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What's On?

Looking for something to do? 

Want to know what's happening in and around your local area?

Going out and meeting other people is an important part of life for everyone.

There are lots of different activities and groups for families and young people living in Hackney. 

Find out more: Hackney Council 'What’s On' – Things to do

Young Hackney: Young Hackney - What's on? 

Find out more: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park – What’s on

Find out more: City of London – What’s on – Things to do

Find out more: Mumsnet

5 to Thrive

Making small changes can make a big difference to the way you feel. Information about City and Hackney's set of five things everyone can do to improve and support their own mental health and wellbeing and understand what is available locally can be found on the 5 to Thrive website.  

Find out more: 5 To Thrive - Events

On this page of Hackney's Local Offer website we will try to keep you up to date with activities and sessions that may be of particular interest to families of and young people with SEND living in Hackney.

Short Breaks

Short Breaks are how local authorities perform their duty in the Children's Act 1989 to..."provide, as part of the range of services they provide for families, breaks from caring for carers of disabled children to support them to continue to care for their children at home and to allow them to do so more effectively"

Short Break allows a disabled young person to have an enjoyable break away from their main carer and gives their carer a break from their caring responsibilities.

Find out more about Short Breaks and who to contact in Hackney on their standalone website:

We are happy to hear from anyone about events or sessions that may be of interest to children and young people aged 0-25 who have additional needs.

If you are running an activity or have heard of something that would be of interest to others please Contact us.

Free opportunity for children with learning disability / SEN and their families to see Jackson's Lane 2018 Christmas show The Gingerbread Man

Free opportunity for children with learning disability / SEN and their families to see Jackson's Lane 2018 Christmas show The Gingerbread Man, with special interventions in place to ensure your warm welcome, promote your childrens' engagement with the story, and create a quality family experience for you to share together.

This is an early trial of a service to connect families of children with learning disabilities / SEN and make it easier for them to have everyday fun in everyday places, alongside everybody else. 

The show is 50 minutes long, and afterwards you'll be invited to join a short discussion about your experience to feed into developing this service, due to launch early 2019.

Date: Friday December 14th 2018

Time: 1:30 PM – 2:50 PM 

Venue: Jacksons Lane Arts Centre, 269A Archway Road, London, N6 5AA 

Register: Free chance to see The Gingerbread Man Friday 14 Dec 1:30pm

Christmas Disco fundraiser hosted by the Huddleston Saturday Club

Date: Saturday 15th December

Time: 2pm - 5pm

The Huddleston Centre provides a fun and creative safe space for young disabled people in Hackney to make friends and receive support.

The event will help raise funding for the centre and help them continue to provide a range of activities for young people in Hackney. 

Huddleston Christmas Disco fundraiser 15th December - flyer 

Come and join us to have some fun and bring your pennies for: 

  • Food and drink
  • Raffels
  • Silent Auction
  • Lucky Dip
  • Face painting
  • Hand massage 

Contact the centre for more information. 

Phone: 020 8985 9089


HIT Squad festive event

HIT Squad is holding a festive event. There will be a wide range of leisure providers coming to offer taster sessions and a range of fun festive themed activities. Come and find out more about fun leisure opportunities in Hackney for children and young people with additional needs. We’re hoping lots of families can attend!

Date: Thursday 20 Dec from

Time: 3:30 – 5:30 

Venue: Hackney Ark, Downs Park Road, Hackney, London, E8 2FP

Phone: 020 7014 7035


Pearson Street Adventure Playground Saturday SEND stay and play sessions

Pearson Street Adventure Playground is an adventure playground open to all children and young people in Hackney. We offer a free, drop in, play and youth club service for children and young people aged 6 to 16, funded by Young Hackney (Hackney Council).

Hackney Play Association at Pearson Street Adventure Playground are offering Saturday sessions specifically for children and young people with: 

  • a disability
  • learning or cognitive difficulty 
  • sensory impairment of difficulty 

Parents and carers must stay with their child or young person but can socialise together while play workers help engage their children in play activities and making friends. 

Sessions are held during school term time 12pm - 4pm.

Find out more: Pearson Street Adventure Playground - Saturday stay and play drop in sessions for children with a disability

Hackney SENDIAGS - Knowledge is Power - Parent/Carer SEND information sessions 2019

Topic: Preparing for Adulthood & Post-16: Moving on to Training and Education

Date: 16.01.19

Venue: Meeting Room 5 Hackney Learning Trust, 1 Reading Lane, Hackney, LondonE8 1GQ

Come and find out more about:

  • Update on approach to Post-16
  • Post-16 Education Health and Care Plans
  • Preparing for adulthood objectives
  • Planning from Year 9
  • Overview of the service provided by Prospects
  • Which sixth form can my child go to?
  • What courses can my child do and where?
  • Where can my child go if they do not meet the criteria for sixth form?
  • Provision between 16-19 and 19 -25
  • What parents and young people need to know about Post-16 options
  • Mental capacity and voice of the young person

Find our more: Hackney SENDIAGS - Knowledge is Power - Parent/Carer SEND information sessions 2018/19

Sleep Right - Scope's free service for families of disabled children who have problems sleeping

Sleep Right is a free service from Scope which helps families of disabled children aged between 2 to 18 years old in East London who have problems sleeping.

