Get yourself active blog

Grow the Game 2018 – £1.5 million funding boost for grassroots football

Tuesday 20 February 2018

Grow the Game, which is delivered by the Football Foundation and first launched back in 2010, offers grants to grassroots football clubs that wish to create new teams.

This year, applications are being encouraged from clubs who want to start:

  • Women and girls’ teams
  • Disability teams

Grow the Game grants help to reduce the costs associated with starting new grassroots football teams by making £1,500 available for each that a club creates. Expenditure that the funding can help a club pay for includes: FA coaching courses; FA league affiliation costs; referees’ fees; first aid kits; and even football kit and equipment through a bespoke voucher.

The application window for Grow the Game application is now open and closes on Thursday 29 March. Clubs seeking more information on the programme should contact Sheffield & Hallamshire County (contact details below) or visit

Grow the Game is inclusive of players from different genders, ethnic backgrounds, faiths, ages, sexual orientations and those with disabilities. Applications that originate from, or provide for, underrepresented communities are being encouraged.

In addition, male teams of Under-17s-and-upwards that already exist will soon be able to apply for support from a new FA, retention-focused scheme called Retain the Game, which will offer £1m to successful applicants and launch in April. It will allow open-age male teams to apply for financial support to aid their continued participation in the game.

In other news: Independent Travel Training in Doncaster

World Champion Wheelchair Racer Sammi Kinghorn prepares for Commonwealth Games 

Monday 19 February 2018

Double World Champion wheelchair racer and Scottish Sports Personality of the Year 2017, Sammi Kinghorn, is currently preparing for her biggest challenge yet, the 2018 Commonwealth Games this April in Australia.

Sammi started wheelchair racing after suffering an accident that left her paralysed below the waist at 14. Whilst recovering, her physiotherapist recognised Sammi’s athletic abilities and encouraged her to try out some sports. Sammi said:

“I tried lots of sports at the Spinal Unit Games at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, and I discovered wheelchair racing, and immediately, that was me hooked.”

Sammi has since become an established name in wheelchair racing. She competed in Rio 2016, broke the world record for the 200m sprint, and became World Champion for both the 100m and 200m sprints. She’s now preparing to compete in the Commonwealth Games in Australia’s Gold Coast, with the aim to make it to the 1500m final.

In preparation for the games, Sammi has been training full-time; twice a day, six days a week:

“I’ve been mixing up gym work, track and rollers, and pushing on the road near Glasgow where I live. Everything has gone really well, and I’m happy with my placings for the Commonwealth.”

Sammi doesn’t see her disability as being relevant to her athletic career. She says,

“I still struggle when I am called “inspirational”, it is sport at the end of the day and I am chasing the same goals and dreams as those on the Olympic side!”.

Sammi will be competing for Team Scotland in the 1500m and Marathon race at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Australia in April. To follow Sammi’s journey, and read the full interview visit:

In other news: Meet Allie, the founder of a company which enables wheelchair users to access British hills and mountains.

Yorkshire Sport Foundation, Yorkshire LTA and the Tennis Foundation are looking to engage new audiences in tennis, whatever the format may be. 

Friday 16 February 2018

If you are a community group, club or project that would like to deliver an inclusive tennis session then we can help. It could be something new or an existing session where tennis can be introduced.

  • Up to £400 financial support
  • Inclusive tennis kit bag
  • Help and advice in setting your project up
  • For projects in South and West Yorkshire

For application guidance and a list of frequently asked questions, click here

To download the application form, click here

All the information and the application form can be found here:

If you are interested in supporting or creating an inclusive session that would involve individuals with learning disabilities then there may well be additional support available through either the Special Olympics West/South Yorkshire Networks.

Links to the application form and FAQs are above however if you would like to discuss individual project plans please feel free to contact James Cole, Yorkshire Sport Foundation, through email at or using by phone at 0330 20 20 280 or 07702 557008.

In other news: Take part in our research and receive a £15 Amazon Voucher

British Blind Sport announce National Youth Swimming Gala

Wednesday 14 February 2018

British Blind Sport are delighted to announce the National Youth Swimming Gala will take place on Saturday 5th May 2018 at Tudor Grange Leisure Centre, Solihull.

