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Welcome to Portsmouth Disability Forum

We hope you were already aware that PDF has had to make the difficult decision to close down, from the press release below, but we felt it was time for an update.

The Frank Sorrell Centre (FSC)

As we announced previously, the decision to close and sell the FSC was a difficult one and was preceded by it having been closed since the first lockdown in 2020, so it has been a long time since it was active. We can now announce that the sale of the building has finally completed and PDF are no longer the owners of the property.

This is a sad time for many of us as we have been very grateful for the way this building has been able to support many people and projects over the years. However, the good news is that, once the rest of PDF’s liabilities have been paid, the money from the sale will all be put into making sure the work of PDF to support the disabled community will be able to continue and thrive, with the support of HIVE Portsmouth.

Portsmouth Parent Voice (PPV) and Dynamite Projects

We are very happy to say that these two projects are continuing and, as of the 1st May, are now being managed and supported as part of Portsmouth Hive. Contact details have now been updated on the websites, but If you want to get in touch with them, or know people who would benefit from their support, please use the following email addresses:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for the Dynamite project
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for the PPV project

or, if access to emails is a problem, please ring the Portsmouth HIVE Helpline on 023 9261 6709.

Shopmobility

This valuable service will also continue and is being overseen by Portsmouth City Council – website details are in the process of being updated so please do not use the PDF email address, but if you want to contact them, they can still be reached on their usual number 07493 132948.

Ongoing Contact

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your involvement in PDF in the past. This last year has been very difficult for everyone, and it has been even longer than that since we have been able to focus as much as we would have liked to, on consulting you with regard to our aim of lobbying and campaigning to ensure disabled people get the same rights and facilities as everyone else. Again there is good news, that the Hive are planning to use the funds from the building to strengthen support of the disabled community and they would very much value continued contact with those who have been part of this in the past.

As you may be aware, under the GDPR regulations we are unable to pass on individual contact details so if you would like to continue to be involved in ongoing work in this area, please contact the Hive directly through their Helpline number : 023 9261 6709.

Final Closure of PDF

Trustees are now in the process of closing down and paying off all PDF’s liabilities so that we can formally close PDF, which we hope will have happened by the end of July 2021, at which point, as agreed, the remaining funds will be passed across to the Hive to support the ongoing work.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank you all so much for the support you have given to PDF in the past, and to wish you well in all your future ventures.

Press Release

DATE: 3rd February 2021

BY: HIVE Portsmouth Board of Trustees & Portsmouth Disability Board of Trustees

Portsmouth Disability Forum and HIVE Portsmouth are delighted to be in discussions about how they may develop the work of the Disability Forum going forward.

Portsmouth Disability Forum have made the difficult decision to wind up the charity following several years of reduced funding against a background of increased costs. The Board of Trustees wanted to ensure that that the voice and needs of those who experience disability are heard and addressed and are working with HIVE Portsmouth, to seek ways of providing access and inclusion for all in the life of the local communities and city.

Father Bob White, Chair of HIVE, said: ‘I am very excited that we are able to develop the important work done by Portsmouth Disability Forum and to integrate that work and voice within our wider discussions and activity as the HIVE Portsmouth.

 ‘This development recognises the importance of all in our society having a sense of being included and valued. As a city we pride ourselves on our strong sense of community and care and this new partnership will enhance that. It is a tribute to the work of the Forum that they have grown to this position and can now take the next step in their commitment to responding to the needs of those they seek to represent.’

Sharon Smithson, from Portsmouth Disability Forum, went on to say: ‘I am pleased and positive that with HIVE Portsmouth we will be able to take the work of Portsmouth Disability Forum to the next stages.

 ‘They will ​continue to provide the ability to access ​information and offer the support that people who experience inequality deserve. Users of Portsmouth Parent Voice and Dynamite will not see a change to their service delivery – this will continue with HIVE Portsmouth as normal. I would like to thank all of the staff, clients and friends of Portsmouth Disability Forum for their friendship and support over the last few years.’

[ENDS]

BACKGROUND

Portsmouth Disability Forum (PDF)

Came into being over 30 years ago when disabled and non-disabled people came together in Portsmouth to try to ensure that everyone had the same opportunities as everyone else.

PDF is a user–led organisation with a trustee board which consists of eleven trustees eight of whom are disabled representing a broad range of disabilities, and other organisations, the remaining three trustees are part of the board either for their knowledge and experience of disabilities or their professional or business knowledge. We are a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee and as such have to operate under these bodies requirements as set down in law in our Memorandum and Articles of Association.

We have a small team, of which the majority are either disabled themselves or have first-hand knowledge of disability. We have a regular team of seven disabled volunteers and a membership of disabled and non- disabled people, voluntary and statutory and a range of local and national disability organisations. 

The Frank Sorrell Centre in Prince Albert Road, is owned by the charity and is fully accessible with its own car park. The Centre is run for the benefit of disabled people their families and personal assistants, disability groups and organisations in and around Portsmouth as well as supporting the local churches in our community.

PDF runs monthly Empowering Children and Families meetings, to raise, debate and action topics relating to disability.

PDF provides a range of services itself including;

PDF supports monthly meetings of Loud and Clear (a hearing loss support group), and Cheerful Charlie’s (a dual sensory loss support group) and weekly Keyboard Sessions.

From time to time PDF also provides work experience and job placements primarily to local disabled students and disabled people.

You will also find within the building:

  • Autism Hampshire
  • The Blue Badge Assessment Team 

We are working with city wide developments with the Community Network, Health Watch, and Community Action in Portsmouth.

We have a number of websites promoting the work of PDF, for Shopmobility, for Portsmouth Parent Voice, and for Dynamite which provides a wealth of information for parents supporting their children and young people through the Education Health and Care plan process.

HIVE Portsmouth

HIVE Portsmouth is a strategic partnership in Portsmouth consisting of a representative group of the voluntary and community sector, NHS Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group and Portsmouth City Council.

We work with local people, groups and organisations in a way that recognises and nurtures the strengths of individuals, families and communities and helps to build independence and self-reliance as an alternative to a reliance on traditional services.

We connect people and organisations to share, support and learn in order to meet the needs of individuals and are committed to working together with the objective of building a happier, healthier and more connected city.

The HIVE Portsmouth Ltd, Lower Ground Floor, Central Library, Guildhall Square, Portsmouth, Hampshire, United Kingdom, PO1 2DX.

Web:  www.hiveportsmouth.org.uk

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Tel:  023 9261 6709.

Company registered in England and Wales, company number 12064936.  Registered charity number:  1189067.