A BASINGSTOKE charity has been awarded more than £1,000 to help grow its volunteer base.

Basingstoke and District Disability Forum (BDDF) has announced that its application to receive support from a special fund launched by the charity POhWER has been successful.

BDDF offers support to disabled adults and those connected to them, such as their families and carers, within the community.

It also provides support to other local charities and organisations that champion inclusivity and work to reduce barriers for those with visible and invisible impairments, physical, learning, mental or chronic conditions.

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The forum will use its £1,500 award to help grow its volunteer base. The money will be used to fund 100 hours of administrative support to advertise and attract new volunteers and coordinate their training and support costs.

Fundraising coordinator Suzi Own said: “Thanks to the Arthur Bate Fund we can secure new volunteers and provide suitable training, which means can better deliver our Signposting service.

“We can then reach more individuals from the local Disabled community, meeting their specific concerns and offering appropriate solutions to address any barriers or issues they have.”

The Arthur Bate Fund was established by the charity group People of Hertfordshire Want Equal Rights (POhWER) in memory of one of its founding members and trustee, Arthur Bate OBE, who died in 2013.

Individuals or advocacy groups were able to apply for up to £2,000 in funding from the £10,000 fund.

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Speaking about the fund, deputy chief executive of POhWer, Elyzabeth Hawkes, said: “During his life Arthur worked tirelessly to empower others to have equal rights, a voice to influence and the knowledge and opportunity to make independent choices over how people wished to live their lives.

“The Arthur Bate Fund seeks to provide support to give people the opportunity to be engaged, supported and encouraged to take an equal role in society to influence not only their life choices but to continue to work towards the creation of a more equal society for all.”

In the last year, POhWER supported over 400,000 people across the UK.

The charity is proud of its heritage and remains inspired by Arthur’s activism.

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