Charity that helps support families in need reaches out to Portsmouth

After helping hundreds of families in Hampshire for more than 60 years, a charity is now launching its services in Portsmouth.

Thursday, 24th March 2016, 6:17 am
From left, Con Attridge, a trustee of Rose Road Association with his daughter Katie, who has autism and uses the service and Neil Wilson, director at Rose Road Picture: Sarah Standing (160504-6269)

Rose Road Association works with children and young people who have multiple complex health needs through taking them out on day trips and supporting their families.

It supports more than 400 families in Southampton, where it is based, and the director of Rose Road, Neil Wilson, says it now wants to venture into the city of Portsmouth.

‘We recently launched a service in the city to support local families in Portsmouth,’ says 39-year-old Neil.

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‘This is an outreach service where we work with young people in the community, by doing things such as eating at a restaurant, going bowling or taking them out on the water.

‘We recognised a critical demand for support in Portsmouth and we are responding to that.

‘We want to give young people the opportunity to do all the interesting things that other young people get to experience.’

One family that knows first-hand the passion and work Road Rose invests is Con Attridge and his daughter Katie, who has autism.

‘Katie’s mum’s also disabled so it is hard for us to all go out,’ says Con, 55.

‘The outreach service is so important to us as a family.

‘I’m able to take care of Katie’s mum while she goes out and has a fun time and a great learning experience.

‘They offer a respite unit where Katie can have sleepovers at Rose Road.’

After witnessing the great work Rose Road does, Con became a trustee of the board of management volunteer services 10 years ago, and hasn’t looked back.

‘I knew I wanted to work with Rose Road not long after they began helping Katie,’ says Con.

‘They were so passionate about their work, I knew I had to get involved.

‘Katie has been using Rose Road for 12 years now, and I really trust them with her.

‘That is the most important thing about Rose Road – they are so trustworthy.

‘She has great days out with them, is well looked after and is educated through her trips to libraries and museums, which she loves.’

Katie, 21, is excited about the opportunities Portsmouth has to offer as well.

‘I love coming to Portsmouth not just because of the scenery but because it is ever so modern diverse and multicultural,’ she says.

‘I love places that are very progressive, willing to accept differences and venture in the many areas of art, cuisine as well as being the perfect haven for other students like myself to visit.’

However, Rose Road cannot grow the Portsmouth-based service alone.

‘We’re new to Portsmouth, we are finding our feet but it is exciting,’ says Neil.

‘We’re currently looking at recruiting people from Portsmouth, we like to get people from the local community because they have the links and the knowledge.

‘The localness is a really important factor.

‘Having people who really understand Portsmouth and its amazing history would really bring the most to our service.’

Rose Road offers a hydrotherapy pool, a new sensory soft play area as well as other facilities with more planned to be built.

‘It is such an unusual centre because it has so much under one roof, it is a real hub of so many facilities that disabled children need,’ says Neil Wilson.

Priding themselves on their quality and excellence of service, Neil believes they can mirror their success 
in Southampton in Portsmouth.

‘Our first big launch in Portsmouth will be our Spring Charity Ball,’ he 

This event will take place on Friday, April 15, from 7pm at Portsmouth Marriott Hotel.

The event includes live entertainment, a three-course dinner and a prize auction, all in aid of Rose Road.

‘We want to raise the awareness of our charity in Portsmouth, we can do so much to help the families out there who need the extra support,’ says Neil.

‘Our outreach service gives parents a break from what can be quite an intense and challenging time.

‘It gives families time to work and spend time with other family members relax knowing their children are safe.’


The Rose Road Association has been working with children, young people and their families from across Hampshire and the surrounding counties since 1952.

Children who attend the association have multiple and complex health needs and Rose Road believes in valuing individuals, celebrating achievement and respecting the choices of young people.

The association provides a range of services for young disabled people up to 25 years old, their parents, families and carers.

The charity moved to its purpose-built centre in 2003, and is able to offer the highest quality care to all those who attend.

Its experienced staff have a wide variety of skills, knowledge and expertise.

Every member of the Rose Road team undertakes a range of training and development programmes and is subject to a disclosure and barring check if working directly with the young people.

If you have any questions or would like to know more about Rose Road services call us on (023) 8072 1234 or email [email protected]


Rose Road Association aims to hold fundraising events regularly to support their services.

Here are some of the events coming up over the next month.

On Monday, April 11 at Beau Chic, 83A High St, Lyndhurst, a Beau Chic Pamper Day will take place where people can indulge in luxurious pampering and get double the feelgood factor with all proceeds being donated to Rose Road; helping families from across the New Forest and Hampshire.

On Friday, April 15, at the Portsmouth Marriott Hotel, Rose Road will host its inaugural Spring Ball, supported by Wild Recruitment and TJ Waste and Recycling.

On Friday, April 22 at Chewton Glen Hotel and Spa, The Rotary Club of the New Forest is holding a Gala Lunch, in support of the Rose Road Association and other Rotary charities, as well as having special guest speaker, Andy McIndoe.

To become a part of the Rose Road team, either as a volunteer or a trustee, visit