Be Part of the 2012 Paralympics and Support Your Local Charity

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With one year to go until the London Paralympics on 29 August, Diverse Abilities Plus, the Dorset charity that provides a range of support and education services for children and adults with disabilities across the county, is encouraging local people to get involved with the Gold Challenge - a national sporting Olympic inspired initiative - and undertake Paralympic sports while raising money for charity.

BBC South Today and Hampshire Harriers

As a charity that supports children and adults with disabilities, we would like to encourage able-bodied individuals to try out Paralympic sports.

The Gold Challenge is a unique opportunity for local people, of all ages and abilities, to experience and engage in up to 20 Paralympic (and 30 Olympic) sports which will feature as part of the 2012 Games. Entry can be as part of a team or as an individual, with the aim of taking part in five, ten, 20 or 30 sports before 31 December 2012.

While undertaking these personal sporting challenges, participants can raise funds for Diverse Abilities Plus through sponsorship. As the only local Dorset-based independent charity taking part, it hopes to raise in excess of £100,000 with the help of the local community.

Helen Alexander, the charity’s Fundraising Manager, and Reham Khan, the BBC South Today weather presenter and ambassador for Diverse Abilities Plus, took part in a fun game of wheelchair basketball recently, as part of the Gold Challenge. Other Paralympic sports that can be undertaken include archery, athletics, boccia, cycling (track and road), equestrian, football (5 and 7 a-side), goalball, judo, powerlifing, rowing, sailing, shooting, swimming, table tennis, volleyball, fencing, rugby and tennis.

Mark Powell, CEO at Diverse Abilities Plus, said: “As a charity that supports children and adults with disabilities, we would like to encourage able-bodied individuals to try out Paralympic sports and raise money for the charity, have fun and try something new, plus be part of the excitement around the 2012 Olympics.”

Mark continued: “Diverse Abilities Plus has nearly 200 adult and family team spaces available. I urge willing participants to sign up and get started on their Gold Challenge, and to help spread the word about our involvement. The funds raised will help the charity’s on-going work providing a range of assistance, support and education services for young people and adults with Cerebral Palsy and associated disabilities.”

For more information or to contact Diverse Abilities Plus please visit or call 01202 718266. For more information about the Gold Challenge visit

You can also visit the Diverse Abilities Plus Facebook and Twitter pages at and

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 55 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) / jenny(at)
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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