5:00pm Monday 11th April 2011
By Emma Joseph
A MERGER has been completed between two Dorset charities, in a bid to offer more support to children and adults with disabilities.
Coping with CHAOS, which supports families caring for children with disabilities, has joined forces with Diverse Abilities Plus, a local provider of support and education services for both children and adults with disabilities.
The move was finalised on April 1 and follows a successful period of collaborative working between the two charities.
Coping with CHAOS was started in 1997 by two local East Dorset parents, Liz Morris and Anne Boyce, both of whom had children with very different disabilities.
Today more than 300 families are registered and the charity is recognised as a major provider of short breaks for families with disabled children in the area.
Its services will continue as part of Diverse Abilities Plus, which offers lifetime partnerships to individuals with a range of disabilities and their families.
The organisation operates six key services – Langside School, Smithers, Shapes, Project My Time, Barnabas and Supported Living – which offer assistance, support and education.
Mark Powell, chief executive of Diverse Abilities Plus, said: “We have been providing IT and administration support as well as book-keeping services to Coping with CHAOS for some time now, and the merger became the obvious next step.
“Coping with CHAOS has become an important provider of support to a large number of Dorset-based families and we are delighted to welcome each and every one of those families, as well as the staff members, into our organisation.”
Mr Powell said the Coping with CHAOS initiatives, such as Play Opportunities in south east Dorset and Weymouth, Awesome Nights and Days and the Face2Face Befriending service would continue.
He added: “Coping with CHAOS has been operating for 14 years and has a strong family focus. We intend to build on that focus; to encourage that Coping with CHAOS will continue to be locally run from West Moors with a good deal of autonomy.
“We will work hard to ensure that there is minimal impact to the families which receive support.”
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