People across Portsmouth will have access to a diverse range of projects, groups and support thanks to more than £30,000 of grant funding.

Portsmouth City Council awarded community inclusion grants to 32 organisations across the city with each bidding for up to £1,000 for projects that aim to make the city a place where all feel welcome with fair opportunities.

The result will see an eclectic mix of projects offering support for a diverse range of residents including refugees, people with disabilities, expectant parents and LGBTQIA+ people.

Initiatives include music and dance workshops for families with SEN, upskilling young LGBTQIA+ people to help them get into employment, food hampers to support asylum seekers in the city, performing arts workshops for those with visible and invisible disabilities and birth preparation classes for ethnic minority communities in Portsmouth.

Cllr Pitt, Leader of Portsmouth City Council said: “These grants will help support many people throughout the city to ensure that everyone gets a fair opportunity and feels welcome and supported.”

“There have been so many fantastic applications, and we thank everyone for applying. ”

Organisation name Description of Project
423 Nomads This project presents the story of Ahmed and Walid, two Sudanese brothers who have risen from immigrant youth to become esteemed UK boxing champions. This is an immersive project including videos, street dancers and poetry reading.
Abilities for Life Abilities for Life is a community group that was set up by people with disabilities for people with disabilities. The group is solely delivered by volunteers with own experience of disabilities. The funding will be used over a timeframe of one calendar year and pay for room hire, transport and raffle prizes.
Boogie Mites Four music workshops to be delivered on Saturdays during Feb/March 2024 by Boogie Mites Teacher Pauline Nixon, for families with SEN children attending the school. Covering content included in Boogie Mites App: Building Strong Foundations for Language and Literacy Through Music.
Downtown Pompey The funding will be used for two workshops – the first focuses on upskilling young LGBTQIA+ people (between 10-12) by developing hard skills such as interviewing, writing and recording, including a focus on enriching ‘soft’ skills such as empathy and understanding. The second session will be a ‘Hey Babe!’ lunch where the young people host the space and conduct interviews between them and older LGBT+ people, these will be recorded and edited to create a podcast series named “Yap! – across the generations” that will be available for the public.
`Fighting with Pride The Project name is called: ‘Welcome Home Project’. The funding is intended to be used to support a number of activities and events for two key purposes: The first is to bring LGBT+ veterans together in order to build community and individual self-confidence and reduce loneliness and isolation. The second is to support promulgation of the recommendations made in the LGBT Veterans’ Independent Review Report dated May 2022 by Lord Etherton (The Etherton Report). The Community Inclusion Grant funding will help support the information dissemination process through attendance at events and activities across the Portsmouth area.
Follow your Dreamz Performing Arts Provision of hot meals to 70 individuals (Jan to Apr) as part of the FYD’s mission of giving young people from disadvantaged backgrounds or with an invisible or visible disability a chance to express themselves through the medium of performing arts.
Global Music Vision CIC Project which supports and encourages school pupils with SEND, SI and other needs, to explore sounds, music and song creation, and to develop their listening, language, communication, and memory skills. This will take place in one school in Portsmouth, between April 2024 and January 2025.
Harbour Church Monthly provides a pop-up spa space, providing a safe, confidential space for women to come and receive a warm welcome, free beauty treatments and a delicious brunch.
Headway A three-month project providing inclusive sport, leisure and exercise classes to those with brain injury, including wheelchair users.
HomeStart Portsmouth Creating a Play & Stay group for LGBTQIA+ parents.
Host Space The Host Space is a not-for-profit coworking space. Of the regular coworkers, around 10% identify as trans+, 23% as LGBTQIA+ and 19% ADHD or Autistic, 8% with accessibility needs. The grant would go towards a series of awareness and training events for The Host Space wellbeing team in order to best care for workers with diverse needs and backgrounds. Secondly, the grant would go towards a ramp being built at the main entrance, so that wheelchair users who want to use the coworking space don’t have to use the side entrance and be left feeling undervalued.
Hounds for Heroes Our principal objective is to enhance the quality of life of HM Armed Forces and Emergency Services personnel who have become disabled through injury or illness at any time. Our funding request for £1,000 would enable us to purchase five puppy packs. Our volunteer puppy parents are provided with all they need to give our puppy the best start on their journey with Hounds for Heroes. This year alone, we have acquired eight puppies with two new additions joining early in 2024.
Noah Mapalo Help Centre Portsmouth Unity Festival is a community-based initiative designed to celebrate and promote diversity. The project’s main goal is to foster inclusivity, encourage cross-cultural understanding, and bring the residents of Portsmouth closer together by hosting a small-scale festival that showcases the cultures and backgrounds in the city. The funding will be used to cover decoration, catering and marketing costs.
Portsmouth City of Sanctuary PCoS’ survey results indicated that 50% of items provided in a food parcel are food items that are not used or known to families from ethnic minority backgrounds. The funding will provide food hampers for asylum seeker and refugee families living in the city, including ingredients that are familiar to the families.
Portsmouth Down Syndrome Association Our social outings project focuses on addressing social isolation and exclusion among young people aged 8-21 with Down Syndrome. Funds will go towards the costs of our monthly social outings which always include sports or dance, so have additional fitness benefits. The young people will have exposure to positive role models that help them develop valuable life skills and confidence. By encouraging the formation of friendships, the project contributes to the creation of a supportive community that understands and embraces diversity.
