Virtual walk to Wembley will see youngsters with disabilities raise hundreds for Enable Ability as Pompey tribute

A TEAM of young disabled people are set to take on a virtual walk to Wembley, thanks to the support of their project leader.

Wednesday, 24th February 2021, 5:08 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th February 2021, 9:29 am
A group from Enable Ability are taking on a virtual Walk to Wembley to raise funds for the charity. Pictured: A previous fundraising walk

The youngsters, all aged between 18 and 25, are members of a group run by Portsmouth’s Enable Ability charity.

When Covid-19 ruined their plans to watch Pompey play in the EFL Trophy final at Wembley last year, they were left disappointed and upset. The final is now being held on March 13, but with no fans in the stadium.

Chelsey Langdown, their project leader at Enable Ability, decided to get the young people involved in a fun 183-mile walking challenge to raise funds for their charity.

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A group from Enable Ability are taking on a virtual Walk to Wembley to raise funds for the charity. Pictured: A previous group social and pizza

As the manager of the charity’s Portsmouth Youth Project group, Chelsey offers support to those in the 18 to 25 age range with mild to moderate learning or physical disabilities.

Chelsey, who lives in Eastney, said: ‘I bought lots of tickets to Wembley but a lot of the members were upset when we couldn’t go.

‘I wanted to turn it into something positive.’

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Although Chelsey is currently furloughed from her role at Enable Ability, she decided to organise this event along with her deputy and support worker to give the youngsters something fun to do.

Chelsey said: ‘I think a lot of them are just getting bored - we want to give them something to look forward to.’

The plan is to walk a collective total of 183 miles - the equivalent of trekking from the Enable Ability office in Copnor Road to Wembley and back.

Members will walk as much as possible over the month of March, with each person logging their distance for the day.

To keep everyone safely distanced, members will share their progress with team leaders via video calls, and send in screenshot evidence of their distances each day.

The walk aims to raise £300 for Enable Ability, and the JustGiving page for the event can be found here.

Chelsey also hopes that the fundraising walk to Wembley will raise local awareness of the charity, and the support work it offers.

She said: ‘The Portsmouth Youth Project aims to get the young people out and about, doing fun activities and work experience, improving social skills.

‘They get work experience skills, and they’ve had experience in care homes and worked with Game Over.

‘We take them out once a week, usually on Saturdays. I plan all the events. We also run a half term scheme where we have them all day.’

The Portsmouth Youth Project also helps youngsters to get ready to step into life after school and college.

However, it is not the only group offered by Enable Ability - there are other teams offering support to disabled people of other ages and with different disability levels.

Chelsey said: ‘I also want to raise awareness of other groups offered by the charity, and let people know that there are groups for vulnerable people and for people with more severe disabilities.

‘They help both the disabled people and their families, who need respite.’

Some of the young people in Chelsey’s group have come up from the charity’s teen project, aimed at youngsters aged 13 to 17, and there is also support for younger service users as well as adults.

More information about the support Enable Ability offers can be found by visiting the website.

Chelsey said: ‘People can get in touch - we work around Hampshire as well.

‘We think of ourselves as Portsmouth’s best kept secret, and what we do can benefit so many people.’

Although many of the services have been suspended due to the pandemic, it is hoped that the charity will be able to resume normal services soon.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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