A Dorset company is celebrating its 50th year by giving away “50 things” to a charity or good cause each month.

The Wessex Group has begun 2013 by donating 50 sensory toys to Poole-based charity Diverse Abilities, which gives opportunities to children with severe disabilities.

The company’s joint managing director Simon Morgan made a trip to the charity’s special school to hand over the toys and see them being used.

The school – just one of a few such establishments in Britain – has 24 pupils who all have profound and multiple learning difficulties and physical disabilities. Many require constant, round-the-clock care.

Sensory toys delight the children who enjoy the different textures, colours, shapes and smells, and there are also vibrating ones that help stimulate the pupils. They support their development and learning too.

The charity looks after children from across the county and also organises holiday clubs, runs a respite home, and has the capacity to support families in their own homes.

There is also a day centre for 50 adults with learning and physical difficulties, and bungalows adapted to provide homes for adults with disabilities to live in.

Diverse Abilities requires just over £4.5 million a year to run and is always looking for donations.

Wessex Group, based in Shaftesbury, is a hardy collection of companies that installs and/or maintains electrics, heating, air conditioning, plumbing, renewable energy, commercial catering equipment and fire and security systems across the south.

Its joint MD, Mr Morgan said, “We wanted to share our 50th anniversary celebrations with many different charities, organisations and good causes

“We decided to give away “50 things for 50 years” every month this year.

“It is also a good opportunity to visit these charities and see what great work is going on.

“The visit to Diverse Abilties’ school was inspiring and made clear what resources are required to carry out the work the charity does with these young people.

“The sensory toys will hopefully make a difference to the children who are so expertly looked after by the staff.”

For more information please visit www.wessexgroup.co.uk or www.diverseabilitiesplus.org.uk

PHOTO: Simon Morgan of Wessex Group (centre) with children from Langside School’s Community group – the oldest children. The staff (l-R) Cate Reade, Lucy Kirby, and Sophie Vye.


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