Sleep Right offers a one to one meeting with parents to assess the sleep issues their child is experiencing.

A tailored sleep routine is written for the child and a weekly phone call is offered over a 6-week period to support the parents with the implementation of the routine. During the 6 weeks the parents can attend up to 3 learning sessions to help them understand the importance of sleep.

The one to one meeting and learning sessions will be held at various locations across the borough.

Find out more: Sleep Right - Scope

Parent Empowerment Programme – PEP Talk

PEP Talk is a series of 5 session blocks of early intervention designed to develop your child's communication, language and learning. It teaches you strategies to empower you to continue to facilitate your child’s development and support their learning every day. PEP Talk will empower you to use strategies to help develop your child's everyday skills and support them to reach their maximum potential.

Session blocks will be run by different resident therapists throughout the year including Speech and Language Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Sensory Integration and Dance Therapists.

PEPTalk is suitable for children who’s families are concerned about their child’s communication and learning development, for children waiting for assessments and for those with a diagnosis of Autism and other Special Educational Needs. Sessions will be tailored to meet your child’s individual needs, and support them in achieving their targets. There will be groups held for Under 5s and another group for 5+.

The Programme - An initial consultation in which we can discuss your child's needs and work together to set targets.

5 x 45 minute play based small group sessions with each session focusing on a different theme essential for developing communication and learning skills. There will be a maximum of 6 children in the group. Children will learn in a specialised sensory environment.

A learning profile for your child will be developed which you can share with other professionals to provide them with information on how to support your child.

PEP Talk sessions will be arranged throughout the year and will be lead by different therapists. In January Louisa , an Occupational Therapist & Advanced Sensory Integration Therapist is leading

To talk about your child, find out more and register your interest in the PEPTalk Series please contact Laura.


Find out more: PEP Talk (Parent empowerment programme)


English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS)

The English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) have an exciting new initiative called Folk Unlimited.

Folk Unlimited will introduce creative, inclusive, multi-sensory band sessions for disabled young people aged 12 – 24, their carers and friends.

Come to a Folk Unlimited session and:

  • Learn to play, sing and arrange songs and tunes from Britain and across the globe
  • Learn and explore new instruments and accessible technology
  • Learn new skills with fantastic tutors
  • Make new friends
  • Perform at events
  • Work towards an Arts Award


You don’t need to have any experience of playing an instrument or folk music to take part. Carers are welcome to join in too, or can have a break in our café just outside the rehearsal space.

Folk Unlimited launch on Sunday, 20 January, 2019  - free sampler session.

2019 term dates:  

Spring Term: (20 Jan) 3rd and 17th  February, 3rd and 17th  March

Summer Term: 28th April, 19th  May,  9th  23rd  June,  6th  July

Termly fee: £20 / £16 concessions

Financial assistance for young people with transport or fees if needed. 


Outreach Sessions

English Folk Dance SS have funding to deliver outreach sessions in schools and settings in North London signposting young people to our new band. 

These sessions will include tutor performances, singing, music-making and dancing, with English folk arts and culture at its heart. 

If you would like us to deliver an outreach session with your organisation, please do get in touch.

Please help us spread the news about our new band by sharing this information within your networks and with your people.  We want to reach lots of young people!

For more information, postcards or flyers, please do get in touch and we will send them to you.  Contact:

Romana Ashraf - Marketing and Venue Sales Administrator

(part-time, Mon-Tue Venue Sales / Wed-Thu Marketing)

English Folk Dance and Song Society

Cecil Sharp House

2 Regent’s Park Road



Phone: 20 7485 2206 ext.228

e-mail: Romana Ashraf                               



National Centre for Circus Arts Junior Sensory Circus and Youth Sensory Circus classes

New Junior Sensory Circus and Youth Sensory Circus classes are starting in January 2019 at National Centre for Circus Arts.  

These Sensory Circus classes are designed specifically for young people aged between 8-15 on the autistic spectrum who would like to learn some new and exciting circus skills in a relaxed and supported environment.

What’s different about this class?

  • 1:4 teacher-to-student ratio with our teaching team
  • Held in quieter and smaller spaces
  • A mixture of free-play and structured sessions to match participants’ needs
  • A ‘quiet zone’ area available throughout the sessions for participants to use at their own request
  • A full familiarisation pack and optional familiarisation sessions at the beginning of each term

Booking for both classes is available now from our website.

If you have any questions feel free to get in touch.


