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.

Sign up to volunteer for Diverse Abilities in 2015

Dorset’s disability charity, Diverse Abilities, is inviting people to make a difference to children and adults with disabilities in Dorset by volunteering and beating the January blues.

In 2014 volunteers saved Diverse Abilities an astounding £20,000, as well as helping the charity raise money, awareness and deliver its services to people supported across Dorset.

Volunteers can get involved in many ways – with the people the charity supports within its range of services, at fundraising events, at corporate volunteering days, by being part of the Diverse Abilities Friends Group and much more!

Whether you can give just 30 minutes or 30 days, you can really make a difference to local children and adults with disabilities through volunteering. Those that wish to commit can contribute as much or as little time as they wish – either on a regular or ad hoc basis.

Sarah Harrison, Volunteer and Recruitment Manager, at Diverse Abilities, said: “If you only have 30 minutes to spare, you can actually achieve quite a lot that can really help the charity and the people it supports.  For example – plant a seed for one of our adults we support’s garden, undertake some research online for our central office, bake some cakes to help raise funds or distribute some collection pots or leaflets in your local area… these are just a few ideas and there are many more!”

Current roles Diverse Abilities urgently need volunteers for include the fundraising event squad; play workers and youth workers for our Children’s Team Coping with Chaos and Project services and various roles in the Friends of Diverse Abilities fundraising group including treasurer, chairperson, secretary and member.

Beccy Briley, Corporate and Community Fundraiser, said: “Volunteering gets you out and about; you can meet new people and learn a new skill, while making a difference to Diverse Abilities. It is also great for your CV. We would not be able to achieve everything we do without the help of our amazing volunteers. So why not be one of the fantastic people who make a difference this year!”

If you would like to find out more just get in touch with beccy.briley@diverseabilities.org.uk or sarah.harrison@diverseabilities.org.uk or call 01202 718266.

Thank You to LV= Volunteers

Over 60 volunteers from LV= recently dedicated their time over a four-day period as part of an initiative concentrating on improving the services offered by Dorset’s disability charity, Diverse Abilities.

The volunteers split into teams and spent the first two days working at Barnabas – the charity’s day opportunities service where adults socialise and undertake fun and stimulating activities. The remaining two days were spent at Langside School, a specialist day school for children with profound and multiple disabilities.

At Barnabas the team revamped the stage area inside the building by cleaning mould from the ceiling, repainting and putting up display boards. The volunteers also put their green fingers to work by giving the garden area some care and attention, reconditioning benches, repairing raised beds and dismantling a chicken coop.

The team also put some final touches to the sensory garden at Langside School and gave the area a clean and tidy by pressure washing and re-painting the decking, decorative wooden beams and a terraced area.

Samantha Preece, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at LV=, said: “This is the second group of employees from LV= that have helped to transform the sensory garden area at Langside School over the last few months.  We’re delighted that so many of our people have given their time to create a better environment for the children at the school.  As one of the largest employers in the area we support our people whenever possible to go out and volunteer in the community.”

Sarah Harrison, Volunteer Recruitment Manager, said: “We would like to thank the LV= volunteers for all of their great work and support, they really have been an invaluable asset for the charity! Their enthusiasm during the four day period really paid off as Langside School and Barnabas now looks fantastic.”

Diverse Abilities Plus is always looking to recruit volunteers who would like to get involved with various future projects. If this is something you, or your company would be interested in, please contact Sarah Harrison on 01202 718266 or email sarah.harrison@diverseabilitiesplus.org.uk if you would like to get involved.

Do a Good Deed for Dorset’s Disability Community this Volunteers’ Week

Diverse Abilities is inviting local people to an open morning at its special school, Langside, from 10am until 12pm next Thursday (5 June) to celebrate National Volunteers Week – an annual celebration of the fantastic contribution volunteers make across the UK, taking place next week from 1 – 7 June.

The aim of the open morning is to thank the charity’s current volunteers, showcase the school’s new sensory garden, which was created by a group of corporate supporters, and give people ideas on how easy it is to get involved with Diverse Abilities and volunteer to make a difference to local people with disabilities.

Those that attend the event will be able to enjoy some refreshments while wandering around the garden or chatting to the charity’s staff, people it supports or current volunteers. Tours of Langside School, which provides education to 28 children from the ages of two to 19 who have special educational needs and physical difficulties, will also be available on the day.

National Volunteers’ Week is an annual event which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and at the open morning Diverse Abilities will be asking people in Dorset to get involved and pledge just 30 minutes of their time to the charity.

Sarah Harrison, Volunteer and Recruitment Manager, at Diverse Abilities, said: “In just 30 minutes you can actually achieve quite a lot that can really help the charity and the people it supports. For example – plant a seed for one of our adults we support’s garden, undertake some research online for our central office, bake some cakes to help raise funds or distribute some collection pots or leaflets in your local area… these are just a few ideas and there are many more!”