Hosted by British Blind Sport, this event has been held successfully for over 20 years and is the only VI specific youth swimming competition in the UK, always attracting participants from across the country. Open to all abilities whether you are a beginner or competitive swimmer come and have a go! Free entry for all blind and partially sighted children aged between 8 to 17 years old.

In addition to the main competition, this year BBS is excited to offer one to one or small group lessons for 5 to 7 years olds delivered by qualified coaches with experience of working with people with visual impairments.


Swimming events for freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, freestyle relay and medley relay 25m, 50m and 100m.

When and where

Venue: Tudor Grange Leisure Centre, Blossomfield Road, Solihull, Birmingham, B91 1NB
Date: Saturday 5th May 2018
Time: 2pm to 6pm

Get involved

To find out the latest information about the British Blind Sport Have a Go Days including dates, venues, sports and how to register for events, please visit the BBS Events page linked here.

Contact: Alex Pitts, Participation Officer
Telephone: 01926 424 247 or 07929 356428

To register, visit the Events page of the British Blind Sport website or click here.

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Download the PDF version of the poster here: Swimming Gala Poster 2018

Download the Word document information leaflet here: BBS Swimming Gala Information Leaflet 2018

In other news: Take part in our research and receive a £15 Amazon Voucher

How To Coach Disabled People in Sport in Rotherham 20 March 2018

Wednesday 14 February 2018

Due to the success of the course Active Rotherham ran in December and the subsequent demand for another course, another How to Coach Disabled People in Sport course has been booked in for March

Please find below information on a CPD course led by UK Coaching (previously SportsCoach UK).

Date: Tuesday 20th March 2018
Time: 6pm – 8pm
Location: Herringthorpe Athletics Stadium
Cost: £35 per person however there is funding to help subsidise the cost of the course for local clubs and organisations. To discuss this please get in touch with Michala Wild

Suitable for all coaches, this workshop aims to answer the commonly asked questions about disabled sports participants and it will show you how, with a few minor adjustments to the way you work, you can make your coaching more inclusive and effective and will cover how to include disabled people in sport, selecting appropriate coaching activities and how to make your coaching more inclusive and effective

This workshop is a ‘Minimum Standard for Active Coaches’ requirement for many governing bodies of sport. The ‘Minimum Standards for Active Coaches’ are seen as the basic standard every coach needs to meet to carry out their role safely and effectively.

You will receive a copy of How to Coach Disabled People in Sport workbook and a certificate of attendance.

If you are interested then please get in touch with Michala Wild as soon as possible as places are limited. Email Michala Wild at or call 01709 363 355 or 07584 174 912. Places are limited to 2 per organisations however more places may become available nearer the course date.

In other news: Check out our events page for more events that might be taking place near you


Freedom of the Hills

Tuesday 13 February 2018

This week’s Personal Experience Blog is brought to us by our friends at Cox Bank Publishing, a small specialist publisher focusing on writing about physical activity and sport – specifically people writing in their own words what getting active means to them.

We love this story of how the possibility of being confined to her wheelchair inspired Allie to found a company which enables wheelchair users to access British hills and mountains. You can see more at the Freedom Wizard website here.

Freedom Wizard on Latrigg in the Lake District

Sat deflated in a hospital bed, barely around from the anesthetic and I heard the words “I’m afraid, it’s bad news”. I guessed the words were intended for me and what was said following was not processed. It could have been the drugs or it could have been my powerful mind not letting me hear. The next day I was more coherent. I had no movement in my right leg after an 8-hour reconstruction surgery, but I thought that was normal. I’d had an epidural on top of the anesthetic, but as my left leg came back into order, there was no change in my right leg. I couldn’t move it or feel it at all. Then reality hit – a major risk of the surgery was damage to the nerves. I carried confidence as my left leg had already had the same surgery 12 months prior – but reality told me I’d suffered damage, and a lot of it. It was true, I had come round from surgery but my leg hadn’t.

I lay in hospital thinking and writing, writing and thinking for hours on end, day after day for weeks. On reading my words I began to see they were relatively positive. They screamed out my upbeat attitude and focussed on the ‘Now What Scenario’ – I instantly began researching how I can cope, what will I do; so rather than listing what I couldn’t do, I focussed on my outdoor sports.

The gym is my idea of hell. Despite never playing truant at school I went on to become a serial avoider of physio classes! From a young age, largely brought up in the Lake District surrounded by mountains and water, I definitely was an outdoor sporty lass.

