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What We Do

We provide social and educational activities for people of all ages with learning disability: to develop their potential, avoid social isolation by supporting lifelong friendships and to provide respite for their families.

We hope that as our members pass from childhood to adulthood, they will learn new skills and maintain a strong network of friends that will minimise the risk of social isolation as they become older. We run the following clubs giving support and help from birth to 70+ years:


Special Needs Nursery/Pre-School >>

Our Special Needs Nursery is open every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9.30am - 2.30pm, during term time.

We offer a fully inclusive educational and care setting for children with special needs, providing:

  • one-to-one provision subject to need
  • weekly extra-curricular activities
  • fully qualified staff with access to special needs support therapists
  • extensive parental support

The children follow the same Early Years curriculum as other Ofsted regulated nurseries but in an environment dedicated to special needs. We encourage a parent/key person partnership to improve communication between the home and nursery. The key person will support the child's development and learning through both independent and adult led activities by encouraging participation in all activities, including snack and meal times.

To ensure a high standard of care, Grove Cottage works with other national and local organisations such as Ofsted, the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator, Specialist Teachers team and the Country Special Services Group. The nursery also has links with other nurseries and local mainstream and special schools. We were rated as GOOD in our 2015 OFSTED inspection.

Grove Cottage Safeguarding Policy.

Hertfordshire Local Offer


Performing Arts Club >>

Our Performing Arts Club meets every Monday, 6pm - 7.15pm during term time.

If you are over 14 and love to sing, dance and act, then the Performing Arts Club could be for you.


Youth Club >>

Our Youth Club meets every Tuesday 6.30 - 8.30pm, during term time.

This is a safe, friendly place for young people aged 12-25 years to meet. As well as meeting and chatting with friends there are opportunities for cooking, making smoothies, karaoke, listening to music, discos, painting, photography, virtual games, watching movies and much more.


Adult Social Clubs >>

Our Adult Clubs meet every Wednesday and Thursday evenings from 7-9pm

Adults meet on Wednesday and Thursday evenings in a fun, caring and supportive environment. There is a choice of individual and group activities. The centre is well supplied with puzzles, games and craft equipment. We also have darts, TV, video and karaoke!

There are discos to celebrate special occasions, occasional treats such as fish and chip suppers, pizza evenings, BBQs, 10-pin bowling and outings to local events.


Get Active Club >>

Our Get Active Club meets on Thursday evenings 6.30pm - 8.30pm, during term-time.

This sports and fitness club is open to anyone over 14 years. We explore different sports venues in local and surrounding areas and invite sports instructors to our sessions so that we have a fun new learning experience each week.

creates club
Cottage Creates >>

Our Cottage Creates Club meets on Friday evenings from 5-7pm, during term-time.

This club gives the opportunity for over 8's to learn new Art, Craft and DIY skills resulting in works of art and exhibitions to be proud of.

thirst club
Grove Cottage at Thirst Cafè >>

Our Grove Cottage Cafè is open on Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10am - 2pm, during term-time.

Our Grove Cottage Cafè, which operates at the Thirst Youth Café, 76, South Street, Bishop's Stortford, is a friendly place where members can volunteer or meet up with friends. We serve hot and cold drinks, cakes, snacks and light lunches to the public and we also run weekly Life Skills sessions.


Saturday Clubs >>

Our Saturday Clubs meet every Saturday during term-time.

We run a number of different Saturday Clubs for school age children. The emphasis is on fun, play, maintaining a local friendship group and offering respite to families. There are frequent outings using our own minibus to places like Willow Farm, Paradise Wildlife Park and trips to the seaside.


School Holiday Clubs >>

We offer a number of clubs during the school holidays, offering respite to families and great days out to the seaside and places such as Hatfield Forest etc for the children.


Speech and Language Therapy >>

Improving communication is one of the greatest gifts we can offer a child with a learning disability and Grove Cottage understands the difficulty faced by many parents finding Speech and Language therapy for their child. To help, we run a Speech and Language programme tailor made for each child.

You and your child will have an initial review meeting with our qualified Speech and Language Therapist who will then develop a programme specific for your child.

This programme will be implemented by a Speech and Language Therapy Assistant who will meet with you, at a setting of your choice, once a week during term time.

Further Details

To find out more about any of our Grove Cottage Clubs and activities, please call our Operations team on 01279 656085 or email: admin@mencapgrovecottage.org

Who do we support?

We have over 150 active members with learning disabilities who attend the clubs that we offer at Grove Cottage each week.

It is important to remember that it’s not just the members attending the clubs that benefit but also the parents, carers, siblings and wider care network that gain from the short break respite and support available from Grove Cottage.

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Grove Cottage Policies

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Complaints Policy

Term Dates 2018-2019