We recognise that children with disabilities often miss out on those valuable experiences that should be abundantly available to all children. Consequently, we have set up Accessible for All which provides regular events such as soft play, drama and dance, music workshops, exclusive use of skate parks, swimming and watersports, and our own award-winning FA-registered football group. The list is forever growing as we respond actively to the needs of the children we represent, so welcome to our world of possibilities.
We are all experiencing tough times at the moment and we wouldn’t want any of our families to opt out of any of our activities and events due to finance. If you do experience any difficulties, please contact Patsy@thedcf.org in the strictest confidence and we would be more than happy to help.
We have a very relaxed approach to all the sessions we run. Children can join in with the semi-structured formats or observe, play separately or stand on the side lines until they feel comfortable enough to join in, with no pressure.
We have a buddy system and are happy to arrange to meet families outside any of the venues, as we all know how daunting it can be entering a room full of unfamiliar faces.
Please note that booking onto activities and events is essential and parents/carers must accompany their children at all times. To find out about our activities parents/carers will need to email Rhian@thedcf.org who will send you our welcome pack and a short registration form. You will then be given access to our private Facebook pages and our regular emails which details our events diary and how to book.
This is a stay and play group for preschool children. These sessions will help your little ones explore, socialise and communicate, create and enjoy a lot of messy play. This group is ideal for those at the beginning of their journey and will really support parents whose children have just recently been diagnosed. Siblings are very welcome too. The group takes place on Wednesday mornings and is run by Nicola, who has 10 years’ experience teaching in specialist schools.
This is a very relaxed group for pre school children with any kind of additional needs. Parents can share experiences and children can explore the fantastic range of toys and activities. These sessions are held weekly in Corfe Mullen.
Sponsored for the 2nd year by Think Research
We welcome all children up to the age of 16 who have SEN/disabilities and their siblings. We have a 2 hour slot on a caged outdoor artificial pitch and sessions are split into two smaller groups. As with all our activities, children can participate, observe, or stand on the sidelines until they feel comfortable enough to join in. We are set up to cater for wheelchair users with our large wheelchair footballs and will always do our very best to accommodate each child’s individual and behavioural needs.
We are a growing group of friendly families who will welcome you with open arms – an interest or ability in football is not a prerequisite as DCF FC is all about having fun.
For more details or to book please contact Alex@thedcf.org
This club is exclusively open to our PMLD (profound and multiple learning difficulty) wheelchair users. It is held at a local specialist school that has all the appropriate changing facilities and is fully accessible. The club runs from 12:30 – 16:00 on alternate Saturdays and parents /carers can have lunch together and share advice and support. The children and young people enjoy wealth of activities from wheelchair dancing to yoga (with everything in between) and all activities are carefully planned to meet the needs of every young person that attends. We are eternally grateful to parent and Trustee Avril Jackson, parent Paula Street and amazing volunteer Emily Collins (daughter of our Trustee Amy) who run this new club. A special thank you to our ambassador Abbie Graham who runs our registration and switch adapted toy library.
Quote from parent Charlotte Reid
“We really do look forward to this group, Olly just can’t cope with much at the moment and our world has got very small, so this is just amazing. We’re making lots of happy memories x”.
For more details, dates and booking please contact Paula: email@example.com
Comotion-Extra is a fabulous, fun inclusive event for children of all ages and abilities. Siblings are most welcome too. These sessions combine music and movement in a semi-structured format and incorporates sensory props to give children an uplifting and energetic experience.
Comotion-Extra and LoCoMotion our delivered by Linda who is a highly experienced dance teacher, who specialises in working with children with a range of disabilities. Linda is passionate about this branch of her work and has a wonderful range of skills for parents to tap into.
LoCoMotion is a movement, music and sensory session for all children and young people including those using a wheelchair. These sessions are designed with children in mind who require a more sedentary, calm and sensory experience, whether your child is wheelchair dependent or simply prefers a relaxed and serene atmosphere. This session is designed for you.
The sessions involve group and individual activities that engage the young person’s senses using a range of props and equipment, supported by a structured format of themed musical sections. Your child will be encouraged to develop skills in coordination, relaxation, body awareness, and fine and gross motor skill movement. The session is very intimate, and numbers will always be kept low.
Along with the physical benefits to your child, this session is an opportunity to create a mindful state, and parent-child bonding. During LoCoMotion, your child will remain in their wheelchair.
Totally adapted cycling.
We love being able to provide activities that get the children out in the fresh air experiencing things some may take for granted. we are delighted to have found @pedallnewforest and some of our children have loved exploring the forest on specially adapted cycles. Everyone can join in and even if the children can’t cycle themselves they can still enjoy the sensation of moving fast, feeling the wind in their face and enjoying the sights and sounds of The New Forest.
A new Accessible for All offering…our very own Cinema at The Treehouse (our children’s shop in Boscombe)
Thanks to Ian Morrish from Together for Cinema, Luke Crutcher from Living Home Tech and their partners we have a state of the art cinema.
This now means that our families can come into the shop when it is not open for retail and have a proper cinema experience. Many familes cannot enjoy this experience that we may take for granted and have never been to the cinema due to their child’s physical or sensory needs.
Not only that we can offer bespoke parties for children, offer it to our multi-cultural story time attendees, use it for educational workshops and so much more.
The DCF has teamed up with Giggles Play Centre to deliver monthly soft play sessions, exclusively for children of The DCF. Giggles is a clean, spacious and safe space for children of all abilities to play, explore and develop friendships.