Allie Pennington

The serenity of the fells, the stillness of the tarns, the banter in the mountaineering clubs were sounds and sights that have been my favourite from childhood until now. But then, how can someone in a wheelchair enjoy the sights in the fells and be included in the mountaineering clubs? It was difficult, believe me. Many clubs refused on insurance grounds for a wheelie to be included. The majority of routes excluded wheelies with the horror obstacle otherwise known as a stile. Camping barns and hostels are seldom accessible and tents seemed pretty much out of the question.

As you can imagine, a lot of thought processing went on and researching cost us a fortune in internet cards at the hospital. It was on day two that I realised there is very little, so I went about finding stuff and writing an action plan of where, when and how I could access sport in my chair. Motivation was key and I was determined to continue my life as an outdoors life.

And then….3 months on….my leg did something bizarre, it made me jump out of my skin! It started to move in a spasm, but soon after I was able to get some movement in my knee. I promptly returned to the surgeons who set up a daily physio session and I am proud to say I didn’t miss a single one. To witness the movement returning was amazing and I cried happy tears daily. I’m chuffed to say I have regained almost full movement in the leg but even after 18 months of no feeling I was able to walk again after training my brain to do more work.

It’s hard work to have to consciously think about moving your foot, lifting it up over rough terrain, and having to concentrate even more so after a drink or two, but I did it. My leg is working again and the wheelchair was an unnecessary aid along with the eight sets of crutches I’d ‘accrued’ over the years!

The fells were possible after about 6 months – gentle steps, and small steps over easy terrain but I got to be there again. My days of mountaineering were still a thing of the past with inadequate range to climb and lack of build to cover distances I once did with ease.

The haunting of the prospect of being confined to my chair for life never left me and never will. It’s hard not to reflect on life after a traumatic experience, so when I was looking to change my career I thought of mentoring others who are in a similar position. As a speaker, I had the gift of the gab and having run my own business, my contact list was comprehensive. However, speaking and mentoring just didn’t feel right for me but the name of Freedom Wizard had already been thought of. After weeks of making notes and journal entries I had that lightbulb moment. There it is…I’ll set up an organisation enabling access to rugged Britain…so I did! And now I can say that I’m the founder of Freedom Wizard and proud driver of a van transporting all terrain wheelchairs around the country. Within the first three months, I have given access to more than thirty adults with restricted mobility, received a minibus and an electric chair as a donation and connected many organisations that are supporting each other.

On reflection, my initial fear of being confined to a wheelchair has given rise to an opportunity to those adults who may not be as fortunate as me. The work with Freedom Wizard is rewarding and there’s so much more to be done with access and growth. The fear was harnessed and driven to the place I am now and whilst it was born out of a selfish need to meet my own intentions it has given rise to a unique organisation allowing those in chairs who crave the outdoors to enjoy it. So don’t be fearful of fear…harness its power!

Allie and Max on Latrigg

Take a look at Cox Bank Publishing to read some more wonderfully inspiring stories from disabled people, alongside stories from school children and non-disabled people.

If you want to feature on our Personal Experience Blog contact Kirsty Mulvey at

You’re invited to the Get Doncaster Moving Summit – 28 February 2018

Monday 12 February 2018

Are you a Doncaster club, community organisation, coach or volunteer with an interest in physical activity and sport?

The Summit is a FREE event and is your opportunity to find out about the exciting developments and opportunities to Get Doncaster Moving, and see how you can get involved. Please see the attached flyer for more information.

  • Date: 28 February 2018
  • Time: 5.30pm – 8.30pm
  • Venue: High Speed Rail College, Doncaster

You’ll have the chance to hear from Dr Rupert Suckling (Director of Public Health), Nigel Harrison (Yorkshire Sport Foundation), and Simon Wheatcroft, our local inspirational key note speaker. There will be workshops which you can attend during the course of the evening and a marketplace area for you to meet others with similar interests or to find out about other local initiatives.

