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.

Tee Off in Aid of Diverse Abilities

Poole Bay Rotary will be hosting a charity golf day at Bulbury Woods Golf Club in aid of Coping with Chaos, one of the services run by Dorset’s disability charity Diverse Abilities and Victoria School, another local charity that support children with disabilities. The event will take place on Thursday 7 May and will be a two team Stableford competition (playing in fours) and all proceeds collected as a result of the competition will benefit both charities.

The competition will be offering ‘nearest pin’ and ‘longest drive’ prizes and a raffle. The day includes coffee on arrival and a two course meal. Those that take part will also have the chance to win £10,000 cash prize for the hole in one competition, which is kindly sponsored by Magna Motors and Bright Blue Day.

Entry fee for the day is £32.50 per person and there is a reduced fee for full members of Bulbury Woods and Crane Valley Golf Clubs.

Fiona Hansford, Corporate and Community Manager at Diverse Abilities, said: “Thank you to Bulbury Woods Golf Club for hosting this event. We hope many keen golfers get involved and make it an amazing day for both charities.”

If you would like to find out more information regarding this event please contact David Way on 01202 768410 or email davway20@gmail.com. Or contact Nicci Short on 01929 459574 or email nicci.short@hoburne.com. Deadline for entries is Thursday 1 May 2015.

Laurence Jones to Star at Mr Kyps for Langside School

Nivek Kerley, a supporter of local disability charity Diverse Abilities that last year held his successful Blues festival in aid of Langside School, is again organising an event starring British Blues Award 2014 winner, Laurence Jones.  The event will be taking place on Thursday 5 February at Mr Kyps in Poole from 8pm.

The second event organised by Nivek will be again raising money for Langside School, an independent, non-maintained, special day school for disabled children aged two to 19, run by the Dorset charity.

Nivek Kerley, organiser of event Laurence Jones gig, said: “I was actually inspired to put together Blues For Langside last year after seeing Laurence Jones’ hometown concert.  I was really pleased that my first event raised over £2,700 for Langside School and purchased sensory musical equipment for the children, and I look forward to working with Laurence to raise money for Langside once again.”

Organiser Nivek, who used to work at Langside School, is looking for sponsors to come forward and help with the event.  Sponsors can contact bluesforlangside@outlook.com if they feel they would like to help with the costs of staging this event or helping put together other live music events in the future.

Tickets for the event are just £5 and all funds raised will be donated to Langside School.  To purchase tickets or to find out more visit www.mrkyps.net or call them on 01202 748945.  You can also like Blues For Langside on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bluesforlangside or follow us on Twitter @blues4langside

To raise funds to organise the event, Nivek is holding a fundraising skittles evening and raffle at The Clay Pipe in Sanford, Poole, from 6.30pm – 10.30pm on 31 January. To attend it costs £2.50 and raffle tickets are just 20p. People of all ages are invited to come along. There is also a coffee and cake sale at Langside School, Langside Avenue, Poole between 4 – 6pm on Friday 30 January.

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.

Langside School Design Charity Christmas Cards to Raise Funds

Pupils from Langside, a special school for children aged two to 19 with profound disabilities run by Diverse Abilities, have designed a range of Christmas cards to help raise funds for the charity that provides a lifetime of support to children and adults with disabilities in Dorset.

James, Amelia, Gabby, Angel, Alicia and Isaac all enjoyed designing the cards while listening to Christmas music. The children also received help from their teachers while using their fingers and toes to create their master pieces.

Each pack contains 12 cards and includes two of each design in every pack. They are priced at £4 for one pack or three packs for £10. International Cards & Gifts (ICG), in Ferndown, very kindly printed the cards for the charity at no cost; therefore all profits will go direct to the Diverse Abilities.

Simon Wagstaff, owner of ICG, said: “Diverse Abilities is a fantastic local charity. All the staff are enthusiastic and work tirelessly in making other people’s lives happier and easier. It is our pleasure to produce the cards for free as it will raise essential funds the charity needs. It makes business a lot more rewarding seeing someone else benefiting from what we do.”

To purchase the cards call 01202 718266 or pop into the charity’s head office located near Tower Park.

Smithers celebrates Ofsted Success

Smithers, an overnight and day short breaks service for children and young people aged between two and 19 with profound physical and/or learning disabilities, has received a glowing report and received a ‘good’ rating by Ofsted at a recent inspection.

Run by Diverse Abilities, Dorset’s disability charity, the short break service provides families a safe and fun place for their child to go, giving parents some breathing space and time for life’s other tasks or to spend time with their other children.

The Ofsted inspectors reported that ‘a strength of the service is the care and support it provides to young people with complex needs’ and that the ‘staff provide personalised and effective support to those visit’.

In addition the inspectors stated that the ‘young people enjoy good relationships with the staff and are happy and relaxed in the environment’ and ‘the service provides a wide range of activities both in the home and in the local and wider community’.

Ofsted reported that parents of children that attend Smithers ‘consider their child safe while staying at the home’ and that ‘good working relationships are in place between carers and parents’.

Amiee Barnett, Smithers’ manager, said: “We are overjoyed that we received a ‘good’ rating by Ofsted. This demonstrates the fantastic job we do and that we provide a high quality service to the children and young people we support. The Smithers team are very dedicated, competent and place the needs of the young people at the centre of their care. Parents, families, people we support and staff connected to the service should be very proud of this achievement.”

For further information regarding Smithers or Diverse Abilities call 01202 718266.

William and Julie Jump 15,000 Feet for a Very Special Cause

Local lad William Matthews, 17, from Chettle near Blandford, skydived out of a plane 15,000 feet in aid of Diverse Abilities and has raised a phenomenal £2,275 for the charity that supports over 600 children and adults with disabilities in Dorset.

Born with XYY, a chromosomal disorder, William regularly visits the charity’s Children’s Team and goes on organised days out and enjoys fun activities, like any other young teenager, with the support Diverse Abilities staff. William chose to undertake a skydive and raise funds for Diverse Abilities to say thank you. William asked for money for his birthday and Christmas, instead of presents, to fund his skydive so every penny raised went straight to the charity.

Taking on the challenge with William was his mother Julie. She volunteered to jump with William in case he panicked on the day, but William took it all in his stride and his mother was the terrified one.

William said: “I really enjoyed the skydive experience and definitely want to do it again. I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone that has sponsored me.”

Richard Matthews, William’s Dad, said: “Both Julie and I are ever so proud of William for choosing to forgo his presents to pay for his skydive and the fact he raised such an amazing amount of money for a charity close to all our hearts.”

To sponsor William and Julie and raise further funds for Diverse Abilities, please visit www.justgiving.com/WilliamandJulieMatthews

Diverse Abilities is on the lookout for daring individuals to sign up for an exciting 10,000ft skydive challenge on Sunday 14 June as part of the charity’s 60th anniversary in 2015.  All participants can jump for FREE, providing the minimum sponsorship of £395 is with the charity ten days prior to the jump date. There is a deposit entry fee payable of £50 at the time of booking the skydive, which you can recoup from the charity after your skydive. Alternatively, if you cannot make our event date, you can of course still book a skydive with the charity for any day of the year – apart from Christmas Day.

For more information on Diverse Abilities and for details regarding the skydiving opportunities please contact Sharon Wells by e-mailing Sharon.wells@diverseabilitiesplus.org.uk or call 01202 718266.