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.’