Workshops available to attend are:

Communities Approach – Kathryn Mudge, Yorkshire Sport Foundation

Getting Doncaster Cycling & Walking – Clare Henry, Doncaster Public Health & Andy Maddox, Leisure Services Doncaster Council

Data & Insight – Rob Harvey, Doncaster Council

Dance – DARTS (Doncaster Community Arts) – “Find out how dance can have a positive impact on health and be an inclusive and motivating way of encouraging physical activity”

Book your FREE place

To book your place, please send an email with your name, organisation and two workshop choices to Places are limited, please reply by 14th February 2018 so you don’t miss out.

In other news: Doncaster Council have developed Independent Travel Training, an initiative to offer a young person training and support to travel independently between home and school or college.

Leeds Deaf Juniors Football Club

Monday 12 February 2018

Leeds Deaf Juniors Football Club is pleased to invite you to join their session for Deaf and Hearing-Impaired Children

Venue: Thomas Danby Sports Centre, Leeds City College, Roundhay Road, Leeds, LS7 3BG
Facility: Outdoor astro-turf pitch (1/3 of pitch)
Time: 10am-12 noon

A different topic will be covered each session.

Sunday 25 February – Shooting/Goalkeeping
Sunday 18 March – Developing passing
Sunday 22 April – Developing possession play
Sunday 13 May – Attacking/Defending

For more information click the image below or email or text Paul Young at or 07897 484879 (texts only).

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Download the PDF here

In other news: Coaching blind footballers course to be held in Leeds

Empowering Success with Accessibility Mark

Monday 12 February 2018

Seventeen-year-old Angel Dancy-Brock has seen her confidence blossom thanks to an Accessibility Mark riding school.

Angel has a visual impairment that means she only has approximately 25 percent vision in her left eye with no vision at all in her right eye. This causes Angel to feel unsettled and anxious in unfamiliar surroundings.

In addition to her visual impairment Angel also has a multitude of hormone deficiencies, which requires lots of medication, as well as Autistic Spectrum Disorder, meaning she needs constant supervision.

As a result of her complex conditions, Angel struggles with social interaction and can find it difficult to interpret people’s body language or feelings.

Having done a little bit of horse riding in the past with an RDA group, Angel’s mum, Corrisanne wanted to try and find an option that would be better suited to Angel’s needs.

Corrisanne then discovered Radway Riding School based in Warwick, which is an Accessibility Mark accredited centre, and she instantly knew it was a fantastic facility for Angel.

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

Angel now enjoys a weekly 45 minute private riding lesson that has seen her riding ability improve tremendously; this has also been matched with an increase in confidence that has enabled her to try other things that she would have previously shied away from.

Angel said:

“I love riding and my instructor is brilliant, really explaining everything so that I understand what she needs me to do. I usually have my lesson on a Monday and I am already starting to get excited on Sunday!”

Riding her favourite horse, Jojo, Angel hopes to improve her riding skills further and would even like to try her hand at stable management.

Corrisanne praised the bond that the staff at Radway Riding School has developed with Angel:

“The staff are really good with Angel, they are friendly and inviting and have a good understanding of how to communicate with her. This is a skill that not everyone has so I have been really pleased and encouraged by this.”

The aim of Accessibility Mark is to work in synergy with RDA groups to provide the most productive strategy for every rider. For Angel, riding at an Accessibility Mark centre offered a more significant level of independence, having never previously ridden off the lead rein.

“Since Angel started riding at Radway, they have instilled a new found confidence in her and she trusts her instructor and the horses. Angel is being empowered to succeed, this is all down to the commitment and hard work put in by her instructor for which I am truly grateful,” added Corrisanne.

There are currently 42 Accessibility Mark approved centres across the country.

To find your nearest RDA Group or Accessibility Mark centre visit

In other news: Get Yourself Active and the University of Birmingham want to find out what you think about how information about physical activity and sport is presented to disabled people. Take part in our research and receive a £15  Amazon Voucher.

Independent Travel Training in Doncaster

Monday 12 February 2018

Doncaster Council have developed Independent Travel Training, an initiative to offer a young person training and support to travel independently between home and school or college.





What is Independent Travel Training?
Independent Travel Training is a service that can offer a young person training and support if they want to learn how to travel independently between home and school or college. Travelling independently opens up social, educational and employment opportunities.

This service is provided by Doncaster Council at no charge to schools, colleges, parents or carers.

Who is Independent Travel Training for?

The training is for young people living in Doncaster who have a disability and/or learning difficulty and who attend school or college.

