The city’s celebration and learning event for learning disabilities returns

Portsmouth’s learning disability service is inviting people with learning disabilities, their carers and professionals who work in the region to attend a free event at Gunwharf Quays on Friday 24 January.

The event will showcase the services available to people with learning disabilities in Portsmouth and will also feature a series of workshops for learning disability professionals, families and members of the public.

Portsmouth’s learning disabilities team, which is a joint service run by Portsmouth City Council and Solent NHS Trust, has transformed the way it works with people with learning disabilities in the city. It is one of a handful of services in the country recognised as outstanding by the Care Quality Commission, the care watchdog.

Cllr Matthew Winnington, the council’s Cabinet Member for Health, Wellbeing and Social Care said: “We have an excellent learning disability service here in Portsmouth – and I’m really looking forward to attending this event again, it’s a perfect way to showcase the enormous amount of talent, passion and expertise we have in the city.

“Our services bring together health and social care professionals to deliver more person-centred care that aims to help people reach their full potential, supporting all to lead healthy independent lives within their own community.”

There is a huge range of support on offer in Portsmouth for adults with learning disabilities, and the learning disability service works with local providers to make sure that there’s something for everyone. One of those providers is Creative Advances, an independent team that provides person-centred support for adults with learning disabilities and autism.

Faye Dine, Service Manager for Creative Advances, said:  “This learning and celebration event will include lots of information about the services Portsmouth offers. It gives the community an opportunity to make informed choices about the services available to them.

“We work really hard to provide meaningful activities for adults with learning disabilities and autism, offering over 50 health and wellbeing activities a week to help people develop their skills.”

The learning disability service is one of many examples of how joined up services delivered in partnership between health and care providers can make a real difference to people living in the city.

Jo Perry, Interim Head of Operations, Solent NHS Trust, said: “I am delighted that there is to be another key event to inform ourselves, our service users, their families, our partners, and our providers of the growing opportunities for people with a learning disability living in Portsmouth.

“The event promises to bring together all of our stakeholders and celebrate the numerous developments in services across the city. Whilst my passion lies with ensuring positive mental and physical well-being for people this can only be really achieved if we all work together to look at all aspects of what keep people well – friendships, work and housing. It feels that within learning disability services many of the connections required to really meet people’s needs are beginning to pay real dividends.”

The venue, Gunwharf Quays training academy, has been provided free of charge by the shopping destination.

Yvonne Clay, Senior Marketing Manager at Gunwharf Quays, said: “Gunwharf Quays is at the heart of the community in Portsmouth, and we are passionate about supporting local projects that work towards a better future for all. We’re delighted to provide a venue for this event, which will help enable every member of the community to reach their full potential.”

The celebration and learning event will be held from 10am to 4pm on Friday 24 January at the Gunwharf Quays training academy, opposite Marks and Spencer. The event is a drop in format, so attendees are invited to attend at any point during the day. Full details of the day, including details of the workshops available, can be found by visiting

Health and social care organisations in Portsmouth are dedicated to working closely with people with learning disabilities. This includes investments in state-of-the-art facilities for young people with learning disabilities and facilitating the Portsmouth Learning Disability Partnership Board, which aims to support adults with a learning disability in Portsmouth to lead independent, fulfilled and active lives.