Charity Highlights Local Opportunities During Volunteers' Week

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Dorset-based charity Diverse Abilities Plus is to host a Volunteer & Recruitment Fair on Wednesday 1st June between 6pm and 8.30pm at its Barnabas Centre (13-15 Manor Avenue) in Poole to coincide with National Volunteers’ Week (1-7th June). Members of the public are invited to attend if they are seeking a volunteering opportunity within a local not-for-profit organisation or wish to find out about employment opportunities.

l-r Becky Sturland, Charlotte Lea, Sarah Bowes, Cate McGrath and Helen Alexander from Diverse Abilities Plus

With unemployment figures booming due to the recession, it has never been a better time to volunteer and boost your CV.

At the event, attendees will have the opportunity to meet representatives from all of Diverse Abilities Plus’ services – Langside School, Smithers, Shapes, Project My Time, Barnabas, Supported Living, Coping with CHAOS and Disability Wessex to learn about the range of volunteer opportunities that are available.

The event will also bring together a number of experts who will be providing free advice on volunteering, recruitment and professional development.

Representatives from Paragon Training will be on hand to explain the training that is provided for Diverse Abilities Plus staff, Sue Terry - a life coach from New Horisons will consult on achieving personal goals and Sandra Atrill – an image consultant from House of Colour will advise on personal image and improving confidence. Also, the Diverse Abilities Plus human resources team will be on hand to give tips on improving your CV. Refreshments and cakes will be provided and activities involving art, crafts and games will be available for anyone coming along with their children.

Mark Powell, CEO of Diverse Abilities Plus, said: “With unemployment figures booming due to the recession, it has never been a better time to volunteer and boost your CV. Those seeking to add to their existing skill set would gain valuable experience in one of our volunteer roles, which range from every day maintenance to helping with a BBQ during the summer through to fundraising and being a sports coach. There really is an opportunity for everyone to support the charity, and all help is greatly appreciated.”

Diverse Abilities Plus, which employs over 300 people across its range of services throughout the county, is supported by approximately 80 volunteers throughout a typical year but has a great need for many more. Without volunteers the charity would not be able to continue providing the level of care that it does to families in Dorset.

National Volunteers’’ Week celebrates the valuable contribution that millions of volunteers make across the UK, while inspiring others to get involved too. For more information visit

Diverse Abilities Plus is the only local charity that provides lifetime support to children and adults with varying disabilities working across Dorset for 50 years. The charity provides a range of assistance, support and education services for young people aged two to 19, adults and families.

For more information or to contact Diverse Abilities Plus please visit or call 01202 718266.

Editors Notes

Diverse Abilities Plus is a charity that has been supporting children and adults with Cerebral Palsy and associated disabilities working in the County of Dorset, England for 50 years. The charity provides a range of assistance, support and education services for young people aged two to 19, adults and families. Services include:

  •     Langside School – independent, non maintained specialist day school for children and young people from the age of two to 19 years who have PMLD (profound and multiple learning disabilities). It’s one of only 19 similar SEN (special education needs) schools in the UK.
  •     Smithers – provides overnight and day short breaks. Short breaks help families manage the challenges of providing full time care for their child. A visit can be during the day or a ‘sleep over’ allowing the child to make and meet friends and relax and enjoy themselves.
  •     Shapes – provides home support (domiciliary care) for children and young people aged between two and 18 with individually tailored programs.
  •     Project My Time – provides child-led holiday activities that give young people with disabilities the same leisure and fun opportunities that their peers enjoy.
  •     Barnabas – a well equipped day setting for adults. Adults can learn new skills and enjoy a wide range of experiences.
  •     Supported living – this service is for people who live in their own home but may need up to 24/7 support.
  •     Disability Wessex - offers assistance with disability benefits for people with disabilities or chronic and acute health conditions and their families or carers, as well as the parents of disabled children.
  •     Play Opportunities - supports families with disabled children to have a chance to get out and enjoy themselves with other families in similar situations.
  •     Awesome Days and Awesome Nights – A youth group, set up and run by young people of all abilities, aged between 13 - 19 years.
  •     Face 2 Face – a free and confidential network of trained volunteer befrienders, who support parents to make positive adjustments to the news that their child has a disability or additional need. Every Face2Face befriender is a parent whose own child has a disability. They know what it's like to cope with a new diagnosis and can offer support parent to parent.

The charity was founded in 1955 by Mrs Phyllis Edwards who formed a group of parent’s intent on providing better opportunities for their children with physical and learning disabilities.

Visit Diverse Abilities Plus Facebook page at and follow us on Twitter at

For more information
Contact: Zoe Hiljemark, PR Account Director / Jenny Pearce, Senior PR Account Executive
E-mail: zoe(at)marketing-matters(dot)co(dot)uk / jenny(at)marketing-matters(dot)co(dot)uk
Tel: +44 (0) 1202 777111 / +44 (0) 7770 924439
Address: Marketing Matters, Unit C, Acorn Business Park, Ling Road, Poole, Dorset, UK, BH12 4NZ


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Jenny Pearce
Marketing Matters - UK
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