Brighton disabled advice centre saved from closure thanks to charity grant

Posted On 19 Jun 2019 at 3:00 pm

Volunteers and clients of Possability People demonstrate against the cuts outside Brighton Town Hall

A Brighton advice centre for disabled people which was threatened with closure after losing NHS funding has been saved thanks to a charity grant.

Possability People provided advice on benefits and other day to day living to thousands of disabled people a year.

But when its NHS funding was cut, it said it would have to replace the centre with a telephone hotline.

A crodfunder was launched, which eraised hundreds of pounds from individuals.

But earlier this month, the Henry Smith Charity gave it a grant which has helped it reach its £3,775 target.

The charity said: “This is incredibly exciting, and there has been a lot of work going on behind the scenes at The Advice Centre.

“The money raised through the crowdfunder, coupled with a new grant, means that on 10 June, we will start a new service to support disabled people challenging unfavourable benefit decisions.

“The idea is that the advice centre will recruit peer supporters – people who have themselves been through an appeal or tribunal – who will have the time and training to support clients going through these stressful and challenging events.

“The bigger plan is to be able to run peer support sessions in the community, as well as at the advice centre.

With the help of funds raised through the crowdfunder, we can start providing a limited number of appointments again (since our Clinical Commissioning Group funding ended at the end of March).

“There has always been an overwhelming demand from disabled people refused Personal Independence Payments (PIP) and other benefits and allowances, so it is good news that we can now start to do something about it.”

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