The programme is open to young people who meet the eligibility criteria for assisted travel to school/college.

Who can make a referral?

Parents/carers, Schools (Mainstream/Special or specialist units), Colleges, Special Educational Need and Disabilities Officers

 Training can help a Young Person gain:

  • Confidence using buses/trains
  • Road safety skills
  • The skills to travel to their school or college
  • The ability to plan and learn a route
  • The ability to handle money
  • Tips on who to ask for help
  • Personal safety skills
  • A foundation for the future

For more information contact:

Telephone: 01302 737214


In other news: If you are a Personal Health Budget holder and want to share your experiences, register your interest to take part in the survey which opens 1 March

The ‘Good Mood League’ is looking for committee members

Friday 9 February 2018

An exciting opportunity has arisen to join the committee for the ‘Good Mood League’.

The ‘Good Mood League’ is a flexible, inclusive, 11 a-side football league for teams with direct links to: NHS foundation trusts, Drug/Alcohol recovery services and homeless charities. The league is currently made up of 6 teams from various clubs and services from across South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and Derbyshire. The league’s aim is to provide players with the opportunity to compete in football regardless of socio-economic or health status. Inclusive football leagues can provide players with a sense of social status, community acceptance and independence.

They are now looking to recruit a completely independent committee which can support the further development of this league. Attached are the Job descriptions for: League Chairperson, League Secretary, League Treasurer and League Welfare Officer, you can also join the committee as an ambassador.

Please do not be put off if you are not a ‘football person’ as they really want to create a broad committee by engaging people from outside of football to share alternative expertise, specifically around mental health & inclusion.

If you are interested in any of the roles please get in contact with Sam Firth, Football Development Officer (Disability) at or call 0114 2615506 or 07376 109119.

In other news: Get Yourself Active and the University of Birmingham want to find out what you think about how information about physical activity and sport is presented to disabled people. Take part in our research and receive a £15 Amazon voucher.

Project Rugby Sessions

Friday 9 February 2018

Saracens Rugby Club are currently supporting five local rugby clubs in North London and Hertforshire in setting up disABILITY rugby at their club.

The disABILITY Rugby Sessions are for mixed abilities, Aged 16+. It is free to take part with participants and volunteers welcome to attend. The details for the sessions are as follows:

Fullerians RC – Tuesdays 18:30

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Harpenden RFC – Thursdays 18:30-19:30

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Hertford RFC – Wednesdays 17:30-18:30

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Mill Hill RFC – Thursdays 18:30-19:30

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Welwyn RFC – Thursdays 14:00-15:00

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For further information about any of the above sessions please contact Scarlett Cooper-Wall, disABILITY Officer at or call 0203 675 7278 or 07972 934294.

In other news: Get Yourself Active and the University of Birmingham want to find out what you think about how information about physical activity and sport is presented to disabled people. Take part in our research and receive a £15 Amazon voucher.

You are invited to the Sheffield City Council and Within Reach Celebration Event

Friday 9 February 2018

We would like to invite you to an event celebrating the partnership between Within Reach and Sheffield City Council, highlighting the work they have accomplished together over the last 17 Years.

The Charity Organisation Within Reach was established as ‘Our Year Too’ in 1989 just prior to the World Student Games by Mike Elliott.

Their aim is to assist more disabled people to access sport, stay in sport and fulfill their potential in the City of Sheffield.

Event: Sheffield City Council and Within Reach Celebration Event
Date: Tuesday 27 March 2018
Time: Arrive 9.30am  – 10.00am Depart – 2.30pm
Venue: English Institute of Sport Sheffield, Coleridge Road, Sheffield, S9 5DA
Age: All ages welcome
Cost: Free

Most of the coaches delivering are from local clubs, so they can promote their services and allow participants to explore the wealth and variety of sports and exercise available to them. This fun packed day is open to anyone with a disability, along with their families and carers.

The day will include activities such as:

Wheelchair Basketball, Dance, Racerunning, Cricket, Athletics, Football, Bowling, Golf, Boccia, Kurling and many other activities.

To book your place or any enquiries please contact Dawn Wood or a member of the Physical Activity and Sport Team at or call 01142  734266.

We look forward to seeing you there.


In other news: Get Yourself Active and the University of Birmingham want to find out what you think about how information about physical activity and sport is presented to disabled people. Take part in our research and receive a £15 Amazon voucher.

