Portage and Befriending
Programme manager: Rachel Tandy
The Portage and Befriending programme has been working with children, young people and families in the Brighton and Hove area for 28 years. The programme consists of four projects: portage, befriending, communicate together and baby massage.
The programme responds to the needs of disabled children and young people and their families. The portage and massage services work with parents or carers of disabled children aged 6 months to 5 years by providing a home visiting service. The services work with the parents or carers towards joint aims to help children develop and reach their potential. The communicate together service works with children aged nine months to five years with a speech and language need.
The service works with the parents or carers in small groups to build on their knowledge and expertise to support their child and then helps the parents to put this into practice in the family home. The befriending service supports disabled young people aged 13 to 18 years access community activities of their choice, increasing social skills and confidence, as well as giving their parents or carers a break. All the services have a team of volunteers carrying out home visits or supporting the young people.