Shaking collection tins, selling raffle tickets and even jumping out of an aeroplane – Hannah Fielding is nothing if not dedicated when it comes to charity work.

The 24-year-old has been a committed supporter of Dorset disability charity Diverse Abilities Plus for several years, raising more than £5,000 from her sponsored skydive alone.

But she remains modest about her efforts as a volunteer.

“They’ve done as much for me as I’ve done for them,” she insists.

“They’ve supported me to feel that I’m a valued person.”

Hannah has cerebral palsy herself and requires 24-hour care, but does not receive support from the charity’s services, instead using the Direct Payment scheme to employ her own personal assistant.

She first began volunteering with Disability Wessex five years ago, during her holidays from college.

When the organisation amalgamated with Diverse Abilities Plus she began doing talks to promote the charity and her involvement grew and grew.

“I would stand at public events and shake tins and give out leaflets and I would sell raffle tickets,” she says.

“I also helped out with the training of new staff and I do talks to schools for them or with them, I talk to Rotary clubs, I talk at events that are run for them, I’ve spoken to the Salvation Army for them.”

The list is clearly endless.

Hannah, who also is a former governor of the charity’s Langside School, will even pop into the head office in Poole when she’s not working, to catch up with the staff and fellow volunteers.

“They really are like friends as well really,” she explains.

“I’m very close friends with the founder Phyllis, she’s brilliant. She’s one of my best friends, you wouldn’t think there was 75 years between us when we get together.

“She’s such a good champion. Phyllis has got two daughters – one is Marilyn, the disabled daughter she set up the charity for (Marilyn was diagnosed with cerebral palsy aged three and is still supported by the charity today) and the other is Wendy.

“Wendy did a skydive for them, which was what inspired me to do a skydive. Phyllis and Wendy have always been there.”

Hannah’s efforts have not gone unnoticed – she received the Individual Fundraiser of the Year Awards at the first Diverse Abilities Plus Thank You Awards this year, and in 2013 was given the Young Volunteer of the Year Awards at a ceremony by the Volunteer Centre.

“I’ve been involved for about five years, but I can see it going on forever, because I’m just so happy,” she says.

“I can see the charity making huge, huge differences to people’s lives. They need a lifetime of support and it’s a lifeline for many people.”

  • To find out more about Diverse Abilities Plus, visit