Autism Information Hub

Services and Support » Autism » Autism Information Hub

Gateshead Autism Hub is now back up and running following the easing of COVID restrictions. The Autism Information Hub is available to anyone with an interest in autism – parents/carers/family members, professionals, practitioners, or autistic individuals, with or without a diagnosis.

Parent volunteers:

Karen Thirlaway – Autism Hub admin, parent peer support and SENDIAS link

Isabel Gordon – parent peer support

Regular professional contributors:

Lynne Kilford (SEND Monitoring Manager)

Alex Thompson (SEND Involvement Worker)

Karen Ruddick, Paul Swales and Leanne Hopper (Transitions)

Representatives from Early Years

Saskia Grassie (Senior Paediatric Occupational Therapist) – currently not available

Guest professionals from other agencies when available, eg SALT, Bowel and Bladder nurse etc.

The Autism Information Hub monthly drop-ins offer:

  • an opportunity to speak with professionals working with autistic children and young people, and to seek advice about any concerns you might have.
  • guidance on autism assessment and diagnosis in Gateshead
  • access to a wide range of books, information and resources on a variety of autism topics, including training, social events, group activities etc
  • a relaxed refreshment area where visitors can meet people and share experiences
  • guidance and signposting to appropriate support services and voluntary and charity organisations operating locally
  • free exclusive access to the sensory room for parents and carers attending the drop-in (children must be supervised by an adult at all times in the sensory room)
  • representatives from outside agencies who can advise on the help available from their services

Gateshead Autism Hub Facebook Group

Gateshead Autism Information Hub now has a Facebook Group for information sharing. The Hub welcomes parents and carers of autistic children, professionals and practitioners, autistic individuals and anyone with an interest in autism. You do not need to be a Gateshead resident to join.

Please join the group to access our resources, and feel free to share widely.

You can find the Facebook Group here:

Autism Hub Parent/Carer Support Groups

The Autism Information Hub has two spin-off support groups for parents and carers of autistic children and young people. The daytime group meets between 9.30 and 11.30am on the first Friday of each month. The evening support group meets between 6.00 and 7.30pm on the Friday evening before the monthly drop-in session. Both sessions are at Elgin Children’s Centre.

These meetings are not open to professionals and practitioners.

The Autism Hub also hosts two virtual support group meetings per month. Joining details are shared through the Facebook Group.

All parents and carers are welcome to join the groups for mutual support and information-sharing about their autism experiences. Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate children at these meetings.

For further details please contact

Drop-in and support group dates 2022

Autism Hub drop-in
Second Monday of every month 9.30 -11.30am.

Monday 10th January

Monday 14th February

Monday 14th March

Monday 11th April

Monday 9th May

Monday 13th June

Monday 11th July

Monday 8th August

Monday 12th September

Monday 10th October

Monday 14th November

Monday 12th December

Day time support group
First Friday of every month. 9.30 – 11.30am.
Friday 7th January

Friday 4th February

Friday 4rd March

Friday 1st April

Friday 6th May

Friday 3rd June

Friday 1st July

Friday 5th August

Friday 2nd September

Friday 7th October

Friday 4th November

Friday 2nd December

Evening support group
Fridays before each Autism Hub drop-in 6 – 7.30pm

Friday 11th February

Friday 11th March

Friday 8th April


Friday 10th June

Friday 8th July


Friday 9th September


Friday 11th November

Friday 9th December

Virtual parent/carer support group meetings on Zoom

Morning meeting – first Monday of each month 9.30 to 11.00am


Monday 7th February

Monday 7th March

Monday 4th April


Monday 6th June

Monday 4th July

Monday 1st August

Monday 5th September

Monday 3rd October

Monday 7th November

Monday 5th December

Evening meeting – third Wednesday of each month 7.00 to 8.30pm

Wednesday 19th January

Wednesday 16th February

Wednesday 16th March

Wednesday 20th April

Wednesday 18th May

Wednesday 15th June


Wednesday 17th August

Wednesday 21st September

Wednesday 19th October

Wednesday 16th November

Wednesday 21st December

Free car parking is available for the Autism Information Hub drop-in sessions and support group meetings.

Directions to the Elgin Centre can be found here:  The Elgin children’s centre.

A guide to claiming Child DLA (Disability Living Allowance) is available, either digitally by emailing or in person at the Autism Hub drop-ins or support group meetings.

For more information about the Autism Information Hub, contact or

The Elgin Centre also has a community cafe, a sensory space, play areas and toy library on site.

Click this link for more details about what’s on at The Elgin children’s centre.

For more information about services available at the Elgin Centre, contact Elgin Children’s Centre, Elgin Road, Gateshead, NE9 5PA, phone 0191 433 6300 or email