There are quiet area for children with complex and profound disabilities to relax and play, while siblings are also encouraged to come along and make friends. Parents and carers find comfort in chatting over a cup of coffee while their children play in a secure and relaxed environment, and with the sessions being pre-booking only, we ensure that numbers are kept low to ensure a safe and calm atmosphere.
We have partnered up with The Absolute Music Trust to provide fun music sessions at a professional recording studio. There is opportunity to use drums, bass and electric guitars, keyboards, mikes, plus the help of Jamie and Mark who are experienced sound engineers.
The sessions last for 2 hours. Depending on the needs of your child, parents/carers have a choice as to which of the two sessions on offer is the best fit. Children of all ages and abilities are welcome, and from our experience children with profound disabilities can particularly benefit from these sessions.
‘We enjoyed the absolute music session so much, great that it was so tailored to our children’s specific needs. It has been the highlight of our half term. Thank you’.
Currently these sessions are being held during school holidays, but we are hoping to expand availability.
We provide regular private hire session at Prevail juniors, a highly popular and very large indoor skatepark. Children of all ages can ride around on the 650 foot pump track, explore the 60 foot tunnel, quarter, half and full-pipes, using their vehicle of choice. Wheelchairs, trikes, scooters, balance bikes, skateboards or other wheeled vehicles are all welcome. We particularly encourage children who would not normally have accessed a skatepark, due to profound and/or physical disability, to come and try this wonderful activity in a safe and controlled environment.
All attendees must bring their own equipment including helmets. The venue also offers a soft play area and hot and cold food and drinks.
We run very relaxed craft seasons where children of all abilities and their siblings are encouraged to explore their creativity.
We provide a wide range of materials, and have run activities such as Easter bonnet making, Christmas cards and foot painting. These are quiet and only semi structured sessions and a lovely opportunity for children and parents to form new friendships.
Tennis For Everyone
We have partnered with Southbourne Tennis Club who offer regular sessions with professional coaches and volunteers with many years of experience working with all disabilities. Absolutely ALL abilities are catered for and even if your child is not able to hold a racket they will be fully included. Siblings are most welcome too.
Wetwheels provides the opportunity for all disabled people, including those with profound and complex disabilities, to access the sea in a safe, stimulating and rewarding way on board a specially-built, fully-accessible powerboat.
The Wetwheels concept was developed and pioneered by disabled adventurer, Geoff Holt MBE DL, and is proven to be highly successful.
We are delighted that over 200 people have been able to get out on the water for these totally inclusive sessions.
By offering the opportunity to experience the sea – not just as passengers, but as active participants – we build confidence and improve physical and mental wellbeing.
“There is something very special about being on the water. For someone with a disability, being at sea offers unparalleled freedoms. Your mind and imagination fill with things that once didn’t seem possible.”
A DCF group that develops imagination and creativity (formerly ‘Drama by Claire’)
If your child loves to have fun, enjoys music, enjoys using their imagination and is of primary age developmentally, then ‘Let’s Imagine’ will be perfect for them.
An informal session with seasonal and festive themes, that allows children to interact with others, to explore their senses and to conjure up fun along to music without any pressure to join in. We welcome both new and familiar faces.
Immersive Theatre Performances:
We are delighted to work as Project partners with the amazing Treehouse Theatre. As partners we benefit not only from exclusive performances but our children can access their inclusive drama workshops. We love working with The Treehouse as they offer fully relaxed performances, with embedded sign language throughout and encourage audience participation within all their shows.
Many of our families recently attended The Elves and the Shoemaker and all were delighted at how their children were included.
Flying Seagull Circus
Relaxed performances with embedded sign language. These shows are full of laugher and a mix of magic, clowning and story telling for the whole family. At the end everyone can try out their circus skills too.
Picnics, Parties & Play Time
Getting together as a group is just so much fun so we regularly host picnics in local parks ( in the warmer months) have Christmas, Easter and Halloween parties with entertainment, get together to play with trains with Trainmaster or make wonderful creations out of clay with Creative Clay.
These are some fantastic local organisations offering great sporting opportunities for disabled children.
Bournemouth Lions Wheelchair Rugby are looking for new Lion cubs.
A fabulous sport for 8-17 year olds and you don’t have to be a full time wheelchair user as they welcome anyone with any form of physical disability.
For details email firstname.lastname@example.org
This is run by Martin Cook under Poole Athletic Club Disability Track And Field Section and is great fun for children with any form of physical disability and is extremely popular with those who usually use a wheelchair. The DCF fund their annual track fee of £4000, have purchased a trailer, defibrillator and 3 specialist bikes.
Details: Facebook Group
We have a growing list of regular activities for our parents/carers, such as coffee mornings, DCF Paddlers, beginners’ yoga and a sewing group. These activities allow our parents/carers quality time with people who really understand.
We paddle board from Christchurch Quay on a weekly basis, weather permitting. Paddle boards can be hired and training given. Absolute beginners are welcome. Just wear shorts or leggings. Afterwards there is coffee, cake and a chat. DCF Paddlers Facebook page.
Beginners Hatha Yoga
Hatha classes provide an opportunity to stretch, unwind and release tension, providing a good counterpoint to busy stressful lives. You are welcome to stay for a cuppa and a chat afterwards. Classes run on a weekly basis through term time. Contact Yatesclaire@yahoo.co.uk.
Sew Your Own
This is a DCF parents/carers sewing group. We have plenty of sewing machines available, so you are welcome to come along and sew whatever you need to make or learn how to make bibs and adapted clothing. Complete novices are more than welcome. Coffee/tea and a chat are supplied. Please bring your own lunch. Contact Avril@thedcf.org.