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Welcome to

People First Dorset

  Empowering people with  learning disabilities  

Update 3.3.2021

With England still in lockdown, People First Dorset will continue to deliver our projects online. We will provide further updates over the coming months as more information is released about coming out of lockdown.

Our team continue to work from home and will keep doing their very best to help you. If you have any questions or want to get in touch, please contact us by email: or phone on 01305 257600.

Please click the button for the latest government advice, and see below to read the latest copy of Connect which includes details of activities.

You can find Mencap's Easy Read Guide to the new lockdown rules in England by clicking the button.

Some helpful posters from Keep Safe about the vaccine can be downloaded by clicking the button below.


You can find Mencap's Easy Read Guide to the coronavirus vaccine on the button below.

Click on the button to see our new video where Emily talks about her experience of getting the vaccine.

See the Easy Read guide to getting out of lockdown by clicking the button below.

Take care everyone.  Remember, hands, face, space.

Download the March issue of the Connect Newsletter now! 

To download previous copies, please visit the Resources page.

For people with learning disabilities, we change lives by tackling loneliness and social isolation. We challenge discrimination, help improve health and wellbeing,  and enable people to speak up and be heard.
Our projects empower people with learning disabilities to make and maintain friendships while connecting with their community; then develop their communication and speaking up skills, enabling them to become more independent and confident.
There are 1.5million people with a learning disability in the UK.  We estimate c10,000 people have learning disabilities in Dorset, 400 of whom we already support. Can you help us reach more?

What is a learning disability?

A learning disability is a lifelong significant reduced ability to understand new or complex information, learn new skills and to cope independently. 

With your support we can continue to empower more people with learning disabilities to tackle injustice. If you would like to know more about learning disabilities, please click the link below.

Over 50% disabled people feel lonely, rising to 77% for those aged 18-34.

(Sense 2017)

Our solutions

Friendship Club

The Friendship Club is where people with learning disabilities can make and meet friends.  Members choose what they do and where they meet.

Speaking Up

Members come together at Speaking Up groups and speak up, and address, issues important to them. They feed back serious concerns to decision makers such as local authorities and health bodies.

Quality Checkers

The Quality Checkers are a team of people with a learning disability and are experts by experience. They judge the quality of the services against a set of standards. 


For those seeking consultancy support, we have skilled advisors in our team at People First Dorset.

We know many other professionals who might be able help, and would be happy to connect you.

Easy Read

Easy Read is a form of accessible writing that, when combined with good design, makes information clear and easy to read.


We are able to run workshops or smaller projects which address particular concerns our members have. 

Loneliness is associated with physical and mental health problems and poorer quality of life.

(Gilmore & Cuskelly, 2014).

William's story

- in his own words

I only used to have one friend, very little confidence and had hate crime. 


The Friendship Club at People First Dorset changed all that. Thanks to this club I now have lots of friends who I see at events and some I’ve learnt to meet independently. 


I volunteer for the charity like helping raise awareness, I feel good, I’m healthier and I even write a weekly column in our local paper. Life is good now.


Why support us? We have an excellent track record of delivering excellent outcomes to our members.
Find out how you can support people with learning disabilities.

Follow us on Social Media

We keep our social channels up-to-date with current news and events for our followers. Below is a taste of our Instagram page, please get involved by following People First Dorset and giving us a like and a share.

  • Facebook
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  • YouTube
  • Instagram

Keep in touch!

Sign up to our Mailing List for news and updates

We will look after your data and won’t spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.

If you have a learning disability and would like to join as a member (so you can take part in our activities) please contact us by phone 01305 257600 or by email: so we can post you a membership form.

People First Dorset

2 Herringston Barn, Herringston, Dorchester, Dorset DT2 9PU

United Kingdom

Tel: 01305 257600


Registered charity: 1106963

© People First Dorset 2020   |   Privacy Policy  |  GDPR Policy

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