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Safe Haven Basketball Club

The Autism Project graduate Grace Colverd and her mother Emma have hit the headlines with the inspiring story of Emma’s inclusive sports club, Safe Haven Basketball Club.

Grace now combines her love of sport with her busy job in Medical Records at St Thomas’ Hospital.

‘I want Grace to have exactly the same opportunities as kids without learning disabilities do – it seems completely normal to me that there should be sport available at all levels.’  Emma Colverd

Emma set up the sports club after realising that London lacked any opportunity for those with learning disabilities to stay active, socialise and enjoy sport.

The Colverd family are fitness and sports fans, so it is important to them that they all have the chance to experience their passion. Emma Colverd was overjoyed when their autistic daughter Grace was able to join a basketball programme during the family’s two-year stint in New York. However, upon returning to London in 2016, Emma soon realised it would be hard for Grace to continue playing basketball, due to the lack of inclusive clubs.


Those with learning difficulties are often excluded from mainstream activities and are twice as likely to be lonely, compared to their non-disabled peers.

Emma secured some funding from Basketball England, found a coach and a sports hall and started classes with the help of a teacher at Grace’s college. Safe Haven Basketball was formed and has grown ever since, with clubs in Westminster, Hackney and Southwark.

To read more and see the club in action through a short video – click here.

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