You can view December’s edition of Impacting on You by clicking here: IOY-December-2018 final
Enable Ability are going to be implementing some really positive changes in the New Year, therefore we are delighted to announce that the local Copnor-based charity, who work with disabled people of all ages, will be launching a new website which will be easy to navigate and will showcase the many services the charity provides for people in Portsmouth and the surrounding areas.
Our recent news is that Enable Ability have taken over a local charity, the Portsmouth Autism Support Network, commonly known for its abbreviated name of PASN. Since the merger in October 2018, Enable Ability have been working closely with parents, service users and other organisations through a period of consultation due to end in March 2019.
In April, the charity hopes to have a much clearer picture of how to take PASN forward without too many changes. Until then, please follow the PASN Facebook page or join the Enable Ability mailing list; details of how to join this are detailed at the bottom of this article.
Most services provided by Enable Ability remain the same, however there were some changes that took place in April 2018 due to a shift in local authority funding, a new project named the Portsmouth Teenage Project was created specifically for young people in Portsmouth aged 13-17 years old with mild to moderate disabilities. The Portsmouth Youth Project remains strong for our young people aged 18-25 years old with a more work-focused element to weekly activities.
With the introduction of the new website, Enable Ability are renaming some of their projects to give a little more clarity on the ages of the groups, for example; junior, teenage and youth. The charity also plans to support Dan Davies and his Bivol Trust in the New Year; this is predominantly for adult-focused activities.
Enable Ability hopes the chart below will help to eliminate any further confusion with regards to the recent changes, the staff are excited to reveal their new website which should give even more clarity to the many services the charity provides.
The year of 2019 will prove to be a major milestone in the charity’s development over its 68 year history, Enable Ability plan to invest the largest amount of money into a social enterprise project which will have a really positive impact on residents in the local community… watch this space.
To keep updated with the latest news, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and join Enable Ability’s social media pages on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. Alternatively, Enable Ability will be attending every coffee morning hosted by Portsmouth Parent Voice in the New Year for those who prefer speaking to someone in person.
Portsmouth Parent Voice (PPV)* Position Statement: Proposed Funding Changes to Special Needs Funding in Portsmouth. November 2018
In response to the crowdfunding post circulated on social media last week regarding a parent’s campaign to raise funds to request a judicial review against Portsmouth City Council (PCC) and the article published in the local paper on Monday 5th November, our parent carer forum, PPV, would like to issue the following statement.
Budgets across the board have been under severe pressure in the city. The High Needs Funding budget has remained static whilst demand has increased dramatically over the past four years leading to a £400,000 projected overspend.
PPV was made aware of this earlier this year and we asked whether an impact assessment was needed to ensure that children and families affected were taken into account when making those decisions. We were told that as this was not a budget cut this was not needed.
PPV were then invited to attend a number of meetings with PCC and schools where proposals were developed to manage the increasing demand within the budget available. PPV strongly voiced our concerns relating to children and families remaining at the heart of the decision making processes as described in the Children and Families Act 2014 and the SEND Code of Practice. Whilst it is important to remember that the views of a single parent can never represent the views of all parents across the city, the involvement of PPV in this process ensured that parents’ perspectives were taken into account in developing these proposals. It is also important to note that we were not part of the decision making process as suggested in the News on the 5th November.
PPV has a very good working relationship with PCC, and we believe we make valuable contributions to discussions on behalf of parents. We try to be present at as many meetings as possible so that we have an opportunity to try and influence the proceedings but decisions can and will be made that we may not agree with.
During these particular discussions we discussed how the changes would be communicated to parents and we will be involved in ensuring that parents are kept informed of the changes to funding arrangements that have been agreed.
An independent parent has created a crowd funding page to raise funds for a potential Judicial Review regarding SEND funding and as these reviews in other local authorities have been hugely detrimental to the relationship between local parent carer forums, the local parent community and their local authority putting them at odds with each other, PPV called our regional adviser from Contact to ensure what our duties were as a parent carer forum.
Under Contact’s guidelines, we are not allowed to lobby and campaign on behalf of one individual but we are able to share information about campaigns to keep local families informed which is what we did.
Our members and parent representatives work tirelessly and voluntarily to represent ALL parents of children and young people with additional needs in the city. On top on their caring duties, they attend meetings, training and events to represent the views and experiences of local families and they do this in a voluntary capacity.
In this statement, we have explained how we have approached this, how we challenged proposals and the strict guidelines in which we operate in regards to campaigning and lobbying. We operate independently from the Local Authority and any other pressure groups and will continue to represent local families and their views as we have always done.
*Portsmouth Parent Voice (PPV) is part of the voluntary sector and is jointly commissioned by Contact, Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group and Portsmouth City Council. We are under the umbrella of Portsmouth Disability Forum, who are a registered charity.
Our main aim is to help parent carers of children and young people with additional needs to shape and improve local services. It is run by parents for parents.
Portsmouth Disability Forum are currently conducting a strategic review which involves a whole range of activities and conversations both internally and externally.
We are now seeking feedback from users of our services, our client / customers. We have designed a very quick online questionnaire and would very much appreciate you spending a few minutes to complete it, in an open and honest way.
Completion of the review will enable the Trustees to use the findings in the preparation of a three year business plan to ensure the sustainability of the forum into the future.
We thought I might be useful if we remind you of:
To promote the care, welfare, interest, education and advancement of disabled people their families and personal assistants and their independence and inclusion within the community of Portsmouth and the surrounding areas.
To be the independent umbrella organisation of and for disability organisations and disabled people in Portsmouth.
To be an expert voice of and for disabled people by lobbying, campaigning and through consultation and partnership with any appropriate body both locally and nationally.
To promote awareness of disability issues.
Thanking you in anticipation,
Sharon Smithson Lynne Rigby
Chair Principal Officer