

Visit Dimensions’ website to learn more about their campaign for autism-friendly cinema screenings.

Simply Cycling’s All-ability Cycling Session, 1-3pm, Longford Park Athletic Stadium (M21 9TA)

Simply Cycling offers regular all-ability cycling sessions at different venues across Manchester – Boggart Hole Clough (Wednesdays), Longford Park (Mondays, Fridays, Sundays) and Wythenshawe Park (Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays).

Entry is £2 per cyclist per session.

Visit Simply Cycling’s website for more details.


This article has been edited on 24 Feb to add the Vue autism-friendly screening and information about Odeon’s trial screening for older audiences. We also corrected the listed timing for Simply Cycling’s Sunday sessions at Longford Park.

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One Comment

  1. Gwen Facey February 17, 2019 at 7:40 am - Reply

    Absolutely awesome. Excellent work Jordan.

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