Skip to content

Family: Dan has made the fatal mistake to promise to marry a girl from Finland called Maiju (me – and my name is pronounced “My-You”. Don’t worry about the pronunciation.). With me, he has had two daughters, Elisa (7) and Melody (5). From a previous relationship, Dan has a wonderful daughter called Ruby (15). My firstborn, Elisa, was born disabled. She has multiple diagnosis, the “main ones” being cerebral palsy, profound hearing loss, cerebral vision impairment, epilepsy and central apnea. Elisa is completely dependent to others with all her care, which she needs round the clock. Family’s youngest has also been diagnosed with epilepsy.

Why the DCF? Dan needs to answer this, but from partners point of view I have seen Dan transform thanks to the work he has been able to do for DCF. He has spring on his step, and he feels he has a purpose outside his home. He feels he is making a difference – and he has always been passionate about helping others. That’s how I met him too. He came to help a lady in distress, and somehow in the process he got stuck with me.

He is adamant making sure no-one has to struggle the same way we have had to, and that no-one feels as alone as we did on our darkest hour. With our personal experiences, he can relate to the struggles of others with disabled children and can provide practical advice and off-hand emotional support.

Professional Life: Dan has a vast experience working with retail and customer service, and is qualified IT Analyst. He is the nerd you need to fix your laptop and talk politics with while he fiddles with the tech. When I met him, he worked in IT at Bournemouth University – and he continued to work there all the way until we became pregnant with Melody and it became apparent I could no longer manage to care for disabled Elisa on my own while he is at work. He chose his family over his career – and has been Elisa’s carer ever since.

For Fun: During lockdown, his default setting has been being prone on the couch, cuddling Elisa and reading a book. Dan supports Liverpool FC and used to play football himself when he was younger and before he knackered his knees doing such sport with a ball. Now he is an expert sportsman on the couch and a gamer. He plays Destiny 2 among other games.

Something Interesting: He is the shortest of his siblings and for a decade of his childhood he lived in Germany with his family, but he does not speak German. Dan loves background noise – he has no problems following a documentary on TV while reading something else or gaming.

Why We Love Him: I don’t know why you love him, I love him because he is Dan. He is the man who will do everything he can to help others, even to his own expense. He gives from the little he has without batting an eyelid.

Family: A wonderful husband.

Why the DCF? ‘Fundamentally, I am passionate and committed to helping all the wonderful children and families connected with the DCF community in as many ways as I can. I want to empower parents with the information and knowledge required to navigate the maze of statutory entitlements, to ensure everyone is accessing education, health and social care provision. We want to tackle barriers to inclusion and ensure our community is inclusive. Since joining the DCF community, I have been providing free information webinars & resources, provided a listening ear to families, delivered countless numbers of bags of happiness, volunteered at the charity golf day, drafted the parks campaign letters to BCP Council. In my spare time, I regularly run in order to raise funds for the charity. You may have seen my fundraising page ‘jogging james’.

Professional Life: ‘I am a Chartered Legal Executive at Lester Aldridge LLP. I specialise in Community Care, Special Educational Needs and Mental Capacity Law.’

For Fun: ‘I love the outdoors. A morning coffee in the garden is always a win. I enjoy hiking, running, cycling, paddle boarding and sailing. On wet days, you will find me doing DIY, baking and cooking.’

Something Interesting:’I have 3 chickens – Shirley, Edith and Geraldine.’

Family: Alex is one of five siblings and is an uncle to 8 children who all adore him. He grew up in Southbourne and has always considered himself lucky to live in such a beautiful area close to his family and friends.

Why DCF? The DCF makes a real difference to families in the local area and as soon as Alex heard about the amazing work the team were doing he wanted to get involved. Alex supports the charity in whatever way he can, whether it’s offering business advice, fundraising, coaching football or face-timing families for a catch up.

Professional life: Alex works for a local telecoms company where he started as tea boy over 10 years ago. His loyalty, hard work and commitment have helped him climb the ladder and he now manages all aspects of the business from accounts to sales and marketing.

For fun: Alex was first introduced to the DCF through AFC Bournemouth who he has supported for over 15 years and he now coaches for the DCF football club. Alex loves music, he plays both guitar and drums and performs locally in his free time. He loves water sports and boxing and even plays a bit of golf too!

Something interesting: Alex originally trained in musical theatre, he has a beautiful singing voice and is also a fantastic actor.

Why we love him: It’s always been important to Alex that happy memories are made in childhood and he strives to make that happen for any child he meets. He has a natural ability to engage with children of all ages and is able to offer support and encouragement with a positive attitude and a silly sense of humour. But most importantly, he is passionate about making people happy and helping to improve lives.

Amy started working for CAN in October 2010 having originally come from a corporate background. Her role and responsibilities within CAN have changed extensively over this time developing from a part-time temporary admin assistant to now managing the Volunteering Hub for Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole. She finds the voluntary and community sector is so rewarding as every day you know you are making a positive impact on the local community.

Amy says: “Volunteering can have a huge impact on people’s lives, helping them to build their confidence, gain valuable skills and giving them a true sense of purpose. Through my role, I help individuals find the right volunteer opportunity, as well as ensuring that the charity they volunteer for are fully supported and follow good practice.”

In her spare time, Amy volunteers for several different local charities. If she can’t be found bucket collecting or marshalling, you may see her out paddleboarding, though she hasn’t yet mastered the knack of standing up!

Back To Top