Phone: 020 7613 4141


Oily Cart’s - Hippity Hop hits the stage

Hippity Hop opens at arts depot, North Finchley for Christmas 2018.

Arts Depot Box Office: 020 8369 5454

This is total tactile theatre for tinies and, going by the concentration of these audiences, totally successful.” - The Stage

'Gives the very young a real taste of the wonder of theatre.' - The Guardian

Come along to experience the puppetry, rap, music and movement of the first ever interactive hip hop show for young children aged 2-5.

Features music specially created by rap artist BREIS, artwork by street artist Carleen de Sözer, a cast featuring MC Solocypher and Oily favourite Katherine Vernez Gray, and musician Kadialy Kouyate performing on the kora.

Relaxed/enhanced version for children aged 2-8.

Following it’s festive run at artsdepot, Hippity Hop will hit the road in January 2019.

You can catch the show at Stratford Circus Arts Centre, London (8th & 9th Feb).

Stratford Circus Arts centre Box Office: 020 8279 1080


Hackney Shed – National Theatre Connections 2019 programme

  • Are you aged 16 – 25?
  • Do you enjoy performing?
  • Would you like to meet new people in an inclusive environment?
  • Do you identify as having a learning a disability and or autism?

If the answers are yes, Hackney Shed Collective part of Hackney Shed, an inclusive children’s and young people’s theatre company based in Hackney, could be for you!

Rehearsals of this brand new play will be held every Thursday in term time January – March from 6pm- 8pm at Sutton House, E9 6JQ.

There will also be two full day rehearsals in February half term

Final performances will be at; Sutton House on Thursday the 4th April and The Theatre Royal Stratford East on Saturday 6th April

Places are limited for this project so to guarantee a place please get in touch as soon as possible.

Get involved or find out more…



Hackney Youth Parliament

Young people across Hackney have voted to decide who will represent them on the Hackney Youth Parliament. Following voting in schools and youth hubs across the borough 20 young people aged 11-19 were elected and welcomed into office by Mayor Philip Glanville, in the Town Hall Chamber, on 19 October.

The new Youth Parliament will meet every week and have a range of priorities they want to address during the two years they will be representing young people in Hackney.

These include community safety, feminism, disability awareness and housing.

They will decide what to focus on first, using the results from The Hackney Young People’s Survey, their own research and focus groups to assist them.

Find out more: Hackney Youth Parliament


Wolfgang’s Magical Musical Circus at Barbican

Please see below an opportunity from Barbican regarding this accessible performance for young people with SEND.

Barbican invite you to their latest offer: free tickets to a relaxed performance of Wolfgang's Magical Musical Circus by Circa and post show activities.

The performance takes place at 11am on Wednesday 19th December. 

Wolfgang’s Magical Musical Circus is suited to those with learning disabilities, sensory or communication needs.

There will be a ‘chill-out space’ available in the Pit foyer should you need to leave the performance and you will be very welcome to come back in at any point.

We would love if your group could come but please note we have a limited amount of tickets, so please let us know as soon as possible if you are interested 

For limited allocation of free tickets for young people email:

For more info please contact Sophie:

Page last updated 12/12/18

Sports and active sessions for young people with SEND...

Access to Sports Hackney Coaching Programme

The Access to Sports Project delivers a wide range of Sporting Activities for Children and Young People in Hackney.

Activities and projects currently include:

  • Holiday programmes
  • Volunteering opportunities
  • coaching sessions
  • tournaments
  • coach education
  • leadership courses and
  • competitive teams

The Hackney page on the Access to Sports website has up to date programme information. 

Find out more: 

Football sessions for children with motor coordination difficulties

These sessions are for children aged 5 - 12 years of age who have difficulty with motor coordination. 

Sessions are delivered by coaches from Leyton Orient Football Club. 

Children taking part will have the opportunity to:

  • Participate in football sessions of five weels and lasting one and a half hours each. These cost £4:00 per session. 
  • Meet other children who have similar difficulties
  • Attend football tournaments throughout the year alongside other London boroughts

Next session dates 2018:

Mondays 2018:

  • June 4 th
  • June 11 th
  • June 18 th
  • June 25 th
  • July 2 th
  • July 9 th  

Time: 4.30—5.30pm

Venue: The Garden School, Wordworth Road, N16 8BZ

Places are limited so call Joanna to confirm your child’s place.

Phone: 020 7014 7025


Find out more: 2018 flyer - Football sessions for children with motor coordination difficulties

Inclusive Family Taster Session at The Castle Climbing Centre

Inclusive taster sessions are a pathway to discovering that climbing is within the realms of everyone’s ability and focus on the fun activity of climbing and the safety skills involved.

The 1.5 hour session is ideal for participants and their family/carer/guardian to do together and climb as a group.

Each taster session will be tailored to the participant’s needs and abilities.

‘Have a Go' sessions are for over 16's with physical or non-physical special needs.

Find out more: Inclusive Climbing Session

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