People First Bath and North East Somerset closure 'will hit vulnerable'
A group which helps disabled people in Bath to socialise has been forced to close because of lack of funding.
People First Bath and North East Somerset was set up ten years ago to help disabled people combat feelings of social isolation, and offer support and advice.
The group has lost its funding from Bath and North East Somerset Council, and the board has made the difficult decision to close the organisation down.
A closing party was held at Twerton Village Hall to mark the end of an era.
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Manager Meri Rizk said: "It was such a difficult decision to close, but we couldn't keep going without any funding.
"We are an organisation of disabled people whose focus has always been about increasing choice.
"We are a voice for influencing positive changes to services, locally and nationally, to improve disabled people's lives.
"Many disabled people are isolated and do not have the confidence or information they need to make decisions."
She said the group had clearly helped people to grow in confidence over the past decade.
"I have seen big changes in all of our members.
"When they first arrived they had no confidence, and we worked with them to gradually build that up.
"There is no other group like us in B&NES, and the loss of the group is really going to affect every one of the members."
One of the biggest achievements by the group was setting up a travel buddy scheme, to help disabled people learn how to travel independently.
The group has also produced easy-to-read information leaflets, helping people to access hospitals, get the best out of their GPs and understand their rights.