Get yourself active blog

North Tyneside Disability Forum invites you to Positive Pathways

Wednesday 31 May 2017

Positive Pathways provides an opportunity to people with health conditions and disabilities to build skills, overcome barriers, increase self-esteem, and move closer towards potential employment.

Participants access a 16 week course, including:

  • Accredited training (including retail skills, developing workplace skills, catering, administration, volunteering…)
  • IT skills
  • CV preparations
  • Travel training
  • Welfare and benefits information
  • Contact with local employers and vocations

After 10 weeks participants put learning into practice by taking up a work experience or volunteering opportunity for a minimum of a six weeks in each area such as:

  • Retail
  • Office administration
  • Catering and hospitality
  • Public Service
  • And many more

The next course begins Monday 19 June 2017.

Location: North Tyneside Disability Forum, Shiremoor Centre, Earsdon Road, Shiremoor, NE27 0HJ

Time: 10:00am – 1.00pm

To discuss the project further or book a place on the course please contact Amy Anderson, Volunteering Development Worker at or 01912008570. Visit the North Tyneside Disability Forum website.

More like this: Ever thought about being a gym instructor?

British Blind Sport and Birmingham Vision deliver ‘Have a Go Day,’ Birmingham

Tuesday 30 May 2017

British Blind Sport and Birmingham Vision are working in partnership to deliver a sports taster event for blind and partially sighted people in Birmingham on Thursday 22 June from 10am until 4pm as part of Birmingham’s Inclusive Sport Festival. The event is free of charge and open to anyone who is blind or partially sighted, providing an opportunity to try a wide range of sports.

Returning to the city from Saturday 17 to Sunday 25 June, the 5th annual Birmingham Inclusive Sports Festival will run a fantastic programme of sporting activities for those with and without disabilities to try alongside their friends and family members. To celebrate the event, British Blind Sport and Birmingham Vision are delighted to showcase visually impaired (VI) sport, offering anyone with a visual impairment the opportunity to try new activities with a multi-sport taster event. Confirmed activities for the day include: Football, Cricket, Goalball, Gymnastics, Judo, and more (subject to change).

 Alaina MacGregor, British Blind Sport CEO, said, “We are delighted to be able to provide these opportunities for the VI community to try different activities locally and find out what a positive effect sport can have on their lives.  Rio 2016 has no doubt sparked interest for many people and we hope that these events will provide new opportunities for those living with sight loss to see if sport is for them.”

Bernadette Dawes, CEO Birmingham Vision stated, “Birmingham Vision are proud to be working in partnership with British Blind Sport to put on Have a Go Days, to give people with a visual impairment a chance to try out different sports and hopefully discover a passion or hobby to pursue. Sport plays such an important part in the lives of many blind and partially sighted people and Have a Go Days ensure that more people will get an opportunity to experience some of the many things on offer.”

The British Blind Sport and Birmingham Vision Have a Go Day will take place at Queen Alexandra College, Birmingham, B17 9TG on Thursday 22nd June from 10am -4pm. Online registration is available on the British Blind Sport website:

For further details please telephone: 07929 356428 or email British Blind Sport also needs volunteers to help out at these events, so if you can spare some time to help the visually impaired and blind attendees enjoy the day fully, please get in touch.

For other events that may be going on near you visit our events page.


Ever thought about being a gym instructor?

Friday 26 May 2017

InstructAbility and Leicestershire Centre for Integrated Living are joining forces to offer free fitness industry training and qualifications for disabled and unemployed people.

Click on image to enlarge

You will be offered a three month industry work placement with community outreach to get more disabled people physically active. Gym placemnets in Leicester will be organised by LCiL.


  • Disabled and unemployed
  • 16 years + (no maximum age) with gym user experience
  • Can commit to all training dates and 3 month voluntary placement
  • Able to use own lived experience of disability and exercise to motivate and inspire others
  • Able to work at Level 2 (GCSE) theory standard
  • Willingness to undertake outreach activities in local community

All training will take place at Peepul Enterprise, Orchardson Avenue, Leicester, LE4 6DP. 

