Portsmouth disability phone line that supports thousands closed due to lack of funding

A PHONE line that provides advice and support to people with disabilities is being closed due to lack of funding.

Tuesday, 9th April 2019, 4:49 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th April 2019, 4:52 pm
Portsmouth Disability Forum

The Portsmouth Disability Information Advice Line (DIAL) will cease to exist on May 29 and no appointments will be offered after April 18.

Officers from the Portsmouth Disability Forum (PDF), which runs the phone line, spoke of their regret on the decision which they felt ‘was the only option’. 

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A post on the Facebook page read: ‘We are now faced with no external funding to provide the service and no capacity to pay for it ourselves.

‘We appreciate that to all the people the DIAL has worked with and for, this will come as a shock, we regret the decision but it was the only option open to us.’

The move has also made two people redundant.

PDF chair Sharon Smithson said: ‘The Trustees of Portsmouth Disability Forum have decided to review the operations we are delivering in order to ensure that we are providing the best and most relevant support to the people of Portsmouth. 

‘We are grateful for the support of Portsmouth City Council and the HIVE in helping us to develop the next phase of our journey and look forward to working with colleagues in the voluntary sector, statutory sector, businesses and of course the people of Portsmouth in that development.

‘In the short-term, at review of contract stage, we have decided to cease the provision of some of our services including DIAL which will end on Wednesday May 29.’

Were you or a family member helped by DIAL? Contact health reporter Millie Salkeld with your story – [email protected] or call 02392 622130

Last month the forum also stopped running its monthly Health Cafe which was started in 2014 as a pilot with Healthwatch Portsmouth.

The aim was to provide a space for people to talk about issues with health services and disability problems in confidence over a cup of tea and a cake. 

Other organisations that provide information and support are:

Advice Portsmouth 023 9279 4340 or 023 9279 4345, Focus Point, 116 Kingston Crescent Portsmouth PO2 8AL

Age UK 023 9286 2121, The Bradbury Centre, 16-18 Kingston Rd, Portsmouth PO1 5RZ

Citizens Advice Portsmouth 023 9285 5855, 2-3, Ark Royal House, Winston Churchill Avenue, Portsmouth PO12GF