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Arriva in the Midlands

Connecting Communities in the Midlands

At Arriva, we want to tackle loneliness and social isolation by helping individuals and communities to connect, bringing people together from around the country.

To put this into action, we’ve compiled regional guides to great community groups and activity centres in the regions that we serve.

Here are a selection of some fantastic community groups and activity centres you can find in the Midlands. From baby and toddler groups for young families to centres for the arts, we’ve compiled a range of places that cater for many different kinds of people. Whether you’re looking for a day out or a new group/event to regularly attend, we’ve tried to incorporate activities and centres for everybody. 

All of these groups and centres can be reached using the Arriva bus network, and we have provided information on locations and routes so that you can easily get there. You can also find out more information about each organisation or group by following the link to their website.

Please use the information below to explore some of these great groups and activities in the Midlands.


quad derby

QUAD - Derby

A cinema, gallery and workshop that’s open to everyone, QUAD is a creative haven that caters to all kinds of people. From writing classes to knitting clubs, there are all sorts of ways you can get involved here. Definitely one for the budding artists out there!

The state-of-the-art QUAD facility features a three-screen cinema, contemporary visual arts gallery and award-winning café bar that’s become a celebrated hub within the local community in Derby. All ages are welcome to participate in a range of immersive activities and workshops, including digital media and film classes.

QUAD is open daily from 10am–10pm and offers a varied programme of mixed-media events, workshops, classes, courses and exhibitions. Among the creative events on offer is GoldsQUAD, a creative arts project exclusively aimed at those 55 and over, as well as the Derby Sketching Club, Mindful Crafts, Make it Sew and KnitsQUAD, all of which are available to attendees of all ages.

lotties tots

Lottie’s Tots - Tamworth

From newborns to toddlers, babies of all ages have all sorts of fun at Lottie’s Tots. With plenty of space for toys, games and activities, parents can grab a drink and chat with other mums and dads, while tots stay on the move.

Established in 2015 by Emma Claybrook, Lottie’s Tots is a Community Interest Company which was initially set up as a means of giving parents access to affordable social groups for their children. The centre runs weekly sessions for children including pre-walker babies up to toddlers, with a mix of free play and structured craft lessons to engage and stimulate little ones of all ages and abilities.

Regular 90-minute meetups take place on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays, while Wednesdays are reserved for parents with pre-walker babies. The price-per-child is £3 per session, with an extra £1 per sibling under 10 months of age.

The sessions run by Lottie’s Tots also give parents affordable access to an invaluable project that believes in helping communities to connect.


Find out more: QUAD

Catch the bus: Any route to Derby Bus Station

Find out more: Lottie’s Tots

Catch the bus: 110 Tamworth to Birmingham



deda derby

Déda - Derby

Déda is a creative centre for Dance, Contemporary Circus and Outdoor Work – connecting locally, nationally and internationally.

With a curriculum of over 50 classes a week, performances from the best of the international dance and contemporary circus scene, visual arts exhibitions and an extensive community development programme, Déda is one of the key cultural organisations in Derby. Classes for adults offer a range of opportunities for all ages and abilities; whether you want to get fit, improve your wellbeing, or learn a new skill – Déda’s extensive programme caters to all with everything from Pilates and Yoga, to Ballet and Social Dancing.

As well as being the perfect place to unwind after your class or before an evening performance, the CUBE café bar is an ideal spot for grabbing lunch or dinner with friends. Their seasonal menu boasts some of Derby’s finest cuisine, in addition to an exceptional choice of independent wines and ales.  The café plays host to a range of events, including live jazz evenings, book clubs and poetry performance nights.



Community Together - Tamworth

Designed to blur the boundaries between generations, Community Together offers activities, games, arts and crafts designed to get both young and older members of the community having fun together. Organised by a dedicated team of 50 volunteers, Community Together is a not-for-profit initiative delivering an invaluable range of activities, projects, workshops, classes and events to people across the Tamworth community. Such is the success of the project that Community Together received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services in 2016 – highlighting the value of the initiative within the wider community.

From youth clubs to IT classes, befriending lunches to craft workshops, cycling groups to chair-based exercises; Community Together provides a creative and comprehensive mix of activities that every member of the community can get involved in. The project’s main aim is to deliver community services that are accessible to all, whatever your age or interests. Some Community Together sessions and activities are provided in alternate locations in the local area, so be sure to check their website.


Find out more: Déda

Catch the bus: 8 Derby to Mackworth Circular

Find out more: Community Together

Catch the bus: 110 Tamworth to Birmingham




Phoenix Cinema and Arts Centre

Sit down to a great movie or feed your inner art critic at the Phoenix, Leicester’s leading centre for cinema, art and digital culture. Entertaining and inspiring, it’s a place to enjoy the best of what the art scene has to offer.

Phoenix features a two-screen cinema showcasing the latest independent and blockbuster films, and regularly hosts film and digital media festivals and events. It screens micro-budget independent films from local and international filmmakers, and curates regular exhibitions as part of its comprehensive arts programme. The centre also offers a packed programme of events, workshops and classes, with a focus on art and film.

For elderly members of the community, as well as students and young people, Phoenix offers midweek matinee screenings of all its films for as little as £6 per person. Visitors can also combine a film with a meal in the centre’s café for £15.80 – which sounds like a great excuse to start your own community film club!



