Support Groups

BOSP (Brighter Opportunities through Supported Play)

BOSP provide play and recreational opportunities for children and young people with learning disabilities and give parents and families respite and support. They aim to support young people in acquiring social skills which enable each individual to become as independent as their abilities allow and enable children and young people with learning disabilities to enjoy a better quality of life.

Inspires Me

Inspires Me is a free, parent-led support group for families in Basildon and the surrounding areas who have children with special/additional needs.

SHARE (Safe Haven and Respite Environment)


SHARE runs a holiday club for young people aged 8 years plus with learning disabilities. The activities run on weekdays from 10am to 3pm during all school holidays. SHARE also runs an after school club for 8-19 year olds every Tuesday and Thursday, straight from school until 7pm.

Families In Focus (Essex)

We are a leading independent parent led registered charity providing holistic support to families of children with disabilities and special needs (aged 0 to 19) across Essex, who require advice, information and support, particularly at times of change, challenge and crisis.

FACE (Families Acting for Change Essex)

The organisation represents the views and experiences of parents and carers of children and young people with disabilities and additional needs to influence the services they receive in Essex.

Membership of FACE is free and gives access to current information and the chance to contribute to focus groups and consultations and to become more involved in any way that suits you and your family.

BEST (Basildon Education Services Trust)

BEST works on behalf of a partnership of 36 schools in Basildon (Pioneer is one of these schools) who collaborate to raise the aspirations and achievement of the towns children and their parents.

Amongst the many activities BEST offers is the ‘Time Out for Parents’ Programme which aims to work with parents of pupils attending BEST schools on understanding and helping young people to achieve their best. The termly programme helps to support parents in their parenting role and also offers opportunities for parents to continue their own learning.

The BEST Holiday Activities Programme provides opportunities for the pupils of BEST schools to continue their learning during every school holiday period in a fun and friendly environment. They deliver a heavily subsidised programme of activities where the children of BEST schools can participate in a wide range of affordable enrichment opportunities and experiences in their local community.

Down’s Syndrome Association

A website providing information and support on all aspects of living with Down’s syndrome to all who need it

The National Autistic Society

The NAS is the leading UK charity for people with autism (including Asdperger syndrome) and their families. The website provides information, support and pioneering services and campaigns for a better world for people with autism.


A leading UK charity committed to changing society for the better, so that disabled people and their families can have the same opportunities as everyone else. They offer practical support – from information services to education and everyday care.

Please be aware that the inclusion of a link on this page is not an endorsement by Columbus School and College but an informative link for our parents and carers.