Diverse Abilities Thank Inspirational People

Diverse Abilities has launched its second ‘Awards and Thank You Reception’ to acknowledge the inspirational people that are connected to the Dorset-based charity that supports children and adults with profound learning and physical disabilities in the county.

Anyone and everyone in Dorset can nominate an inspiring person or group that is either a Diverse Abilities fundraising enthusiast, an employee, a volunteer or an adult, child or family supported by the charity.

The ‘Awards and Thank You Reception’ categories include Employee Lifetime Achievement; Corporate Supporter; Volunteer Team; Individual Volunteer of the Year; Outstanding Voluntary Contribution; Individual Fundraiser of the Year; Child, young person or adult the charity supports who’s achieved something remarkable and staff member or team who has gone above and beyond.

Charlotte Curtis, head of business resources at Diverse Abilities, said: “We see the great job that our staff do day-in day-out, how committed our volunteers and supporters are to the charity and the achievements that the people we support accomplish and therefore wanted to express how thankful we are to them all for being such inspirational people. If you know of anyone that fits into one of the categories, please put them forward and help them realise how fantastic they are.”

The deadline for nominations is Monday 16 March and a panel of judges will choose the finalists, which will be invited to an awards reception at Kinson Community Centre on Thursday 30 April.

Visit the Diverse Abilities Facebook page at www.facebook.com/diverseabilitiesplus and follow the charity on Twitter at www.twitter.com/DiverseAbility for ongoing updates.

New Year, New Job, New You

Diverse Abilities, the only charity in Dorset that supports children and adults with profound physical and learning disabilities, and their families, is giving the Dorset community the opportunity to start 2015 by making a difference and supporting adults with disabilities in the local area.

Supported living allows adults to live as independently as possible in their own home and make everyday choices with the 24/7 support of a dedicated team. The number of adults currently supported by the charity’s supported living team is 37. This will continue to increase this year and therefore demand for more support assistants and team leaders to provide care for adults with disabilities will also increase.

Diverse Abilities is hoping that enthusiastic, career hungry and passionate local people come along to its next recruitment event on Saturday 17 January (9am-1pm) or Wednesday 21 January (4.30-6.30pm) at the charity’s head office – Unit C, Acorn Business Park, Ling Road BH12 4NZ.

Lee Brady at Diverse Abilities said: “Those we support often require one-to-one support, up to 24/7, and we urgently need to recruit to offer our service to more adults with disabilities. The supported living service we provide is crucial and as the demand for this provision continues to increase, new members of staff are required.”

At the recruitment event, attendees will have the opportunity to speak with representatives from the supported living service, find out what it is like to work for Diverse Abilities and meet a number of adults currently supported by the charity.

For further information please contact Lee Brady on 01202 718266 or email lee.brady@diverseabilities.org.uk

Help Make a Difference to Children and Adults this Christmas

Diverse Abilities, Dorset’s disability charity, is running a special appeal this December to raise funds for people with disabilities. The charity, that supports nearly 1,500 disabled children, adults and their families in the local area throughout the year, is asking the community to make a donation to give them the Christmas they deserve.

Over last year’s Christmas period Diverse Abilities provided 8,640 hours of support to disabled children and adults and to provide this, the charity requires a lot of committed staff, volunteers and help from the local community.

Each Christmas time the charity supports 225 children and adults by providing respite breaks, giving families a much needed rest from the 24 hour care they frequently provide, plus organising a whole host of Christmas themed activities for children from visiting Father Christmas to festive parties. The charity also supports adults with disabilities in their own homes to cook and enjoy their Christmas dinners or go Christmas shopping, which without the support of Diverse Abilities, would not be possible.

Nuisha Abab, senior fundraiser at the charity, said: “The total cost of providing support this Christmas will be £150,000 and therefore all donations will help towards this and make a difference to disabled people this December. If you are in a position to donate, even a small amount, it would be really appreciated and you will appear on our message tree located at our special school Langside. We hope, come Christmas time, that the school will have a full tree of support.”

If you would like to make a donation to this year’s Christmas appeal, please get in touch with Nuisha on 01202 718266, email nuisha.abab@diverseabilitiesplus.org.uk or text donate PLUS15 and the amount you wish to donate, e.g. PLUS15 £10, to 70070.

Employee Satisfaction is On the Up at Diverse Abilities

Local Dorset charity, Diverse Abilities, has recently undertaken its employee satisfaction survey across its 400 plus staff and is delighted to report that 83 per cent of employees think it is a great place to work and are satisfied with their job. Over the past three years the satisfaction rating has improved and increased by three per cent.