New Walk Museum & Art Gallery

A great day out for all the family, the New Walk Museum & Art Gallery in Leicester hosts a brilliant selection of temporary and permanent exhibitions.

Wide-ranging collections which showcase curiosities and intriguing artefacts from the natural world and a selection of different cultures can be explored seven days a week.

Perfect for all members of the family, the museum’s exhibitions explore ancient Egypt, dinosaurs, space and the Victorian era.

And for those looking to enjoy the hub’s artistic space, there is a selection of traditional and modern galleries – including the centre’s world-renowned collection of German Expressionism.

Keep an eye on the website as well, as the New Walk Museum & Art Gallery plays host to a range of events including expert talks by curators and lunchtime concerts.




NCT: Bumps, Babies and Beyond – Leicester

Providing support for parents to be, new parents, bumps and babies, NCT Leicester is ideal for families seeking impartial advice about their new arrivals. Trained experts provide a sympathetic ear and answers for the most common and important questions new parents may have.

Whether you have a question about your pregnancy or you just need somewhere to relax with your little one, NCT Leicester is perfect for families of all sizes and ages.

Another great function of NCT Leicester is the network of parents it brings together. Great for young families, they can connect and make friends with others who are new to parenthood – sharing advice and support along the way. This support network is vital for so many families, both throughout pregnancy and as the baby grows up, and can lead to lifelong friendships.

With dedicated rooms for babies and toddlers, NCT Leicester can be used by families for many years – and there’s always a cup of tea and tray of biscuits on the go!

Find out more: NCT: Bumps, Babies and Beyond – Leicester
Address: Great Meeting Unitarian Chapel, 45 East Bond Street, Leicester, LE1 4SX
Catch the bus: 104 Leicester to Fosse Park, 50/51 Leicester to Narborough and Braunstone



u3a midlands


U3A (The University of the Third Age)

The U3A (The University of the Third Age) boasts several great activity groups throughout the Midlands, providing people of retirement age a series of groups in which to build skills and learn something new. Discover if you’re close to a U3A group using our table below*.


university of the third age




Arriva Bus Route


West Leicestershire U3A

153 Leicester to Market Bosworth

Find on Google Maps

Market Harborough U3A

X3 Sapphire Leicester to Market Harborough

Find on Google Maps

Loughborough U3A

127 Leicester to Shepshed; 16/126 Coalville to Loughborough and Leicester

Find on Google Maps

Leicester U3A

44/44A Leicester to South Wigston

Find on Google Maps

Hinckley U3A

1 Hinckley Bus Earl Shilton to Hinckley

Find on Google Maps

Great Glen U3A

X3 Sapphire Leicester to Market Harborough

Find on Google Maps

Enderby Area U3A

50 Leicester to Narborough and Braunstone via Enderby

Find on Google Maps

Countesthorpe U3A

85 Leicester to Cosby, Lutterworth or Countesthorpe

Find on Google Maps

Blaby U3A

84/85 Leicester to Cosby, Lutterworth or Countesthorpe

Find on Google Maps

Ashby De La Zouch U3A

29 Leicester to Burton

Find on Google Maps

Wyre Forest & District U3A

297 Bridgnorth to Kidderminster

Find on Google Maps

Wrekin U3A

14/14A Telford Town Centre to Shifnal

Find on Google Maps

Wolverhampton U3A

9 Bridgnorth to Wolverhampton

Find on Google Maps

Whitchurch & District U3A

511 Shrewsbury to Whitchurch

Find on Google Maps

Wellington U3A

15 Telford to Arleston; x4 Shrewsbury to Telford Town Centre

Find on Google Maps

Sutton Coldfield U3A

110 Sapphire Tamworth to Birmingham

Find on Google Maps

Stafford U3A

7 Moss Pit to Stafford

Find on Google Maps

Shrewsbury U3A

70/70A Oswestry to Shrewsbury

Find on Google Maps

Oswestry Borders U3A

400 Oswestry to Aston Way Circular; 402 Oswestry to Balmoral Crescent Circular; 403 Oswestry to Hampton Road Circular

Find on Google Maps

Oswestry U3A

70/70A Oswestry to Shrewsbury; 576 Shrewsbury to Oswestry; 403 Oswestry to Hampton Road Circular

Find on Google Maps

Lichfield U3A

60 Cannock to Lichfield; 61/62 Cannock to Lichfield; 825 Stafford to Lichfield

Find on Google Maps

Kibworth and District U3A

X3 Sapphire Leicester to Market Harborough

Find on Google Maps

Burntwood & District U3A

60 Cannock to Lichfield

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Bridgnorth & District U3A

9 Bridgnorth to Wolverhampton; 297 Bridgnorth to Kidderminster

Find on Google Maps


*The information listed above refers to the main location of each U3A group. Please check the website of the group you’d like to attend for specific attendance and location information, as these do vary from group to group.

We’re always on the lookout for new centres and groups to add to our Connecting Communities collection. So, if you know of a great community centre which really enriches the lives of the local people, please let us know by getting in touch on [email protected].

For more information about the different bus routes and services throughout the Midlands, you can use the timetable search tool on our homepage. Or, to find out more about loneliness and social isolation, head back to our main feature page, here.