Hipp!!Bones provides a targeted youth club for young people with learning difficulties, disabilities, Autism and/or additional needs living in North Dorset and neighbouring counties. We predominantly cater for young people aged 11-19 years of age, although we can continue to cater for our members up to the age of 25 years of age.

Hipp!!Bones runs from Gillingham Youth & Community Centre, Cemetery Road, Gillingham from 10 am to 12 noon on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month, all year round (with the exception of New Year’s Day). We offer four longer sessions across the year, in the school holidays, for off-site activities. The club encourages young people to explore new activities and gain life skills, through a variety of arts & crafts, cookery, and sporting pursuits. Air hockey, pool, and the Nintendo Wii are also available in the Coffee Bar. All activities are appropriately differentiated to meet each young person’s needs, routines are in place giving a sense of security, and staff use simple language reinforced with visual clues and sign language to support communication. We have communication aids; switches and switch activated resources to enable young people with Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties  to participate independently in activities and have greater control over their immediate environment.

Hipp!!Bones staff are very knowledgeable and experienced in the fields of youth work and special education and are supported by a team of dedicated adult volunteers and young volunteers. The ground floor of the building is wheelchair accessible, and mobile hoisting facilities are available.

All young people irrelevant of ability can work towards Dorset Awards (10 hrs) and Dorset Awards Plus (20 hrs). This demonstrates how Hipp!!Bones supports and empowers young people who are disabled to live the life they choose and achieve their full potential.

We understand how difficult the journey can be to find the right provision to meet the needs of young people with additional needs and disabilities, which is why Hipp!!Bones is hugely important to its members and the community it serves. The club enables vulnerable young people to meet in a safe environment, where they can meet with friends outside school, socialise and form new friendships, and acquire the skills necessary to become more independent as they move into adulthood, thus boosting their self-esteem and confidence.

If you’d like to come along for the first time, simply send us an email, so we know to expect you. Parents/carers are welcome to stay for the first session, if they wish.

On the 13th August 2018 we achieved Ambition First Steps – Ambition Accreditation, which demonstrates we have met the  basic standards required by any youth club to demonstrate safe, equitable and legal practice. This framework provides minimum operating standards for working with young people.

“You submitted a really excellent portfolio and I strongly recommend that you progress to Ambition Quality Bronze in the future based on the quality of the evidence you submitted.” Gemma Lockyer Turnbull, 13.08.2018, quality@ambitionuk.org