The survey findings also highlighted that those employed at Diverse Abilities feel valued; their work life balance is right; good training is received for their role; are happy their managers keep them informed of important changes and their role provides them with a good challenge. Those that currently work at the charity would also recommend working at the charity to their friends.

Charlotte Curtis, head of business resources at Diverse Abilities, said: “We are extremely pleased with this year’s survey results and delighted that year on year the results are improving. Our staff are very important in order for the charity’s vital services to run, therefore it is crucial staff are satisfied with their role at Diverse Abilities.”

The charity aims to enable children and adults with disabilities to achieve their full potential, by providing a lifetime of sustainable support and educational services and supports over 600 children and adults with disabilities, plus their families, across a range of services. These include a special school, short break, home support and in the community provision plus holiday and after school activities for children; supporting living and a day opportunities centre for adults and an advice service for all those with disabilities and/or ill health.

Opportunities are currently available for those looking for a career in care to join the charity’s team working with adults with disabilities. To find out more come along to an event on Saturday 6 December (9am-1pm) or Wednesday 10 December (4.30-6.30pm) at the charity’s head office – Unit C, Acorn Business Park, Ling Road BH12 4NZ.

Lee Brady, at Diverse Abilities, said: “We offer several different roles to suit a wide range of people that are looking for a job in the care sector. The majority of the adults we support require 24/7 care therefore we can offer variable hours during the week and on the weekend to suit them. If a career in care is a job you wish to progress with, we provide a range of prospects and an excellent career path.”

For further information please contact Lee Brady on 01202 718266 or email lee.brady@diverseabilitiesplus.org.uk.

Swishing Party to Aid Adults with Disabilities in Dorset

The supported living service at Diverse Abilities, Dorset’s disability charity, is hosting a Swishing Party on Saturday 1 November, from 7pm to 9.30pm, at Barnabas – its day opportunities centre in Poole. This fun event is looking to raise enough funds so the adults the charity supports can have a Christmas party that they thoroughly deserve and the charity is inviting the local community to attend.

A funky, modern take on the ‘bring and buy’ sale, but with clothing and accessories, the Swishing Party will allow those in attendance to browse through items on offer and donate money to anything they wish to buy. Refreshments will also be available on the night.

Julia Forrest-Wilson, Supported Living Manager at Diverse Abilities, said: “All funds raised at the Swishing Party will be used to hold an enjoyable Christmas party for the people we support. The party we held last year was great fun and everyone had a fantastic time, but we really want to make it even better this year. It would be lovely if this year we could provide them with an even bigger party that they all truly deserve.”

The charity’s Supported Living service enables adults who have disabilities to live their lives to the full with support when required. The service offers people in Dorset real independence and choice in their day to day lives and Diverse Abilities works with each adult to ensure they have a fun and fulfilling life, encouraging them to participate in whatever activities and challenges they wish.

The Swishing Party is taking place at Barnabas, 13 – 15 Manor Avenue, Poole, BH12 4LB and is FREE to attend, but in order to take part, all attendees must bring at least one item of clothing, footwear, accessory or book that are in good condition.

For further information about the event, call the supported living team on 01202 718266 or email supported.living@diverseabilitiesplus.org.uk.

Darts Equipment to be Donated to Adults with Disabilities

Thanks to Rob Franks, the Dorset and England international disabled cricketer and budding darts player, the World Disability Darts Association (WDDA) and Winmau are both donating equipment to Diverse Abilities to give adults the disability charity supports the opportunity to play darts. A presentation with Rob and Russ Strobel from the WDDA will be taking place at 11am on Monday 6 October at the charity’s day opportunities centre Barnabas in Poole.

Equipment being donated from the WDDA is a Wildfire Solo frame, which will allow the adults that use a wheelchair to play darts easily, as the board is lower plus it is portable and lightweight so it can be moved around for the adults to use.  Winmau is donating two dart boards and a laser oche, which ensures a perfect throw line and is easily adjustable – perfect for the adults supported by the charity.