Selection & Enrolment: Monday 12th June 2017 9.00am – 5.00pm

Full attendance required for all Training Dates (approx. 10.30am – 4.30pm).
July: 03, 05, 07, 10, 12, 14, 17, 19, 21, 24, 26, 28, 31. August: 04, 21, 23, 25.
September: 01, 04, 06, 08.
October: 09


Placements are available at various gyms in Leicester. Placements will be decided after enrolment and will commence towards the end of training.

Register your interest online now at

Click here to view the LCiL Leicester 2017 course dates or view the flyer here.

Click on the image to enlarge

More like this: Aspire’s InstructAbility Programme in The Charity Awards 2017 Shortlist 

What is social care and how does it work?

Thursday 25 May 2017

The King’s Fund has pulled together a range of ‘bite-sized social care’ content to help explain social care in England. This includes a series of short videos on what social care is, how it’s provided and paid for, and how it works with the NHS and other services.

1. Bite-sized social care: What is social care?

What exactly do we mean when we talk about social care? In this video we look at what adult social care consists of, the responsibilities of local government in providing care, and the wider societal context.

2. Bite-sized social care: Who provides social care?

Social care is delivered by a wide range of organisations and professionals, and within families and communities. In this video we break down the numbers, and take a look at what people providing social care actually do.

3. Bite-sized social care: How is social care paid for?

Many people are surprised to learn that social care is not free at the point of use in the way that NHS care is. In this video we give an overview of how social care is funded.

4. Bite-sized social care: Social care, the NHS and other services

Adult social care is part of a complex system of services and support – including the NHS. This video explains the importance of different services working together to provide integrated care.

The King’s Fund has a number of useful resources that can help you to understand the complexities of Social Care. Visit their website for more information.

Are you a social worker? We need your support with health and wellbeing research. Find out more. 

Aspire’s InstructAbility Programme in The Charity Awards 2017 Shortlist

Tuesday 23 May 2017

The Charity Awards is the charity world’s longest running, biggest and best known awards ceremony. This year’s charities have been judged by an independent panel of charity leaders as having demonstrated outstanding best practice which other organisations can learn from.

Aspire’s InstructAbility Programme has been shortlisted in the Disability category and winners are due to be announced at a ceremony on 8 June. The scheme, delivered in partnership with YMCAfit and funded by Sport England, enables disabled people to become qualified fitness professionals. Instructors are then based in facilities across the country where they play a key role in getting others active and promoting inclusion across the fitness industry.

Julian Chislett, chief executive of Civil Society Media, which organises the Charity Awards, congratulated all the shortlisted charities on making the highly-coveted shortlist. He said:

“The standard of entries this year was incredible, and the charities we shortlist remain a constant inspiration to all of us.

“For 17 years the Charity Awards have been identifying and celebrating the fantastic work that UK charities do. Our rigorous judging process singles out those charities with the most innovative ideas and the most inspirational approaches to delivering maximum impact.

“We wish all the charities the very best of luck on the night.”

John Low, chief executive of Charities Aid Foundation, overall partner of the Charity Awards, said:

“CAF’s purpose is to support the amazing work of charities and it is always a huge pleasure to focus on their achievements at The Charity Awards.

“Nominees on the shortlist this year are examples of large and small charities at their very best.  They are truly leaders in their field innovating, supporting and helping people in communities across the UK and overseas.

“Recognising the incredible work undertaken by these charities reveals what an important difference they make to so many people’s lives and provides inspiration to everyone working within the sector.”

Hilary Farmiloe, InstructAbility Programme Manager at Aspire, said:

“We are enormously proud to be shortlisted for this prestigious award. We owe huge thanks to all our partners and funders for enabling our InstructAbility graduates to achieve such successful outcomes related to health, fitness, volunteering and employment.

