The History of PHAB
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 involved young people aged between 15 and 18 and included a lone, severely disabled young man called Terry Rolfe who simply asked for “opportunity, not pity for disabled people” and that those who were disabled should be given a chance to share in a programme of exciting activities on equal terms with non-disabled people. This heartfelt request led to the foundation of Phab, first as part of the National Association of Youth Clubs and, from 1974, as an independent charity with Lord Snowdon as our Patron.
From those early days, Phab benefited enormously from the active help and support of the late Lord Morris of Manchester, at the time Alf Morris MP for Manchester Wythenshawe (from 1964 to 1997) whose work led to the first disability rights legislation, 1970’s Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act, and who became the UK’s first minister for the disabled in 1974.
During the 1960’s “Fun and Happiness Weekends” involved both people with and without disabilities having great fun, learning and growing together, whilst at the same time Phab Clubs were starting to develop across the country, set up by local communities and volunteers.
Today Phab continues that founding ethos of bringing together people of all abilities on equal terms to make more of life together.
Over 150 Phab Clubs across England and Wales, with 8,000 members, enable children, young people and adults with disabilities to get together with friends and family for all kinds of activities and social events.
Some Clubs will meet each week, with members enjoying each other’s company and different activities – from crafts to a game of pool, disco or visit from the local Fire Station! Other Clubs will focus on sports such as Boccia, trips to the cinema or days out.
Run by local volunteers, Phab Clubs can make a real difference to the lives of people with disabilities and their families too. And regional and national events organised by Phab bring local Clubs and Members together to share experiences, support each other and enjoy time away together.
PHAB also produce a bi-annual magazine called KIT (Keeping In Touch). which is a great way to keep up with the projects that have being going on with PHAB Nationally.