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Who we are and what we do
Phab has been running since 1957 and provides safe and fun places for people to feel independent, meet new friends and gain confidence, together. This is achieved through two primary pathways; Phab Clubs, and Phab Adventures, including residential holidays, activity days and inclusive events.
In addition, Phab Access, Consultancy and Training Services (ACTS) provides inclusion and social model training, access audits and bespoke consultation to all sectors, developed and delivered by an expert team of disabled trainers and consultants.
Phab’s overall aim to is help build an inclusive world, creating spaces and places where everyone belongs and everyone is involved.
There are 16 million disabled people in the UK. Disabled people need the opportunity to socialise, be active and develop new skills from an early age to help foster a sense of self-belief, responsibility and independence.
The idea of Phab was born during a National Association of Youth Clubs holiday conference, held in 1957 at Avon Tyrrell outdoor activity centre in the New Forest. The conference was for young people aged between 15 and 18 and included a young disabled man called Terry Rolfe who asked for “opportunity, not pity for disabled people”, and that they should be given a chance to share in a programme of exciting activities on equal terms with non-disabled people.
Our flagship programme is the provision of a network of over 120 Phab clubs, spaces and places where everyone can Learn, Thrive, and Belong. Each club is shaped by the wants and needs of the club members themselves, enabling disabled and non-disabled people of all ages come together with friends and family to participate in a wide variety of activities including cookery, crafts and sports.
Phab clubs enable disabled and non disabled people to access social fun, provide an opportunity to reconnect with family and friends and cultivate a sense of belonging.
To further strengthen the support provision we operate, we also provide exciting and accessible, inclusive Phab residential adventures throughout the year. 365 people attend our residential adventures on average each year with 282 places booked already for our 2024-25 year. Demand always outstrips availability and our investment in fundraising reflects our desire to expand this vital provision.
Our projects aim to enable families to reconnect and have fun with each other again through a range of exciting activities that would otherwise be inaccessible to them.
“Phab has given our son the most amazing and unforgettable experience. We are in awe of what he has achieved.”
- Parent of a Phab Adventurer 2023
Phab offers a unique environment in which self-advocacy is encouraged, independent living skills can be taught in a natural environment, and participants are encouraged to try new skills.
For many, Phab Adventures are the first time they have been away from their immediate family and in an environment with others who are like themselves. In a recent survey of 300 beneficiaries, we found:
92% report increased levels of confidence
76% report increased levels of independence
92% of service users reported increased confidence resulting from a Phab project.
72% made friends as a result of attending a Phab residential holiday
93% of Phab participants took part in new activities after attending a Phab holiday.
Our work is unique by bringing together disabled and non-disabled people in an inclusive environment. Equal opportunities make for positive growth attitudes. Those who are non-disabled grow a sense of confidence in those who are disabled and in turn, those who are disabled have the confidence to pursue their passions and goals.