Diverse Abilities, Dorset’s disability charity, is delighted to announce that BBC Children in Need has awarded its Coping with Chaos service a grant of £15,183.
This grant will fund drop-in ‘open house’ sessions during the school holidays providing children with disabilities, aged 0-18, a safe environment to play and have an enjoyable time. It will also offer fun for siblings and an opportunity for families to get together.
During these sessions the sensory room, sensory toys, soft play, arts and craft activities and use of different play stations are available. A sensory bus also visits allowing children with a variety of additional needs to enjoy themselves and explore.
The sessions last five hours and provide a place for families to receive some respite while their children can have lots of fun.
Tessa Masterman, general manager at Coping with Chaos, said: “We are extremely grateful to Children in Need for granting us £15,183. The play sessions are a way children with disabilities explore the world around them. It allows them to learn through curiosity and invention, and develops the creative process. Play supports their physical and emotional wellbeing, providing opportunities for positive social interaction, learning, health and independence.
“Many parents say that without these sessions their children wouldn’t have opportunities to play, because many mainstream clubs won’t accommodate disabled children. During these sessions families who need a break, change of environment or are struggling to cope at home can drop in.”
Erika Petrie, a parent supported by Diverse Abilities, said: “The open house sessions for me and my children are invaluable. It has given us an opportunity to have everything in the same place during the holidays with the added peace of mind that both my youngest with special needs and my eldest can enjoy doing their favourite activities in the same environment. It has given me time to create my own support network by talking to other mums in a similar situation to myself and it has helped me realise I am not alone in my battles. We have all benefitted hugely, which has lightened the burden for us and given us as a family a real spring in our step. I recommend that anyone living in the Dorset area gives it a try because it really has changed our lives for the better.”
For more information regarding Diverse Abilities and Coping with Chaos please visit www.diverseabilities.org.uk. To enquire regarding the open house sessions please contact Coping with Chaos direct on 01202 855105.