MORE than £25,000 has been raised to help support disabled children and adults throughout Dorset, at a charity event.

Disability organisation Diverse Abilities hosted its ninth annual Rugby Lunch in Christchurch, when guests enjoyed a day of entertainment, a three-course meal, Q&A session, raffle, networking and auction.

Celebrity appearances were made by John Bentley (also known as Bentos), a former English league and union player who won four caps for England during his career, David Duckham MBE, who represented England in 36 games and was known in his day for his great pace, swerves and side-steps, and retired Saracens flanker Will Fraser.

The £27,000 total raised at this year's event, which was held at Hoburne Holiday Park and sponsored by Dixon Stewart, Glossbrook and Quantuma, will provide children and adults living with a disability with a fulfilled life and encouraging future, while also providing support to their families.

Diverse Abilities events manager Sue Reid said: "There was such a buzz at this year’s event, everyone had a wonderful time and we have received some lovely feedback. We are thrilled with the amount of money raised by our guests and would like to thank everyone who helped to make it such a success, including those who bought a ticket, got involved with the raffle and the auction lots. We’d also like to say a big thankyou to our wonderful sponsors, Dixon Stewart Quantuma and Glossbrook.

"Every penny raised enables the vital work of Diverse Abilities to continue, making a difference to children and adults, and their families, living with disabilities throughout Dorset.”

The event has helped the charity raise more than £200,000 since 2010.

For more information on Diverse Abilities visit or call 01202 718266.