Portsmouth Gambian Society Portsmouth Gambian Association intends to organise and celebrate a religious feast known as Eid-UL ADHA. This event will bring Muslims and non-Muslims communities together and will help increase religious and cultural understanding, awareness, tolerance and will further help to foster peaceful coexistence within the communities of Portsmouth.
SEND Butterflies This is a peer led community group for the parents and carers of young people with special educational needs and disabilities. The project will be delivered in the community and in an area of deprivation within Portsmouth. It is our intention to use the funding to pay for the hire of the building we are using for the first year whilst our volunteers engage in fundraising via grants and events in the area so that the project can continue after the initial 12 months.
Sparkle Lodge Sparkle Lodge is an inclusive nursery and already has a large number of children with disabilities. We currently support many children who have a special educational need or disability. We are looking for grant funding to provide the Wellcomm skills, the complete speech and language toolkit, from screening to intervention, as we have a number of children who have significant speech delay or are non-verbal.
Spirit in Sport Table Tennis Café – this is a project funded by last year’s community inclusion grant and the organisation is seeking more funding this year to allow the project to continue. The vision of the café is simple: to get people of all ages and backgrounds together to enjoy some light exercise (thus making them more healthy and confident) and a cuppa/lunch whilst also mitigating the loneliness that is still epidemic since the Coronavirus pandemic by bringing people together into a loving, welcoming community.
Sustrans Sustrans’ Welcome Wheels project works in partnership to address all these issues. With the right support and equipment, refugees and asylum seekers will develop the skills and confidence to navigate the city by bicycle.
The Aldingbourne Trust MAKE@Aldingbourne is a Community Hub, providing training and employment opportunities for people with learning disabilities and Autism. In September 2023, the team at MAKE organised Portsmouth’s first Suicide Awareness Public Event in Victoria Park, As a continuation of this event and leading up to Suicide Awareness Day 2024, MAKE aims to develop the project and provide continuous support and signposting to vulnerable people. The project would enable MAKE to hold two workshops a month up to September 2024.
The Andrew Simpson Foundation (ASF) This is a new joint project between the Andrew Simpson Centre Portsmouth and Paulsgrove Schools to help tackling inequality in that area. The aim of this project is to provide primary[1]school-aged children in the Paulsgrove area with easy access to water-based activities and watersports that are on their doorstep, but currently not being accessed, due to cost and lack of opportunity. Paulsgrove has high levels of deprivation and an area of concern and focus for Portsmouth City Council.
The Elizabeth Foundation Purchase of air-conditioning units for rooms where hearing tests for newborns are undertaken to facilitate screenings taking place. If the baby is hot this causes them to become unsettled and the tests cannot be performed.
The LifeHouse Charity supporting those in need. Grant to go towards providing food parcels (food and delivery costs).
The New Ground CIC Weekly co-creation program for adults with learning difficulties aged 25+; partnering with local organisations. This will also include a development programme for 13 learning disability ambassadors who are a part of Inclusive Arts Committee, offering leadership and workshops, skills development and creative workshops.
The Parenting Network A pilot programme of Birth Preparation Classes for ethnic minority communities in Portsmouth. Delivered with support of the Cross Cultural Women’s group, we would be able to provide four sessions with interpreters/translators and resources in multiple languages, to ensure expectant mothers are receiving the knowledge and care they require. Our Birth Preparation Classes have been approved by PCC/NHS and meet all the current standards and requirements.
The You Trust YOU helps people in our communities who need care, support, and advice due to poverty, homelessness, disability, age, ill health or abuse. The sessions would be delivered and tailored to meet the needs of our patients, and their long-term conditions would be considered, and sessions adapted to eliminate discrimination. The sessions would enhance equality by improving access to services which wouldn’t normally be available due to cost, their health conditions and distance to travel
Tonic Music for Mental Health As part of the Never Mind The Mind Stigma Programme, we require a venue to provide peer support groups in order to support the men of Portsmouth who are struggling with suicide ideation (a state of hopelessness & feeling they no longer belong in this world). Alongside this, we will also have a separate support group for those who have been affected by suicide.
Toucan Diversity Toucan Diversity is a disabled people-led CIC and is a CPD accredited training provider. With the funding, Toucan Diversity will organise 2 x 4 hrs open disability training events for 15 people each. The training looks at the bias of disability, covering the social & medical models of disability and equips the attendees with the correct language and etiquette when interacting with disabled employees or customers. Our training is CPD accredited and has a set lesson-plan with a variety of group activities and video work in place ensuring the required learning outcome.
Viva Gymnastics Viva Gymnastics Club Viva4All Program – This program aims to deliver FREE gymnastics sessions Family fun session, Play sessions for children who fall under the SEND umbrella over the next 12 months as we build the project into an ongoing, long-term solution for supporting SEND families and young people in Portsmouth at risk of harm. We aim to offer support and structure as the months start to get colder and SEND families find themselves limited in their activities.
Wet Wheels Solent The organisation will provide accessible boating experiences for disabled people with learning disabilities in and around Hampshire, plus friends, family and carers, as a match funding opportunity with the David Solomon Grant.
Work Better Innovations Developing Digital Skills for Job Search among Minorities, aims to improve employment outcomes for individuals from an ethnic minority demographic in Portsmouth. The project addresses digital inequalities by providing specialist mentoring and support for minority and migrant jobseekers to leverage professional networks and employment platforms available online for their professional integration into the public life of Portsmouth.