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.
PDF has sixteen part-time staff, 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 bi-monthly Open Access Feature Forums and monthly Empowering Children and Families meetings, to raise, debate and action topics relating to disability.
PDF provides a range of services itself including;
- DIAL (Disability Information Advice Line) from where we also issue Radar Keys,
- Portsmouth Shopmobility (from where we also issue Blue Badges)
- Portsmouth Parent Voice (including an electronic newsletter ‘Impacting on you’)
- Portsmouth Independent Support Service, Parent Engagement,
- Dynamite and the Young Inspectors.
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:
- Portsmouth Autistic Support Network,
- Autism Hampshire
- The Blue Badge Assessment Team
Within the building there are network connections running back to the Portsmouth City Council Network to provide access for PCC employees with the appropriate access codes.
To utilise the space within the building PDF is a regular host for conference space to:
- Portsmouth MS (Multiple Sclerosis Society),
- Portsmouth Action for Leisure Teenage Project,
- Kit bags and Berets (Dementia Group)
- Portsmouth Brass Band.
The Centre is used twice monthly for the Adult Autism Assessment Service for Portsmouth.
We have three PC’s in our main conference room which are freely available to all to access the internet and for basic word processing.
Our Polytunnel is currently being used by a gardening project which is in partnership with Portsmouth University.
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, for Dynamite and for the Independent Supporters Service which provides a wealth of information for parents supporting their children and young people through the Education Health and Care plan process.
How to contact us