Vacancy: British Blind Sport are looking for a Book Keeper and an Office and Membership Administrator

Friday 9 February 2018

British Blind Sport are currently searching for a Book Keeper or Accounts Clerk one day a week and a full time Office and Membership Administrator to join their team

British Blind Sport is a national charity based in Leamington Spa who is committed to assisting blind and partially sighted people access sporting opportunities across the UK.

Full details of how to apply can be found on their website:

Book Keeper and Accounts Clerk

British Blind Sport are seeking an experienced Bookkeeper / Accounts Clerk to join their team based in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire.

The ideal candidate will have relevant experience, good IT knowledge and experience of using Microsoft office package (word/excel/outlook etc), must have experience of using Xero accounts online, be reliable, very organised and have a positive working attitude.  The majority of work includes the smooth running of the charity’s finances however the successful candidate will be expected to provide office administrative support when required.

Closing date for applications: 23 February 2018

Job Type: Part-time

Salary: £12.00 to £13.80 /hour

British Blind Sport Book keeper Job Description

Office and Membership Administrator Job Description

British Blind Sport are looking for an experienced office administrator to join their team.

The successful candidate will take responsibility for the smooth running of our small, dynamic office where your professionalism, initiative and office skills will be welcomed. You will have plenty of room to be creative and we are always open to new ideas.

Closing date for applications:  25 February 2018 at 12pm

Job type: Full-time, 37.5 hours per week

Salary: £18,500-£21,000 p.a.

Please note interviews are likely to take place on Friday 2 March 2018.

British Blind Sport Office and Membership Administrator Job Description

In other news: Take part in our research and receive a £15 Amazon Voucher

Rein & Shine Seeks Sponsorship to Offer Free Equine-Assisted Learning to Autistic Children

Thursday 8 February 2018

A North Wiltshire equestrian centre is seeking sponsorship to be able to hold an event offering free equine-assisted learning for autistic children.

Rein & Shine’s Hoof Club is running the event in support of the National Autistic Society (NAS), with the aim of benefiting the wider community on a not for profit basis.

The centre hopes to fund the event with the help of local companies with any profits being donated to the National Autistic Society.

Rein & Shine is an Accessibility Mark accredited centre, with a well-respected reputation for teaching disabled riders.

Proprietor Jo McDonald

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

This unique opportunity is offering 80 autistic children in the community a chance to experience the many benefits equine-assisted learning has to offer.

The free sessions will take place at Rein & Shine’s wonderful facility near to Swindon and will last around two-hours. The sessions will consist of 30-minutes of riding and a contact and care session lasting 45-60 minutes to include basic welfare and safety.

This free service is being provided via schools as, amongst other benefits, equine assisted learning is proven to be very therapeutic and educational to those on the spectrum. Whilst supporting the children, Rein & Shine is also hoping to raise funds for National Autistic Society.

Johanna McDonald, who owns and runs Rein & Shine with husband John McDonald said: “Horses can hugely benefit children with autism and we want to give them a chance to experience this help without any associated costs.”

“I have never seen a child with learning difficulties act negatively towards a horse or even the staff on the yard. They seem to become truly engaged and absorbed around the horses and their focus is phenomenal. It helps the children forget the number of challenges they must deal with daily as they become emerged in the equine activity of riding, grooming and care. Those that are nervous around the horses seem to conquer their fear incredible quickly and we see them become more resilient and less anxious. The levels of personal growth, concentration, confidence and even teamwork improves enormously,” continued Johanna.

Rein & Shine are holding an event offering free equine-assisted learning for autistic children

“Horses have been proven effective in creating an emotional healing bond and improving cognitive, language, motor and social skills. For many children, the bond developed with horses can help promote self-awareness in their everyday life which can give them the confidence to learn other skills outside of the equine world.”

A JustGiving page has been set up for anyone that would like to donate: and companies wishing to sponsor should get in touch with Rein and Shine directly.

If you have or know of a child educated in Swindon or North Wiltshire area that may qualify for this activity you should contact their school directly and ask them to get in touch with Rein & Shine: 01666 860068 |

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

There are currently 42 Accessibility Mark approved centres across the country.

