Bournemouth International & Neurodiverse Friends

previously called

Neurodiverse Friends Bournemouth

Note: we cannot currently offer emergency crisis support. If you are in need of urgent support, the National Autistic Society provide a number of contact links.

We are a group of good friends from neurodiverse backgrounds with experience in academia. We reach out to others from similar backgrounds regardless of student status or employment status. We have no office (unless you include Starbucks!). No expenses. No fundraising. Just volunteers who have experienced some form of mental health illness themselves during their time within academia. There are emerging reports that university provided wellbeing services are inadequate or in some cases simply not accessed by those needing support during a crisis. More info on the WONKHE website.

The aim of the friends groups is to spot mental health decline amongst our peers before it declines to crisis point. Just being able to ask someone who is withdrawing if they are OK could save a life.

Petition to protect Immigrants and International Students

During this time of many wars and displacements, there will be many immigrants expected to arrive in the UK. Please sign the petition to help protect these people and other international adults who are vulnerable on their arrival to a new culture.

Safeguarding and demonstration is a God honouring act. Proverbs 31:8-9 gives a biblical mandate to protect vulnerable groups. ‘Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.’ Safeguarding is not something we do just to please the government. It is not a tick-box exercise. It is a legitimate and God honouring ministry.

Contacts and Activities

Please note that we do not publish full names on this site. This is to reduce the likelihood of scam attacks. Please append '' to the names below to obtain email addresses. For example, Yuming would be
AndiFridays 5:30pm in Lansdowne Starbucks - English Conversation Practice with a Mental Health and Neurodiversity focus. For internationals, students and non-students welcome.
StuartChat cafe based in Boscombe on Saturdays - Open to all and also welcomes AECC students and staff.
AndiSaturdays 7:00pm in Elstead Hotel - Christian Social Club. Open to all. Supported by members of Lansdowne Church, Bournemouth International Church, Coastline Vineyard Church and others.

Practice speaking English - 学英文口语

Our partner group, Practice speaking English, is open to all students who would like to improve their English speaking skills.

Homestay Accommodation

If you are an international student looking for homestay accommodation, please contact Andi for more info. Our hosts are autism aware and are DBS checked.

Raising Autism Awareness and Community Protection

Our supporters spend a lot of time in the community raising awareness and looking out for people who may need support. We engage those working in the public service sector that we meet in the community and discuss topics such as neurodiversity, suicide and bullying. It is hoped that creating a better awareness will protect the most vulnerable in the community.

Neurodiversity Week 2024

Bournemouth has three universities. Via FOI requests we asked each how many events and stalls they held for Neurodiversity Week 2024.
How many stalls and events were run?NoneNoneRefused
How many of these were run by Neurodiverse staff?N/AN/ARefused
How many of these were run by Neurodiverse students?N/AN/ARefused
If possible, please provide an estimate of how many people attended these events.N/AN/ARefused
AECC responded within just five working days to our request but did not run any Neurodiveristy related events. Arts University Bournemouth (AUB) did not run any events during Neurodiversity Week but have postponed its event for later this year to be run in Disability History Month. Bournemouth University (BU) has refused the request, we have approached then to reconsider. We are aware of at least one event that BU advertised on their website.

Mental Health Awareness in Academia

Institutional Bullying and Abuse