As a keen supporter of Diverse Abilities, Rob Franks is also raising money for the charity at the first ever disabled World Darts Masters in Hull on 11 October. Those wishing to donate and help raise funds to continue the vital services offered by Diverse Abilities can sponsor Rob at www.justgiving.com/robfranksdarts

Rob Franks, who is sponsored by Darts Performance Centre in New Milton, said: “Diverse Abilities is a fantastic charity supporting people in Dorset and as I am about to play in my first-ever disabled darts masters, I thought to myself why not raise money for this amazing charity at the same time. By promoting this event on social media, the WDDA and Winmau kindly offered to donate darts equipment to the charity of which I am very thankful for.”

Chelsey Mills, Deputy Head of Barnabas, said: “We are really grateful to both Winmau and the WDDA for their kind donation. We aim to provide the adults we support a range of activities and it will be fantastic that the adults we support can have a go at playing darts. A massive thank you goes to Rob Franks too, for supporting Diverse Abilities.”

For further information about Diverse Abilities call 01202 718266.

Celebrating Two Decades of Barnabas

The Barnabas day opportunities service for adults with disabilities in Dorset, located on Manor Avenue in Poole, will be celebrating its 20th birthday this Friday (5 September) with a fun filled day for all in attendance.

The jam packed day will include quizzes and games, a giant feast and a disco where all families of those the charity support are invited to attend along with some mystery guests who will be joining them for the day as special guests!

Barnabas is one of several services offered by Diverse Abilities, Dorset’s disability charity, for children and adults.  The service is open five days a week and offers a lively and sociable hub for adults to access a range of opportunities, make new friends and learn new skills, plus are able to go out and about into the community. The aim of the service is to enable those living with a disability to get the most out of life, by undertaking a range of activities throughout the day.

At present 54 adults attend the service and their needs vary in complexity with individuals requiring complex 1:1 assistant and some with less demanding requirements but that are in need of a structured daily routine filled with opportunities. The service aims to provide disabled adults in Dorset with the best possible life and to make them smile.

Chelsey Mills, Deputy Head of Barnabas, said: “We are very excited about Friday as it is a landmark achievement for the charity, which has grown from strength to strength. Barnabas is a lively place where people can make new friends, gain new skills and enjoy a wide range of activities such as cookery, arts and crafts, wood work, swimming and even sailing. The service is filled to the brim making it a really wonderful place to work.  It is very rewarding to see so many happy faces every day, and witnessing first hand just how much the work done here at Barnabas really impacts the lives of those using the service.”

As a service run by a charity, Diverse Abilities, it is always interested in hearing from those that would like to get involved and volunteer. Volunteering can take many shapes and forms – ranging from those who would like to donate their time by running activities, or donating any unwanted items which may be of use to us. We also appeal to corporate companies who would like to get involved by sending a team of staff to undertake projects at the centre – this may include constructing furniture, repainting walls and gardening for example.

To find out further information regarding Barnabas please call 01202 739560.

For volunteering opportunities please contact Sarah Harrison at the charity’s central office on 01202 718266 or email sarah.harrison@diverseabilitiesplus.org.uk

Visit the charity’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/diverseabilitiesplus for ongoing updates about the charity’s news and events.

Diverse Abilities Gives the Dorset Community the Chance to Make a Difference

The local community are being given the opportunity to join the Diverse Abilities supported living team and make a difference to adults with disabilities in Dorset. Those attracted to a career in care are being encouraged to attend a recruitment event on Saturday 20 September, between 9am and 1pm, at the charity’s central office near Tower Park.

The disability charity supports 35 adults to live as independently as possible in their own home and get out and about in the local community, making a huge difference to their everyday lives. The demand for the service continues to grow and the charity is seeking individuals to join its team to deliver the vital services that are crucial to the adults supported.

There are many prospects for those that join Diverse Abilities. It is great for those that require full or part time hours and there is also the advantage of undertaking evenings and weekend work, perfect for those that need to fit around a busy life.

No experience is necessary as all staff have the opportunity to gain qualifications, such as a diploma level three in health and social care, and full training is provided in-house.

Lee Brady, from Diverse Abilities, said: “We offer several different support assistant roles to suit a wide range of people that are looking for a job in the care sector. The majority of the adults we support require 24/7 care therefore we can offer candidates variable hours during the week and on the weekend to suit them.”

At the recruitment event, attendees will have the opportunity to speak with representatives from the charity and find out what it is like to work for Diverse Abilities, while meeting a number of adults currently supported by the charity. Interviews will also be taking place on the day.

The event will be held at the charity’s head office at Unit C, Acorn Business Park, Ling Road, Poole BH12 4NZ. For further information or an application form please contact Lee Brady on 01202 718266 or email lee.brady@diverseabilitiesplus.org.uk