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Diverse Abilities

Diverse Abilities is Dorset’s disability charity supporting children and adults with profound physical and learning disabilities across the county since 1955

  • Parking
    • Parking
  • Mainstream/Special
    • Special
  • Type of Activity
    • Holiday or youth club
    • Support Group
The Treehouse
Merritown Lane
BH23 6DT
    • Age
      • Primary School
      • Secondary School
      • 16+
    • Accessibility
      • Changing Places Toilets
      • Hearing Loop
      • Wheelchair Access
    • Disability
      • ADHD
      • Autism
      • Complex Needs
      • Down Syndrome
      • Hearing Impairments
      • Learning Difficulties
      • Mobility Impairments
      • SPD/dyspraxia
      • Visual Impairments
    • Free Entry for Carer
      • Yes


    Coping with Chaos:

    Coping with Chaos is a service which you as a family attend. Parents are required to stay and retain full responsibility for their children. We have various different play opportunities as follows:

    CWC - Play Opportunities – During school holidays we do activities out and about in the community, which you pre book and you can request a 1:1 member of support staff should you require it, however we can’t always fulfil this. We do things such a swimming, rock climbing, cinema, bowling, den building, high ropes, cinema trips, craft sessions and lots of other fun things. £9 for the child with additional needs and £7 for each sibling (siblings under 3 years old are free).


    CWC - Open House sessions – Wednesday’s in school holidays between 10am and 3pm you can drop in and stay and play for as little or as long as you like.

    These sessions alternate between Durweston Village Hall and The Treehouse. We have again lots of toys and activities. £15 per family.


    CWC - Saturday and Sunday Sessions – we run these sessions at The Treehouse , on Saturday and Sunday’s during some weekends, 10am – 2:30pm. There is access to the sensory room, cinema room, soft play , toys etc. These sessions you do need to pre book with us. £10 per family. Unfortunately due to funding currently weekend sessions are only available to families under Dorset Council (not BCP council).


    Family support sessions – These sessions are support for parents/carers and usually run on two Monday’s of each month between 10:30am -12:30pm. We have coffee mornings where you can come and talk to other parents/carers, as well as workshop with professionals and health and wellbeing sessions. 


    Project My Time:

    Project My Time is for children 8 years and over with a diagnosis. We provide holiday activities for children and young people and the idea is for them to have fun and experience new things which they may not usually have the chance to do. It is a drop off service therefore parents do not need to stay as our team provide 1:1 support. There are sessions every school holiday week. Sessions are generally three hours long, depending on the activity, and cost £15 per session.


    Awesome Nights:

    Awesome Nights is a weekly youth club for young people with special education needs and disabilities (SEND) from the ages of 13 – 18 years old. The group meets on a Wednesday evening weekly, usually between 7-9pm. Popular activities include swimming, meals together, trips out, movie nights, games, crafts and themed activities at The Treehouse . Each session costs £8. Unfortunately, due to funding Awesome Nights sessions are only available to families under Dorset Council (not BCP council).


    It's tough being an SEN sibling, as well as the usual challenges of growing up, they also often receive less attention from parents and have more worries and responsibilities than their peers.

    STARs is a Term time afterschool club for children aged 6 to 18 who have siblings with special needs. We meet on a Monday evening 4:30-6:30pm for young people aged 6-11years and 6pm-8pm for children aged 11+, We are helping reduce the pressure they're under by providing an environment where they can access support and advice, but also take part in fun activities, make friends, and be themselves.

    It's important to provide an opportunity that enables young people to realise they are not alone, hopefully giving them a support network, which will last far longer than however long they wish to attend our sessions, as being a sibling never ends.

    We also run the Diverse Abilities Advice Service, from our central offices, that provides support with the application of disability benefits for adults and children. They advise on which benefit is most appropriate and assist with completing the applications for that benefit. Should the benefit application be unsuccessful, the Advice Team can submit a reconsideration and/or appeal and support families throughout the appeal process. The Team can advise families on Lasting Power of Attorney and support you through the application process. More information: