Five years at the Portway for Disability team

Participants and staff alike celebrated Portway Lifestyle Centre's fifth birthday, with The Albion Foundation's disability team playing a key part in its progression since its creation.

To mark the anniversary, staff wore fancy dress and hosted a plethora of fun based activities to engage the participants - many of whom would have been involved when the Centre first opened.

Portway Lifestyle Centre has had 55,000 visits from people with disabilities this year, with Paul Glover, Head of Disability at The Albion Foundation, ranking the upkeep of the partnership as a top priority moving forward.

"The partnership that we have got with the Portway is probably the single most important thing that we do," he said.

"It opens access to others as we can offer partnerships to schools that wouldn't be in place without them.

"It has allowed us to expand; we run leagues from there as well as weekday provision and the support that we get from the people who run the centre has allowed us to get to where we are.

"When the Portway was built it had a disability focus and it really opened the door for us to work in partnership.

"It has allowed us to add extra value to the programmes that we offer."

Michael Bott, the Disability Coordinator at Portway Lifestyle Centre says that The Albion Foundation have played an instrumental role in helping them to attract so many people to the venue.

"We work with The Albion Foundation on a daily basis," he said.

"We all work together to get the best from people with disabilities and heighten people's health, wellbeing and physical activity through the free access slots.

"Having Albion on board helps us because they can reach the wider college groups and other organisations that we as a council wouldn't necessarily be able to pull in without having the Foundation on board.

Stephen Talbot, a participant who is at Portway Lifestyle Centre five times a week and attends a multitude of the sessions that are put on, says that being involved with Portway and the Albion has bettered his life.

"I used to work on allotments, but I didn't like it," he said.

"I like being at the Portway.

"It has improved my life."

For more information on the Foundation's Disability Department, please contact