Event Round-up: The Parenting of Teens & Pre-teens Village Community Expo

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29th October 2018

On Saturday 13th October, more than 20 organisations gathered under one roof to provide parents of children of all ages with access to services, support and advice to make the parenting journey a little easier.
IRIS went along to the expo to talk to the organisers, exhibitors, speakers and those running workshops.

Here’s who we met…

Parenting Takes a Village

Based on the old African proverb ‘It takes a village to raise a child’, the organisation at the helm of the event was set up in recognition of a lack of support for parents of older children. Speaking of the motivation behind the group, founder Anika Vessel says that, despite the abundance of support available for 0-5-year-olds, the connections and community in place for parents of older children and teens can be harder to access.

The group offers courses and parent coaching to help Mums and Dads to gain a better understanding of their teen’s behaviour and to develop methods of handling difficult situations.

The organisation also holds a monthly ASD coffee morning, where parents of teens and pre-teens on the autistic spectrum meet to discuss the ups and downs of daily life.

Upcoming ASD Coffee Mornings will take place on:

•    22nd October 10:00am – 11:30am
•    26th November 10:00 am – 11:30 am
•    17th December 10:00 am – 11:30 am

For more information, visit: www.parentingtakesavillage.com

The Curly Hair Project

The Curly Hair Project was set up by Alis Rowe, who was diagnosed with ASD in her early 20’s. Taking from her own experiences with undiagnosed autism, she has written several books and created a range of resources on the issues and struggles facing teenagers living with ASD. These are designed to help both teens and their parents to better understand the condition and how that will affect day-to-day interactions. Alis’ resources are widely acknowledged and are recommended for both patients and GPs to improve knowledge of ASD.

Sam Ramsay is a senior trainer and manager who delivers workshops and training across the Midlands aimed at autistic adults, parents, carers and anyone who works with autistic adults and children.
To find out more and book your place at one of Sam’s upcoming workshops, visit: thegirlwiththecurlyhair.co.uk

The LEGO Club

The LEGO Club is run by educational professionals and invites children aged seven and above to take part in friendly, relaxed LEGO building sessions. While these sessions are open to all children, both those with additional needs and without, parents of children with additional needs have remarked on the positive environment of the LEGO Club and their surprise at how their child has responded to them.

The LEGO Club allows children to take part in both solitary and group play, where interaction with others is never forced, but often happens naturally as the children become more comfortable with one another and from natural relationships.

The LEGO Club sessions will take place every 2nd Saturday and 3rd Sunday of the month between 1 PM and 3 PM at Toton Tesco Community Room, NG9 6QX. Booking is essentials and can be done by emailing melanie@parentingtakesavillage.com.


Codex is a social enterprise run by students at the University of Nottingham. The group aims to improve both key skills and employability of young adults with autism, through coding and programming education.

Codex offers courses and training in a range of programming languages, including Python and Scratch.

For more information or to contact Codex, please visit the Facebook page or email codex.enactus@gmail.com

Dad’s Online Social Hub (D.O.S.H.)

D.O.S.H. stands for ‘Dad’s Online Social Hub’ and is a GPS-enabled app, designed to help dads find other fathers in their local area – wherever that might be – with the aim of increasing the sense of community around dads and the availability of support within that community.

Once available, the app will feature profiles, event notifications and a Red Cross area which will provide a directory of information and advice for a range of medical and emergency situations.

The app is the result of founder Marc Bailey’s journey through disability and fatherhood, alongside the recognition of the high numbers of males who suffer with mental health issues and who could benefit from a stronger community and network of like-minded connections.

To learn more and keep up to date with D.O.S.H, please visit: dosh.ltd