“Through the, ‘Hallmarks of Excellence’, we have not just been judged on what we do, but also on how we function as a charity. To be an award finalist is therefore a great credit to everyone at Aspire, from project staff, through to senior leaders and the board of trustees.”

Related Article: Aspire announces GLL and LCIL as first partners to lead InstructAbility



Opportunity for disabled people to share thoughts and experiences about volunteering in sport and physical activity

Friday 19 May 2017

If you’re disabled and have volunteered in physical activity or sport, what would you have to say about it? Was it rewarding? Were there obstacles?

The English Federation of Disability Sport is keen to understand more about the experiences of disabled people who volunteer in physical activity and sports and have asked us, Revealing Reality, to find out. Your experience, good or bad, can help us improve opportunities and experiences for disabled people in volunteering. In particular, we’d like to know:

  • Why did you volunteer?
  • What role did you play?
  • How did you get into it?
  • What aspects were rewarding?
  • Were there any barriers/challenges?
  • Under what circumstances do you think disabled people are likely to volunteer?
  • Did the organisation do anything to support you as a disabled person? Could they have done?

Who are we?

We are Revealing Reality (formally known as ESRO), a social research agency based in London, UK. We do a lot of work that spans the design, charitable and service industries, including an end of life care project for Macmillan Cancer Support and a project around aids and adaptions for people living with arthritis for Arthritis UK. Our aim is to immerse ourselves in people’s day-to-day lives to try and understand what life is really like.

Given the personal nature of what we do, we are very sensitive to data protection and are committed to ethical rigor. We therefore abide by the codes of conduct of the SRA (Social Research Association), the ASA (Association of Social Anthropologists), the AQR (Association for Qualitative Research), and are currently regulated by the MRS (Market Research Society). Data from all respondents is anonymised. Full details can be provided on request.

Next Steps

If you’re keen to share, and you think you could spare some time to be interviewed (in person or on the phone), then please get in touch!

Tel: 020 7735 8040



Take part in Get Yourself Active’s research with the university of Birmingham and receive a £15 Amazon voucher.

Inclusive Latin and Ballroom dance classes launches in Central London

Friday 19 May 2017

Coming this June disabled people and friends/family members can learn how to cha-cha, rumba or samba as Step Change Studios launches their inclusive Latin and Ballroom dance classes in London. The classes will be at a lovely accessible space at The Abbey Centre, 34 Great Smith Street London SW1 3BU in Westminster. There will be 6 weekly classes every Saturday starting at 3.30-4.30 with a break for the summer then returning with regular classes from September. The launch class on 10th June is free. In consultation with participants there will be a review of the class format over the summer (for example whether people would like a longer class, different levels and so on).

Compared with commercial Central London providers’ rates, Step Change will only charge participants £9 per class.

For enquiries and booking:



Phone: 07976363861

So get dancing, get active….

Visit our information in your local area page to find out how you can get active near you.

Why horses are my therapy

Tuesday 9 May 2017

This week’s Personal Experience Blog comes from Britta Francis

Despite having complex medical problems, I have ridden a horse for most of my life. My spine has grown abnormally and twisted itself, which has resulted in my having multiple operations over the years. This has left me in a lot of pain, needing pain management and physiotherapy, which Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) helps me with. Of particular help was ‘hippotherapy’ which is physiotherapy on horseback. This has helped develop my core stability, posture and balance.

It was through my horse, Harry that I discovered RDA and was selected for their Regional and then National Championships. This gave me a true sense of pride and achievement, with rosettes, prizes, trophies and photographs as permanent lasting memories.

One of my highlights was spending just under a week at The Royal Bath and West of England Show as part of the British Horse Society ‘Pageant to the Horse’. Harry loved being centre of attention in the big main ring. Our bond was so strong that Harry was able to sense what was needed, right down to doing things like using his muscles differently when I lost my balance.

