Get Yourself Active Newsletter

Welcome to the latest edition of the Get Yourself Active newsletter.

This is Disability UK’s newsletter in which there’s a round up of what their Get Yourself Active team and partners have been up to during the month of October. Along with some opportunities, news and insight that we hope will be of interest. You’ll hear more from us next month!

“>A stylised image of a wheelchair user dancing is seen next to the quote "It brings home the truth that although things were getting better before the pandemic, Disabled people have been disproportionally impacted by the pandemic and continue to face more barriers than before"

Last week, Sport England, the arms-length body of government responsible for growing and developing grassroots sport and getting more people active across England, released their latest Active Lives Adult Survey. It spans the period from mid-May 2020 to mid-May 2021, including periods of national and tiered restrictions introduced to counter the coronavirus pandemic.

We want to lead change in the social care, health, and sport sectors, to improve health and wellbeing outcomes for Disabled people and help them to get active in a way that is right for them. With that in mind the Get Yourself Active team has dived into the report so you don’t have to, uncovering what the survey means for the many Disabled people who struggle to access sport and physical activity.

As Lydia Bone, Programme Manager at Get Yourself Active explains:

“The Active Lives survey from Sport England shows the continued widening inequalities for underrepresented groups, including Disabled people.

This report brings it home that although things were getting better before the pandemic, Disabled people have been disproportionally impacted by the pandemic and continue to face more barriers than before. It shows the continued importance of organisations working collaboratively to tackle these inequalities and the sports sector ensuring they are flexible in their approach.

It shows the necessity for co-production and working in partnership with Disabled people to increase opportunities and ensure that Disabled people are not left behind.”

You can read the full piece here


A stylised image of a woman doing a home workout - she is wearing active wear and has a band across her legs

We’re proud to have launched our Active at Home research this month. It is a report into the experiences of Disabled people and people with long term health conditions around getting active during the covid pandemic. The report focuses on learning the sport and leisure sector can take forward now restrictions have been eased, to ensure facilities are as inclusive and accessible as possible.

It shows clear barriers for Disabled people who wanted to be active during the pandemic – with self-isolating, the impact on health, the fear of contracting the virus, and concerns about social distancing the main barriers preventing activity.

The report is essential reading for those in the sport and leisure sectors. It provides key recommendations for anyone who providing activities to Disabled people. This includes the need to balance hybrid models with more sociable solutions. And that videos on the activities should be short, averaging 20/25 minutes where possible and need to be fun and varied in terms of exercises and fitness level, to keep them interesting.

Kamran Mallick, CEO of Disability Rights UK said:
“Our research clearly shows the barriers that Disabled people have faced when they try to get active. From worries about shielding to a lack of functional digital resources, the pandemic has only exacerbated these preventable barriers.

“Moving forward this report does need to be a wake-up call for the sports and leisure sectors. Disabled people have a right to resources, projects and activities that work for them. The idea that because something is online that it is accessible is false. More needs to be done to create engaging and rewarding solutions so that Disabled people can get active at home or in person. The learnings from this report must not be ignored.”

“I am proud to say that Get Yourself Active has used the report to guide the development of a variety of resources designed to help Disabled people to get and keep active at home during the pandemic and beyond. These should be a guide for any other organisation looking to do the same.”

Want to find out more? Click here

Image of two people reading whilst leaning back to back

Every month we ask our community to share their experiences of getting active in a way that’s right for them. Their thoughts on the latest news or what sport and physical activity mean to them.

We want to share their stories online to help raise awareness of the different ways of getting active. And help other Disabled people feel confident and empowered to take the first steps to a more active life.

In particular, this month, we have loved looking back at the last year of Tackling Inequalities Fund (now the Together Fund), with fantastic pieces by Elliot Watson and Anna Denham, who run the show here at Get Yourself Active.

We’ve covered so much more this month, including:

1. Luke Price, Senior Programme Manager – Healthy ageing at the Centre for Ageing-Better. Who discussed why older people need more support to get active and how we can all work to rid society of these preventable barriers.

2. Javier Monforte, a Postdoctoral Research Assistant at Durham University, analysed the importance of “meaning” in promoting of physical activity with Disabled people.

3. Roberto Sardelli, part of Get Yourself Active’s sounding board group, wrote a moving piece for us, about the misconceptions and barriers HE faces when getting active as a Disabled person.

We’ve covered so much this month, and you can access all our stories here.

In September, the Manchester United Disabled Supporter Association (MUDSA) hosted an event in the famous Stretford End of Old Trafford with a newly installed elevated viewing area for wheelchair users.

The result of an £11 million project improved the number of wheelchair user viewing areas and ambulant Disabled supporter seating across the stadium. The new area is situated in the roof of the Stretford End. A decision which was taken after the club asked Disabled supporters for their ideas on how to make the stadium more accessible.

The project has been welcomed, especially as Manchester United was among 13 premier league clubs criticised by the Equality and Human Rights Commission in 2017 for failing to provide minimum levels of access.

Finally, Disabled fans visiting Old Trafford now have a choice of where they can sit and view the game. Away wheelchair user fans have also been re-located as a part of the project.

You can find out more here

We understand that many of you may feel more comfortable getting active at home.If you haven’t already, make sure you check out our Active @ Home section on our website. We’ve recently added a range of new accessible content from Videos to Toolkits so you can get active in a way that suits you. The page also includes videos from some of our TIF partners. As well as this, we have pages dedicated to other resources, such as worksheets and downloadable resources. We want this page to always work for you. If there’s a resource you’d like to see more of – or you have a video of your own you think would be of interest to others in the community, please reach out to the team.