Currently 100 individuals in the Dorset community volunteer for the charity, plus a number of local businesses including Barclays, LV=, Nationwide and Bournemouth University, who volunteer on a project basis. Based on these volunteers providing an average of two hours of their time every month, the value of this contribution each year is in excess of £25,000, which is very important for a not-for-profit organisation such as Diverse Abilities.

Diverse Abilities Plus sees its volunteer base as a core asset in leading the organisation towards its goals and all volunteers are treated with respect and appreciation of the contribution they make. By volunteering with the charity individuals can build upon their skills and knowledge and are encouraged to be creative and innovative. The charity assists them to achieve their full potential within their appointed role and a personal or professional gain from their involvement.

Sarah added: “We are strongly supporting Volunteers’ Week as there are many benefits to volunteering and getting involved in the local community. No matter what your age or ability, there will be something that is perfect for you. We hope many people come along to our open morning and see what difference they can make to children and adults with disabilities.”

If you would like to attend the event or find out more information, please contact Sarah on 01202 718266 or email sarah.harrison@diverseabilitiesplus.org.uk.

LV= Volunteers Brave the Wet Weather to Make a Difference to Charity School

Children at charity run Langside School in Poole will now be able to enjoy their garden area even more this summer thanks to a team of 21 volunteers from LV= in Bournemouth.

The volunteers braved the wet weather and spent a whole day renovating the wildlife garden by reconditioning the rockery, repairing paving and replanting flowers and plants. They also created a brand new sensory garden area for the younger children, painted some woodwork and made a new balustrade for the decking area. LV= contributed £250 worth of materials for the project.

Samantha Preece, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at LV=, said: “I’m delighted to see how hard the LV= team has worked to create the sensory garden at Langside School. I hope the children and staff will enjoy using the space for years to come.”

Sarah Harrison, Volunteer Recruitment Manager, said: “We can’t thank LV= volunteers enough for the fantastic work that was undertaken at Langside School. The area looks great and we want to say a massive thank you to every single volunteer for their efforts on the day.”

Langside is an independent, non-maintained, special day school run by Diverse Abilities, Dorset’s disability charity, and provides education to 28 children from the ages of two to 19 who have special educational needs and physical difficulties, often with complex medical conditions.

Diverse Abilities is looking to recruit volunteers to work on various projects in the future. Please contact Sarah Harrison on 01202 718266 or email sarah.harrison@diverseabilitiesplus.org.uk if you would like to get involved.

 

Students Get Involved with Dorset Disability Charity for National Student Volunteering Week

Local students in Bournemouth and Poole are doing a few good deeds for Diverse Abilities, the Dorset-based charity that supports children and adults with disabilities in the whole of the county, as part of this year’s National Student Volunteering Week (SVW) which takes place from Monday 24 February to Sunday 2 March.

As part of the week-long celebration, Bournemouth & Poole College is running a five-a-side football tournament on Friday 28 February, between 11.30-1.30pm, at the Littledown Centre. Anyone can enter the competition at the cost of £2 per person and all proceeds will be going to Diverse Abilities Plus. The charity is entering a team and is encouraging footballing fans to get involved and dig out their boots to help raise funds for the vital services the charity runs supporting children and adult, and their families, in Dorset.

Students from Bournemouth University will also be getting involved in the week-long celebration by getting their hands dirty and spending time at one of the charity’s supported living properties where they will be gardening and redecorating one of the bedrooms for an adult Diverse Abilities supports.

Sarah Harrison, Volunteer and Recruitment Manager at Diverse Abilities, said: “We are very excited to be involved with the nationwide celebration of student volunteering. It is a fantastic initiative which gets students involved in their local community so they can give something back to society.”

For those that are not taking part in the National Student Volunteering Week 2014, there is still an opportunity to find out how you can make a difference to those with disabilities in Dorset. Sarah from the charity will be attending the Volunteer Fair organised by Bournemouth University’s Students’ Union on Wednesday 26 February from 10am to 12pm at Bournemouth University’s Talbot Campus.

Students can find out at the fair how they can volunteer with the Dorset disability charity by undertaking roles such as gardening, painting, attending events, baking, making craft items, working in our services or central office and much more!

Sarah added: “Volunteers are an invaluable resource to Diverse Abilities and are fundamental to the work we do. We appreciate every single one of them and hope that more students want to volunteer for us in the future. There is an opportunity for every student in the area to make a difference to the local people the charity supports.”

To find out further information about National Student Volunteering Week visit www.studentvolunteeringweek.org.uk or call Sarah at Diverse Abilities Plus on 01202 718266 or email sarah.harrison@diverseabiltiesplus.org.uk.