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About Us

supporting people – not labels

POhWER was established in 1996 by our founders all of whom had disabilities and were fighting social injustice and challenges in their lives. POhWER still operates with these roots at the heart of everything it does, but we are not confined by it in our ambitions for the future.   We support marginalised, vulnerable and socially excluded people through our charitable work. We help people who are most vulnerable due to disability, illness, social exclusion, abuse, discrimination, and numerous other challenges, to express their views, uphold their rights or to get the support they need.

Giving people a voice – and making sure it’s heard – is something we do every day. We’re all about promoting equality, challenging unfairness and giving disadvantaged and vulnerable people access to high quality information, advice and advocacy services. We look at everyone who needs a helping hand through our services, to lead independent lives and to uphold their rights.

Given POhWER’s broad reach, it is not possible to always use language that perfectly describes every single one of the lived experiences that our beneficiaries identify or relate with. In the present day, the Charity not only focuses on people living with mental health, impairment or disability but also anyone who benefits from advocacy and the helping hand it provides. The lived experiences and circumstances covered are too wide to be able to use a set of vocabulary that applies to everyone’s circumstances.  There is no “typical” POhWER beneficiary.

In 2020 we undertook an ambitious five year strategy positioning us as an important Charity at a national level. One of our six strategic priorities is ‘A Level Playing Field’ – true equity and empowerment.  Our full 2020-2025 Strategy can be found here.

Our Strategy also started us on our journey of becoming a people-led Charity in the work we deliver through frontline advocacy, information and advice to vulnerable, marginalised and socially excluded beneficiaries. This aim of being people-led, importantly, includes creating a welcoming and diverse workplace where everyone feels valued and respected.

Our Values are our core principles and are the heart of everything we do. 

  • Professional – we are committed to working in a confidential and person-centred way – being professional, respectful, reliable, honest and independent.
  • Empowering – we will empower people to develop their skills and confidence, stand up for their rights and regain control – creating a culture of enablement, not dependency.
  • Open, free and fair – we will deliver services that are free to use and accessible to all members of the community while encouraging and valuing differences and diversity and always working in a fair and open way.
  • Positive difference – we will ensure that our passion for our work results in a positive difference to people’s lives and use the learning from our casework to have a positive impact on the delivery of services in the future.
  • Local – we will engage with local communities in the areas that we serve, understanding their specific needs and determining the best way to meet these.
  • Engaging – we will meaningfully listen and engage with people and groups to ensure they are involved in the design, delivery and evaluation of our services, ensuring we are a pioneering client and needs led organisation.