According to research carried out by Sport England, almost half (42%) of disabled people are classed as inactive, which means they do less than thirty minutes of exercise a week. This rises to over half (51%) among people with complex disabilities.
At Sense, we are familiar with the disparities that exist and are working towards ensuring that no one is left out of life. There are so many physical, mental and social benefits to being active but unfortunately there aren’t the same opportunities available to people with more complex disabilities.
That’s why we’re excited to be launching a new three-year project, ‘Sense, Active Together’ building on our foundations of supporting people who are deafblind or have complex disabilities to be active, and aiming to reach another 2,500 people.
Thanks to an incredible £1.3million in funding from Sport England, this programme will aim to extend our sport and physical activity programme to more people in more areas of the country by providing opportunities for people to be active in their local communities.
Below are some more details about what we’re hoping to achieve with this new programme.
Expanding our reach
We plan to broaden the areas we work in, connecting with more people and organisations. This includes expanding our reach across London, South East, North, and the Midlands. We will appoint two additional sport coordinators in the East of England and the South West to work more closely with our services in those areas, and with the wider community who can also benefit from our programme.
Children & Young People Programme
We will work with our Children’s Team, exploring more opportunities for children and young people to take part in sport and physical activity broadening our reach to those under the age of 12 years old. We will work across the sports and education sector to upskill staff, and build confidence in the delivery of sport and physical activity so this is embedded from a young age.
Upskilling the Workforce
We will roll out our ‘Connecting Differently Through Sport’ workshop across the country, upskilling teachers, coaches, volunteers and staff to feel more confident in supporting and delivering sport and physical activity sessions to a wide range of individuals
We have piloted some pioneering initiatives including sensory sport, and sensory walks which aim to engage people with high support needs into activities in a way that is meaningful and engaging. It’s critical that no-one is left out of being able to lead an active life, and we will continue to work with colleagues to provide opportunities and environments that lead the way on inclusion.
What the people we support have to say
John France, 58, from Rotherham, has cerebral palsy and a learning disability. He recently started attending sport sessions provided by Sense.
“Making friends and seeing people gives me confidence. Sport sessions allow me to do that and it’s great.”John France
Franklyn is 25, deafblind and has cerebral palsy and epilepsy. He attends rock climbing sessions in North London!
“For Franklyn, the sessions have meant he has been able to develop a relationship with someone outside of Sense, a very trusting relationship with the instructor, he’s definitely gotten quite confident and it’s increased his strength.”Franklyn’s support worker, Suzanne
Sense TouchBase Pears support worker, Samantha, supports Amardeep who attends cycling sessions in Birmingham.
“I support Amardeep to access cycling in Solihull on a regular basis. Amardeep really enjoys cycling as it gives him a sense of achievement and pride that he is able to make choices of cycles to try. It makes him feel happy and free as well as building his stamina and allowing him to have some fun while doing exercise. He really enjoys that staff that support him are doing the same activity on the same level as him and having races with his peers.”Samantha