Energize along with six other partners* were successful in gaining Big Lottery Reaching Communities funding for a 4-year new project called the Inclusively Fit Project.
The project aim’s across the four years are as follows:
- Reduce social exclusion and health inequalities by raising awareness and opportunities for engagement within sports clubs and societies for people with disabilities in Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin
- Identify current exercise and sport provision for people with disabilities (mental and physical) in Shropshire
- Run a travel and equipment bursary for people with disabilities in Shropshire
- Raise awareness and find practical solutions for sports and social clubs throughout the county to make adaptations to facilities, and become more inclusive as a body with more accessible activities for people with disabilities
- Develop a buddy volunteer scheme to provide support to, and at events for, people with disabilities to attend and participate in
- Run sport taster sessions across the county for people with disabilities and clubs.
Social isolation for young people with disabilities people increases substantially after leaving education: young people can become isolated, with no peer support to help engage in sports or social activities. Coupled with Shropshire rurality making travel difficult, this can be a real problem.
The project aims to make sport and physical activity more accessible to people with disabilities, providing a web-based resource of what’s available, transport and equipment support, and most of all a volunteer buddy to go along with for the first few visits. We all know how difficult it can be walking into a gym or sports club for the first time; imagine how that must feel if you have disabilities and have no idea what facilities are available to you, or how people may react to you?
* Shropshire Providers Consortium, Shropshire Disability Network, Headway, Shropshire FA, South Shropshire Furniture Scheme, Shropshire Public Health