Disabled advice centre at risk of closure launches crowdfunding appeal

Posted On 16 May 2019 at 10:05 am

Volunteers and clients of Possability People, along with council leader Dan Yates, Labour councillor Karen Barford and Green councillors Lizzie Deane and Alex Phillips, demonstrate against the cuts outside Brighton Town Hall in March

A Brighton disabilities charity is hoping to crowdfund £29,000 of funding it has lost from the NHS so it can keep its advice centre open.

Possability People’s centre offers essential support to more than 4,500 people each year, but says its future is under threat after the Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group slashed its funding by 85 per cent.

It has already ended face-to-face consultations and says unless it can raise the money itself, the centre will have to be replaced with a limited telephone helpline.

Chief executive Geraldine Des Moulins said: “Our advice centre drop-in service has had such an incredible impact over the years, despite having to survive on a shoe-string budget.

“With the loss of 85 per cent of its already modest funding from the Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group, there’s simply no way the drop-in service can survive, leaving many, often highly vulnerable people with nowhere left to turn to.”

No other local charity offers a similar pan-impairment drop-in service, and the loss of face-to-face help will especially impact those disabled Brighton residents who have difficulty communicating – a restricted phone service will be of limited value to them.

The crowdfunder now has less than three weeks to go to reach its £29,000 target.

The charity was told about the cuts to funding in March, and its volunteers and clients staged a demo outside Brighton Town Hall that month.

The matter was also raised in the House of Commons by Labour MP for Brighton Kemptown, Lloyd Russell-Moyle.

In March, the CCG said it had to decide to focus its funding on other local services which support people with benefits advice.

To donate to the crowdfunder, click here.

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