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About Us

The DCF was set up to improve and enrich the lives of disabled young people and their families who are experiencing difficulties related to the impact of disability, including physical health, emotional strain, and social isolation through a range of provisions.

According to Government national statistics there are over 2,500 disabled children across Dorset.

We have three successful charity shops and our sales cover all our modest overheads meaning that 100% of all donations go directly to help a local disabled child. We promise that your donation will never be used to cover the day-to-day operational costs of the charity.

At The Dorset Children’s Foundation we are very hands-on, and pride ourselves on our personal approach. You will be welcomed into our family with open arms. We get to know the children and the family as a whole, so that we can fully understand each family’s needs.

At The DCF we recognise and react to the needs of the families we serve. This is why, when families told us that having a disabled child often leaves them feeling isolated, excluded, and unable to access mainstream activities, we set about to create opportunities and activities designed specifically with our families in mind. This lead to the launch of our hugely popular Accessible For All initiative, through which families can access a variety of inclusive events and activities. These include group days out, music, drama, yoga, football, dance, bubble therapy, skateboarding, soft play and discos. The list is forever growing and we respond actively to the needs of the children we represent.

Not only do we raise vital funds for equipment and activities, we also offer a friendly support network within the charity through connecting parents in similar situations who best understand the challenges each other face. We marry up new families with befrienders so that no one needs to feel anxious about coming into a new group.

The mental health of our families is a priority of ours, and we recognise the loneliness and depression that parents and carers of a disabled child can experience. We now have a dedicated mental health advisor and are able to offer counselling sessions and referrals to appropriate local agencies.

We offer funding and long term support to other local charitable bodies, such as children’s centres and sporting associations associated with disability.

We have launched a pre-school stay and play group called Little Stars, for young children with additional needs. For details and booking contact Nicola@thedcf.org

We support Doors Open, a weekly SEN support group in Turlin Moor. For details and booking contact Robyn@doors-open@outlook.com.
We also support SENturions, a weekly SEN support group in Parkstone, for details and how to book contact Paula senturions.poole2021@gmail.com.

It is a common misconception that children with disabilities can access all the equipment and therapy that they require through statutory services. Sadly this is not the case and this is why our work is so vital.

We work closely with statutory services who provide a fantastic service, but their resources are limited.

The therapies, equipment and accessible for all activities that we provide improve the lives of children with disabilities, over and above pure medical necessities. We seek to improve the quality of life for children so that they can gain better movement, overcome isolation, improve their self-esteem and play a larger part in the society around them, be that family or school.

We are registered with the Charity Commission, members of the Fundraising Regulator and have been approved by HMRC to collect Gift Aid.

"I was deeply honoured to be asked to become a patron of The Dorset Children’s Foundation and accepted without a moments' thought. It is a wonderful charity that is truly transforming lives and making a difference to so many families and I am immensely proud to be part of that team"

Stephen Young Lord of Westbury.

What We Do

We provide activities, resources and equipment to improve the lives of disabled children living in Dorset.

We can provide:

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Specialist Equipment

We can help source and fundraise for wheelchairs, walkers, and other such disability aids.

Accessible For All

We offer our families a wide range of events and activities from football to dancing, and everything in between.

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Counselling

We have an in-house mental health advisor and offer a free counselling service to parents and primary carers.

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Paddy's Purpose

A fun, interactive educational initiative, designed to break down barriers and change.

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Life experiences

We also provide life enriching experiences for children and their families.

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Family Support & Advice

we offer a range of services including advice and guidance regarding benefits, entitlements, plus a befriending service offering peer-to-peer support.

Mental Health

The mental health of our families is very important to us.
Being the Parent of a child with additional needs is very isolating and can lead to loneliness and depression.
This impacts on all members of the family and the child themselves.
We now have a dedicated mental Heath advisor, Hayley Cheshire MSc Neuropsychology, who recently produced a scoping report from interviewing a cross section of our parents. This clearly identified that many of our families are in crisis with their mental health.
We are now able to offer one to one counselling sessions and are able to signpost and refer to appropriate local agencies. This is offered to parents, siblings and the disabled child.

Hayley@thedcf.org

What We Do:

Our shops cover our overheads, so your donation will always go to the child in need and not on operational costs.

We enter into partnerships with local companies for support, both with fundraising and expertise.

We organise sponsorship by local companies for our events to maximise their profits.

We encourage others to fundraise for us in any way they can: cake sales, sponsored walks, for example.

We pro-actively work to raise our profile in Dorset by engaging with the local community using Social Media, local press and networking.

We:

Visit each family to tailor make their own fundraising package and provide posters and collection pots etc.

Apply for grants from Trusts and other charitable bodies.

Link parents, carers, and children together to form a vital support network.

Offer individuals the chance to take up a personal challenge for us: Marathons, Skydives, Wing Walks etc.

We offer local schools the opportunity to participate in Paddy’s Purpose, an interactive workshop designed to break down the barriers on disability.

Arrange fundraising events such as annual: Football Tournaments,  Fun Casino Nights and Comedy Shows.

Our Shops

Come and visit one of our three charity shops in Bournemouth.

BOSCOMBE

695-697 CHRISTCHURCH ROAD BOURNEMOUTH BH7 6AF

Opening Times:
9.30am – 5.00pm MON – FRI
SAT: 10am – 5pm

THE TREEHOUSE

COMING SOON

Opening Times:
TBA

SOUTHBOURNE

3 CARBERY ROW, BOURNEMOUTH BH6 5AD

Opening Times:
9.00am – 4pm MON – FRI
SAT: 9.30 am – 3pm

You Can Change a Childs Future.

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