A DISABILITY charity has been forced to limit its weekend sessions to residents in the Dorset Council area only.

Diverse Abilities has taken the decision with prices increasing and cut backs to services due to the current economic climate.

The weekend Coping with Chaos sessions, which are held in West Moors, will not be limited to those who fall under Dorset Council, which provides some funding for the charity, and not for those under BCP Council, which does not.

In a letter to parents and carers, the charity expressed their disappointment that they needed to limit the sessions, with costs increasing and attendance declining.

They indicated that where in the past they could pick up the cost of the sessions for those that fall under BCP Council, they can no longer afford to do so. They said that BCP Council has refused to fund the weekend sessions for “many years”.

Diverse Abilities has a funding contract with Dorset Council, so from April 1, they can only afford to put on the sessions for those who live in the area covered by the local authority.

The letter said the charity will “continue to monitor the popularity of the weekend sessions over the next 12 months before further discussions for the years 2024 – 2025”.

The sessions themselves will be reduced to one Saturday and one Sunday a month.

The charity's chief executive, Mark Powell, said: “While we can’t comment on individual family situations, this is not a decision we have taken lightly and has been incredibly hard to reach.

“With the costs of everything increasing, we need to ensure our services can remain financially viable for the future so we can no longer afford to cover these additional costs ourselves.

“We are in ongoing conversations with the local authority around contracts and are hopeful that we can reach a resolution as soon as possible.”

A spokesperson for BCP Council said they are in discussions with the charity over the proposals, and there was nothing further to add at this stage.