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Do You Need Our Help?

If you have a disabled child who needs our support please get in touch. We understand that asking for help can be very emotional but we promise you will be received with warmth and understanding.

Accessible For All

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



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


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.


Disability Awareness

A fun, interactive educational initiative, designed to break down barriers and change how the world sees disability.


Life experiences

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

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Specialist Equipment

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

All applicants are dealt with respectfully and in a confidential and understanding way. The only reason the charity exists is to help improve the quality of life for your child.

Join The DCF Family

If you are the Parent/Carer of a disabled child and live in Dorset you are very warmly invited to join us at The Dorset Children’s Foundation. Please complete this short form and you will then be sent a Welcome Pack and given access to our Facebook groups and our newsletter which details both our upcoming events and information.

“We understand it is sometimes very difficult to ask for help and also joining new groups can be very daunting so we will try and make this as easy as possible for you. We really believe in the personal touch, and so one of our lovely parents will reach out to see if you’d like to meet up or just have a chat. Whether you need equipment, advice, counselling or just fun stuff for your kids to do, you will be welcomed into a community that understands you and your child’s needs. We all look forward to meeting you.” Patsy Hallmey  Co-Founder

Your Welcome Pack

We believe in the personal touch, and will immediately arrange for one of our lovely team members to send you a welcome pack and arrange to visit you in your own home or a place of your choice. By getting to know you and your family, we will identify how best we can help.

We understand that it is sometimes very difficult to ask for help, so we will try and make this as easy for you as possible.

Become part of a community that understands you and your child’s needs.

Accessible for All

The DCF’s Accessible for All initiative is focused on creating sporting opportunities and play activities for children with disabilities. We provide regular events such as soft play, drama and dance, music workshops, swimming and water sports, and we even have our own award-winning FA-registered football group. We believe in nurturing differently abled children’s abilities, interests, and energy, and strive for an inclusive society, where children with disabilities and their siblings are furnished with the same opportunities as their friends.  Sign up here.

The DCF’s Counselling Service

Currently we are experiencing unsettling times, and we understand the emotional toll being placed on parents caring for children with special educational needs and disabilities. We provide a free counselling support service for parents/carers to speak to someone in confidence. We offer a listening service over the telephone, as well as more formal sessions with trained counsellors. If you are interested in taking up our service, please contact

“I had my counselling session today. While talking through all my ugly scary thoughts I cried like the flood gates had opened . We are going through something very tough as a family right now and being able to get free mental health support is invaluable. If I wasn’t able to talk my feelings through with a professional now and so I would have to bottle it up for later date, oh what a ticking time bomb that would be.”

Specialist Equipment

We understand that at times a child will require a piece of equipment urgently, and unfortunately the turnaround time for the provision by statutory services is untenable for the child’s immediate needs.We will first try to match a child’s needs with equipment that we have in our reconditioned stock, and issue items on long-term loan. In exceptional circumstances we will assist in the purchase of equipment and can also provide expert fundraising advice.

Family Support and Advice

The DCF is passionate about providing an holistic support network to our families and are committed to ensuring that families receive the help and support that they are entitled to, including financial benefits, care, education and wider support. We also have parent advocates who have expertise in dealing with local authority bodies, and who can represent our families’ rights and needs to procure the correct and deserved equipment from statutory services.

View family advice & info.

Support Groups

We have a range of support groups run by amazing volunteers who would be delighted to meet you and are more than happy to chat with you beforehand and even meet you outside, as we all know how daunting walking into a room of new people can be . Rest assured you’re among friends who will just ‘get you.’

We help fund SENturians and Doors Open, they offer guidance, support, Information and advice to parent/carers and family members who have children and young people with any type of SEND need, with or without a diagnosis. They host weekly meetings and offer events and activities during the holidays for families to attend together in a safe non judgmental environment .

Parent/Carer Activities

We now have regular parent/carer activities, such as coffee mornings, Beginners Hatha Yoga, DCF Paddlers and Sew your own sewing group. All designed to give Parents the chance to de-stress with like minded people.

“Life with a child with a disability can be very stressful and you don’t get a lot of time to yourself. Having activities like paddle boarding for mums, where you can do something fun and also meet up with other mums who understand what it’s like, is so important. I was excited to try paddle boarding for the first time but also a bit nervous, especially as I didn’t know many of the other mums, but everyone made me feel really welcome and I had a great time”.

Disability Awareness & Education

At the DCF we are absolutely passionate about educating people about disability and showing the world how amazing our children are.
We firmly believe that disability awareness should be taught in all Primary schools as today’s children will be the driving force toward a more inclusive society.

For many years we have supported Paddy’s Purpose a disability awareness workshop created by Gemma, mum of Paddy who is profoundly disabled. She set this up as she wanted disabled children like her son to be accepted and not feared & to make people think and challenge how the world sees disability. In an increasingly accessible world it is more important than ever that disability is talked about and it’s incredible that Gemma & Paddy have delivered this message to over 3000 local children.

Gemma is offering to work with individual families who have children with disabilities and siblings who may benefit from a child friendly explanation of epilepsy, tube feeds, mobility equipment, etc…Having a brother or sister with medical needs can be scary for young children and although they are brought up around it all, they often don’t have the opportunity to talk about it and won’t ask the questions that are on their mind for fear of upsetting anyone. Using fun props like plasma balls to explain seizures, and ‘peg fed Ted’ Gemma can work with siblings to help them better understand what’s going on around them and help them feel more confident about talking about disabilities themselves (which may help prepare them for questions they may be asked in social situations). If you would like to learn more please email at

Awesome Archie on Tour

Archie and his Mum Rebecca were present at one of Paddy’s Purpose workshops a few years ago and have been inspired to develope their own awareness workshops talking about living with Autism.

They are now touring Dorset schools to raise awareness of neurodiversity.
Archie and Rebecca have also written 3 amazing books that promote neurodiversity in a fun, visual and accessible format. To purchase visit
The DCF is excited to collaborate with this amazing family team and join forces in our quest to promote inclusivity, break down barriers and celebrate differences. If you would like Awesome Archie on Tour to visit a main stream school your child attends please contact Rebecca at

Give Kids The World

We are one of only 13 UK Charities who have been accepted as a wish giving partner for Give Kids The World.

GKTW is a non profit ‘story book’ resort in central Florida, where children with life threatening illnesses and their families are treated to a week long cost free holiday.

Learn more about Give Kids The World Here.

Big enough to make a difference, small enough to care.

When our son needed additional therapy input, The DCF could not help us enough. Both my boys love attending the multitude of events run by The DCF. They truly go above and beyond for anyone. Nothing is too difficult and you never feel a burden. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts and we hold pure admiration for the whole crew! SUPERSTARS!! “

“The Dorset Children’s foundation is a fantastic charity, it is the shining light and the friendly face that guides us through the minefield of living with children that have additional needs. To put it bluntly without The DCF, my husband and I would probably be rocking in a corner, struggling to cope with it all. The paperwork, the fights, the behaviours. Everything. It literally saved us! Our family too!”

“From the first time we spoke to Patsy at The DCF I felt an acceptance and understanding that did not need any explanation. We were welcomed into a community that at the time we didn’t even know we needed. The DCF really value every child they support. Whenever we take Arlo to any sessions everyone is so warm and welcoming and make us feel they’re so pleased we are there. A community of people with a wealth of experience all willing to support us on our journey.”

The DCF is all about caring, so we will guide you every step of the way.

We welcome you into the Dorset Children Foundation’s family where you can meet parents in the same or similar situation.
We pride ourselves on being ‘Big enough to make a difference, small enough to care’
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