Social care charity Encompass appeal for new bench

Social care charity Encompass appeal for new bench

Encompass 1

A charity which has provided social care and support to adults and young people with learning disabilities and mental health needs for more than 32 years across Dorset has launched an appeal to provide wheelchair- accessible picnic benches for public areas.
Encompass Care, based in Poundbury, was initially being established to support people out of large, long-stay hospitals such as Coldharbour and Herrison. But these days it supports people with day-to-day living in their own homes.
The charity also has a residential home in Sherborne and a respite service, Encombe, in Dorchester, which supports more than 50 people and will celebrate its 20-year anniversary this year. They also have a residential, supported living, outreach and respite mental health service in Weymouth.
They help nearly 90 people in Dorset, with support staff going into people’s homes and ensuring they have all they need to live their life, their way. Going out is also important– whether that’s to attractions, or events, or just to the pub or café.
The charity is funded by councils, the NHS and privately for this, however there’s a project they would love to see make a difference across the area – picnic benches which accommodate wheelchair users, so they are included and not just stuck at the end.
The benches are made of recycled plastic, but look like wood, so they are attractive and hard-wearing and easy to clean. They only cost between £400 and £600, including the fixings for a range of surfaces. But they would last for years, giving the community a valuable amenity for a long time to come.
The project is led by the charity’s public relations officer Hannah Harrison, who loves the adaptability of the benches – it’s her mission to be able to provide one of the benches in every area they could be needed.
She said: “We are working with the Dorchester Access Team, and the National Trust and Dorset Council are also interested.
“We’ve had an amazing response from people to this project, and we’ve identified a few sites that would benefit, including Sandringham Park and Kings Road in Dorchester, and we’re speaking to the Friends of Radipole Park Gardens in Weymouth too.
“We would love to see these benches everywhere they could be used, and so we’ve dedicated our fundraising to this – all money donated on our website encompasscare. (there’s a ‘donate’ button on the top right) will go towards the benches.”
Companies can sponsor a bench, which will be printed with their logo. And communities can fundraise for a bench for their area. Local pubs and restaurants can commission a bench, too.
n You can also post donations to: Hannah Harrison, bench appeal, Encompass Care, 200 Bridport Road, Poundbury, Dorchester, Dorset, DT1 3BN.
By Miranda Robertson
TAKE A SEAT: Hannah Harrison and Encompass Care MD Tracey Dennis-Andrews

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