He was my reason to try and get up every day, even on the days when the pain, illness and fatigue were overwhelming, and everything was black.

Following on from this success, I went on to the British Dressage South West Para-Dressage Squad, progressing to not only riding for the south west of England, but for England as an entirety. I had professional support from nutritionists at Bath University, developing my body to ensure there was sufficient strength, both physically and mentally, to compete.

Unfortunately, I underwent traumatic spinal surgery in 2012, first needing to have my spine broken and then having it re-set with screws and rods. This coincided with Harry being put to sleep, which was devastating.

Not only did I suffer from enormous amounts of pain, but I also became increasingly reliant on drugs to manage this pain. I lost my independence, and without Harry, started to lose friends and contacts from riding clubs and teams.

During the following two years I had to undergo four spinal operations, one of which was emergency surgery. This meant I had to learn how to stand, walk, and go up and down stairs again after each of the operations.

Two years after my last operation I was able to get on to an equine simulator, available at Avon RDA. I spent about a year on the simulator and then was finally able to ride a ‘real’ horse again at Urchinwood Manor Equestrian Centre, which is Accessibility Mark Accredited.

I now ride for about half an hour, once a fortnight, which gives me a huge sense of achievement and enjoyment. Importantly, it also gives me the opportunity to socialise with like-minded people, and make new friends.

My focus for the future is to aim high and dream of competing once again.

About Riding for the Disabled Association Accessibility Mark

Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA), in partnership with the British Equestrian Federation’s (BEF) participation programme launched the revolutionary Accessibility Mark scheme with the aim of getting more disabled people to participate in riding.

Accessibility Mark status is awarded to a riding centre that has been approved by RDA following training and assessment. The close link with the RDA means that they offer continuous support to the establishment to ensure they provide a first class experience that aims to be hugely beneficial.

For more information contact Jacqueline Spouge or Tim Smith at TSM on 01724 784600.

There are currently 37 Accessibility Mark approved centres across the country. To find your nearest RDA Group or Accessibility Mark centre visit

Read Inclusion London’s new resource to help you understand why physical activity and sport should be on a Deaf and Disabled People’s Organisation’s (DDPO) agenda and the important role DDPOs can play in ensuring that local physical activity and sport becomes fully inclusive.

Disability Sports Coach Summer Festival

Saturday 6 May 2017

Disability Sports Coach invites you to save the date for their Summer Festival 2017

The festival is a free event for all disabled people. There will be 20 sports and activities, special guests, performances, partnership tour, raffles, prizes, live music, giveaways, and face painting.

When: 28 July 2017, 10am to 2pm

Where: Westway Sports Centre, W10 6EX

Watch last years highlights to see the buzz!

Interested but want to know more?

The Summer Festival 2017 is a free sports event for all disabled people, acting as an end of year celebration for all those that attend our Community Clubs in London. The day is open to any one even if you haven’t joined your local Community Club.

The event will have over 20 different sports and activities delivered by our partner organisations so you can find out about more opportunities to get active in your local area!

To Register…

To attend simply turn up! If you are an organisation and want to bring a group, please email Louis from Disability Sports Coach at to let us know.

For other events that may be going on near you visit our events page.

Metro Athletics Open

Thursday 4 May 2017

Metro Blind Sport welcomes athletes of all ages and experience throughout the UK to join them in their annual competition’s 41st year!

The morning Festival of Athletics will once again provide those new to the sport a wonderful opportunity to try out running, jumping and throwing in a fun and relaxed atmosphere, supported by Qualified Coaches. If you haven’t tried an event before and want to compete in the afternoon, or are looking to improve your performance this is the place for you.

The event takes place at Mile End stadium on the 17th June.  This is free and open to all ages and abilities for people living with sight loss.

For more information please click the link to the entry form to this years “Metro Athletics open” entry.

Find out what other events may be happening near you by visiting our events page.