Group 48 is a social group for people with Autism. We meet every Monday (in term time) in our main meeting room on the ground floor of our offices from 4:30-6:30pm.
Come and join us for a fun evening.
We also have two testimonials from people that have come along to the group.
Imagine that you grew up as a child being sure that you were an alien. There was no where in this world for you to fit in and belong. Now imagine that as an adult you thought that if you could find the right words, to describe the world you lived in your head, you would be locked up as people would think you are crazy. The crushing isolation of only ever feeling lonely when you were with other people. Now imagine that as an adult you find out that you are autistic. You are not an alien or crazy, and most important, you find out you are not alone.
The difference in my life since I received my diagnosis and started to attend Group 48 is immense. I now actually have a social life and do not spend the majority of my time in my bedroom. I met my boyfriend at Group 48. I get the chance to meet with other autistics on a weekly basis, people that I was very quickly able to describe as friends. I see several members outside of the weekly group session; going to the cinema, comic cons, exhibitions, talks and even the odd drink at the pub. All the members of Group 48 are different, but there is an invisible thread connecting us all. How can you measure or quantify that? You cannot as it is immeasurable. Group 48 is not just a part of my social life it is a vital part of my life.
I started attending Group 48 two years ago, and have hardly missed a single session as it is a real highlight of my week. I have made friends with many people, and even met my girlfriend there! All my life I have struggled to forge friendships, so the weekly meetings have been a real blessing for me. Everyone is very kind, helpful and supportive, both staff and attendees, and it is an excellent place to receive advice about areas such as housing, benefits, and employment; these are issues which I have always struggled to negotiate previously.
The atmosphere is quiet and very informal, with no pressure whatsoever to engage in any particular activities; people are free to drop in and do their own thing. This is very important to me as I struggle to engage with new people due to my Asperger syndrome, and I find too much stimulus to be bewildering.
I have recently moved into my first ever flat, due in no small part to the efforts of the staff, who also linked me to some vital contacts within a housing association. Words cannot convey how much I value the time I spend at Group 48 each week, but I can say this: long may it continue!