Our experience and history

Formed in 1984, SPECTRUM has cemented its reputation locally, regionally and nationally as one of the most respected, influential and progressive User Led Organisations in the UK. We advise ministers, senior politicians and officers in Government on a range of progressive social policy initiatives.

Picture of Spectrum's 30th anniversary birthday cake with our logo made up with coloured icing

Throughout our history we have succeeded where others have not by maintaining clear aims, values and principles; by being pragmatic, progressive and innovative; and by leading from the front on issues we feel strongly about. SPECTRUM’s immensely loyal team continue to work tirelessly and passionately for solutions to the barriers Disabled People face.

You can read a brief history of the organisation from our early years, when we were born as Southampton Centre for Independent Living in November 1984 through to the Unity 12 years since 2005, when we purchased, renovated and moved to our current premises in Rose Road here: SPECTRUM Brief Introduction 2013.pdf

We have also produced a much more extensive book, which records in detail the history that led up to our organisation being established, and how it has developed between 1984 and 2014, and places SPECTRUM’s development in a wider historical context.

Picture of the front cover of SPECTRUM's book called Our History

This book tells that story in our own words and from our own

perspective. It is the result of extensive research, interviews with key individuals, and the knowledge and memory of many of our existing staff and Management Committee members – as well as our archives. You can download a copy here: SPECTRUM – Our History – 30 Years of Independent Living