Diverse Abilities Plus, Dorset’s only disability charity which supports children, adults and their families all over the county, has this week launched a new school holiday project that will benefit children and their families in both North and West Dorset. The new service, called Play Opportunities, follows the award of £280,358 by the Big Lottery Fund’s Reaching Communities programme.
The charity, which was established in Poole in 1955, already operates its Play Opportunities project, providing holiday activities in parts of East Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole. More than 350 families currently use the service in these areas, yet demand in other parts of the county has, for many years, far exceeded the service levels previously possible.
The Big Lottery Fund has allowed for the expansion of Diverse Abilities Plus into areas of rural Dorset and will ensure that more local people than ever before can benefit from the charity’s services. Yet while supervisors and coordinators have been recruited by the charity to manage and support the new service, further staff and volunteers are needed in Blandford and Weymouth to help provide one-to-one play sessions and to run the service to its full capacity.
The project aims to provide fun activities that will improve the emotional wellbeing of young people with disabilities and their families and reduce the likelihood of family breakdown. The play opportunities provided by the charity are tailored to the specific needs of the individual child and are fully inclusive as the whole family is encouraged to join in.
Mark Powell, Chief Executive of Diverse Abilities Plus, said: “We are thrilled to now be able to offer holiday play opportunities and respite care to families in rural Dorset, offering children with disabilities activities in a supported environment as well as a helpful hand for their families. This is thanks to a significant grant from the Big Lottery Fund and it will make a real difference to the lives of children with disabilities and to their parents and siblings.”
Margaret Rusctici, who manages the project, said: “We are really excited to be running this new project across a wider area of Dorset, however we really need people interested in working with children with disabilities to get in touch for either paid positions or to volunteer. Please get in touch with us to find out more.”
Mark Powell concluded: “We are really pleased to be expanding our work further into Dorset and would not be able to do this without the generous support of donors, fundraisers and our growing team of volunteers. We are extremely grateful to all those who help us care for the community and would urge more people to come forward and be part of our valuable work.”
To find out more about working or volunteering for this new project please call 01202 718266 or email email@example.com. For more information about Diverse Abilities Plus visit www.diverseabilitiesplus.org.uk or call 01202 718266.