New Service for Young People

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Local charity, Diverse Abilities, is holding an open day on Tuesday 11 June from 10am – 1pm at its new respite bungalow, Lawford Lodge, for young people transitioning to an adult that are living with a disability in Dorset.

The service launched this May and is one of two in the county accommodating 19 to 25 year olds who have complex medical needs and multiple disabilities.

Lawford Lodge will be able to provide respite to young people that are not ready to leave home yet and can accommodate up to two people at one time, providing respite for them and their families. The service will then work with the young person and their parent or carer to support transition fully to an adult service before they are 25.

Claire Stacey from Diverse Abilities said: “Many young people at the age of 19 are not ready to be supported in an adult setting, therefore this transition service is vital. There are a lot of families out there that are concerned about the care and support their child will be receive once they turn 19, therefore this service will ensure their child will receive a continuity of care and give families breathing space when everything changes at 18/19 years old.”

Lawford Lodge is named after Marion Lawford, mother to Sue who has been supported by Diverse Abilities for 56 years.  Marion started volunteering at Langside School in 1963 when Sue first became a pupil.  She sat on many committees, became Hon Treasurer, later Company Secretary and then became Executive Officer in the 1970’s.

She was instrumental in the growth of the charity including the opening of Edward House, the residential home run by the charity; oversaw needed extensions to both Langside and Edward House, and was the brainchild of the children’s respite home, now Lily’s Place.  She fundraised to purchase the property and secured the support of local authorities to place and provide funding for children who required this vital new service.

Claire added: “We would love to see you at our open day.  It is a great opportunity to find out more regarding Lawford Lodge, have a look around and meet the team. Even if your child is a few years away from the transition stage, it is well worth a visit and chat with us so we can help you going forwards and into the future.”

Lawford Lodge is located at 56 Hoyal Road, Hamworthy, Poole BH15 4HZ. If you wish to contact the team or have any questions, please call 01202 718238.

Please visit for more information regarding the charity.