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Raising Disability Awareness

For our first speaker meeting in May we were delighted to welcome Hannah Fielding, who is a volunteer with Diverse Abilities.

The charity was founded in 1955. It started operating in the local area when a volunteer from Brighton came to Bournemouth and realised that there were no facilities available for people with learning and physical disabilities. Hannah herself has been volunteering for around 7 years and brought along her helping dog Hudson.

It is Dorset’s disability charity and has expanded in our area to support a number of areas of disability. One of their outlets, Langside School, caters for young people with complex learning and physical disabilities. They care for individual needs and provide a wide variety of opportunities for the children in their care.

Lily’s Place is the charity’s respite centre and has to date raised £370,000 to modernise the building and make it suitable for the charity’s needs, amongst which are sensory tents and themed rooms targeting more specific conditions.

Coping with Chaos is the play opportunity, allowing both children with special needs and those with other disabilities to play together in a safe environment.

The charity also supports adults, many of whom have been brought up from children through the organisation’s work, and who continue to benefit from the services that the charity is able to provide and will continue to provide in the future.

The charity needs to raise thousands of pounds a day to continue to provide all its services and 83p from every £1 goes straight to the charity’s services.

Hannah is an inspirational speaker who has not allowed her own disability to prevent her from getting involved in helping others and telling people about it. She directly involves herself in the fundraising for the charity and has even undertaken a skydive which raised over £5,000.

On behalf of the club, Rotarian Maggie Hardy gave a vote of thanks for an excellent talk. More information about the charity is available from their website.