New social group for adults with hidden disabilities in north Bristol

Photo of a group of adults wearing t-shirts emblazoned with the phrase 'Not all disabilities are visible'.
Members of Hidden Gems, a social group for adults with hidden disabilities, at a social event held at Hollywood Bowl, Cribbs Causeway.

A new social group has been formed for adults with hidden disabilities who live in Bradley Stoke or the wider South Gloucestershire and north Bristol area.

Hidden Gems (formerly known as Path to Aspios) was formed in June 2022 by Jonathan Broadbent after he found himself struggling to meet other adults with hidden disabilities similar to his own.

Thanks to the support of his parents and a small band of enthusiastic volunteers, the group is now flourishing and holding regular events.

Kitchen & Laundry Appliance Care, Bradley Stoke, Bristol.

Hidden Gems is aimed at adults (17+) who have autism, ADHD, Asperger’s and similar learning difficulties. The group’s goal is to create a safe, friendly environment for people to meet (in the real world!) and make friends.

They hold a social event at Hollywood Bowl in Cribbs Causeway on Tuesdays twice a month at 7.30pm, and there are plans to organise local activity trips aimed at bringing people together. The bowling event benefits from discounted rates – look out for members of the group sporting distinctive ‘hidden disabilities’ t-shirts.

Photo collage.
Members of Hidden Gems, a social group for adults with hidden disabilities.

Members are also able to chat with each other in their own private Facebook group (Hidden Gems), which parents and carers are also welcome to join.

Jonathan told the Journal:

“What started a few months ago as a Facebook group of a few friends has very quickly grown to almost 100 members, with 15 to 20 regularly attending the Tuesday meetings. The demand for this type of activity in the area is very clear.”


Fellow member Anna, moderator of the Facebook group, added:

“I was alone for a while because unfortunately my brother passed away. And while searching online for social groups that will accept me for who I am and won’t use or abuse my trust, I came across Jonny and Julie’s group. When I first attended our bowling event I was nervous, which was understandable considering what I’ve been through in my past. I started to have a really good time and made loads of new friends.”

The next bowling meet-up takes place on Tuesday 22nd November 2022, followed by another on Tuesday 6th December 2022.

Other events planned in the coming weeks include a cinema night and a trip to Bristol Christmas Market.

If you would like further information, or have any suggestions on how you could help the group, please contact Jonathan on or or call Julie on 07812 141275.

Related link: Hidden Gems (Diverse)

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