Registered charity no.299671
First Opportunities

Copyright © First Opportunities 2013 : Website Policy


An Independent charity providing therapeutic play and education for babies and young children with special needs


Our History

In 1974 Joan Turnbull, a local children's social worker, and a group of friends formed First Opportunities to provide respite care for children with special needs. Since then, the group has developed into a skilled professional team of key-workers providing therapeutic guided play to over 1,000 children from the New Forest and East Dorset.

The Benefits of the Group

Structured group play builds social confidence and challenges the child. Playing alongside children with similar problems encourages them to achieve more together.

Parents benefit from the mutual support of each other which can help contribute to a more relaxed home life.

How We Help Our Children

Each child is assessed at entry. An individual play programme is then devised. Periodic assessments lead to programme revisions to achieve the best outcomes. Play stimulates a child's physical and learning development and improves concentration in a happy, caring and fun filled environment.

Our Children's Conditions

Our key-workers help children with wide ranging physical and learning difficulties. These may be severe and complex.

Over the years, we have helped children with various conditions such as:

The Playroom Sensory Room Childrens Art Work

We support the Early Years Educational Funding Scheme for 3/4 year olds, funded by the Government. This offers 15 hours free education to all eligible children and can be split between 2 settings.

If a child attends First Opportunities and is eligible, we will claim this EYE funding for the hours the child attends the Group.

Please note that extra hours to our normal sessions can only be offered if financially viable.