To find your nearest RDA Group or Accessibility Mark centre visit


New Rhythm Moves session

Thursday 8 February 2018

Rhythm Moves is hosting a new exercise class in Cambridge for adults with learning difficulties and complex needs

What is it: Mindful relaxed sitting; seated Tai Chi exercises; create your own moves; drumming and group music.
When: Mondays 10.15am-12pm
Where: Arbury Community Centre, Campkin Road, Cambridge, CB4 2LD
Cost: £6 and Carers go free of charge and refreshments are included
Contact: or 07919 857617

In other news: Keep up to date with the Get Yourself Active project by signing up to our monthly newsletter

Free – Visual Impaired Sport and Physical Activity Taster Day Liverpool

Thursday 8 February 2018

You are invited to attend a Visually Impaired physical activity and sport taster day for blind and partially sighted people aged 8+

Adapted cycling for VI people

This is an opportunity for people with sight loss to try all the activities on offer. Following the day it is hoped everyone who attends enjoys the activities so much they will choose to continue to participate in one or more of the activities.

Date: Monday 14th May 2018
Age: 8 years and above
Venue for sports hall activities: Greenbank Sports Academy
Venue for junior swimming: St Vincent’s School
Venue for adult swimming: Lifestyles Austin Rawlinson leisure centre
Online registration for the day:

Word Only Poster: Visually Impaired Sport and Physical Activity Taster Day 2018

Word Poster with Images: Visually Impaired Sport and Physical Activity Taster Day 2018

PDF Poster: Visually Impaired Sport and Physical Activity Taster Day 2018

If you require more information please contact George Ferguson at, on 07970 637 687 or 0300 222 555.

In other news: Read Laura Turner’s blog about delving into the world of women’s blind football.

Personal health budget holders invited to share their experiences

Thursday 8 February 2018

If you are a Personal Health Budget holder and want to share your experiences, register your interest below: survey opens 1st March

People who are currently in receipt of a personal health budget or integrated personal budget (combining health and social care funding) are invited to share their experiences of a personal health budget in a survey being run by NHS England. Opening on the 1st March 2018 until 31st April, all survey responses will be anonymised and used to help improve how personal health budgets are offered in England.

The survey is being run on behalf of NHS England by an organisation called Quality Health. They have over 30 years’ experience of running NHS surveys and have the necessary data protection and data security accreditation.

Please register your interest or share the link below with people who would be interested in taking part in this survey:

In other news: Take part in Get Yourself Active research and receive a £15 Amazon voucher

Coaching Blind Footballers Course to be held in Leeds

Thursday 8 February 2018

A Coaching Blind Footballers Course is being held at Middleton Leisure Centre in Leeds on Saturday 10th March 2018, 9:30am-5pm

Laura Turner playing Blind Football


If you or somebody you know is interested in attending, the course costs £35 and covers both theory and practical elements. By the end of the workshop each participant should be able to meet the following outcomes:

  • Gain a greater understanding of the game in the context of the FA’s LTPD model
  • Apply and extend existing coaching skills and experience to meet the needs of blind footballers
  • Establish effective communication skills when coaching blind footballers
  • Identify appropriate and safe methods of supporting and working with blind footballers
  • Recognise the need to deliver relevant coaching sessions to effectively meet the developmental needs of the blind footballer
  • Gain an understanding of the different components of the game
  • Understand the characteristics blind footballers require to perform at a performance level of the game
  • Recognise the Player Pathway and competition structure available for blind footballers.

Please follow this link to find more information on the Coaching Blind Footballers course

If you have any questions or queries then please do not hesitate to contact Colan Leung, Disability Football Development Officer, West Riding County Football Association at or Tel: 0113 282 1222 (Option 3) or Mob: 07540 127683.

Like what you read? Read Laura’s blog as she delves into the world of women’s blind football.

CP Sport wants you to join then at their fun-filled events

Tuesday 6 February 2018

Over the next few months, CP Sport want you to join them at their upcoming events.

Racerunning taster event

17 February 2018

The sessions are an opportunity for anyone interested in RaceRunning to come along including participants, parents, coaches, physiotherapists and representatives from athletics clubs to try the sport, see how the RaceRunners work and how to coach RaceRunning.

Find out more

Discover disability gymnastics

10 and 17 March 2018

Discover disability gymnastics taster day: We are working in partnership with British Gymnastics and Limbpower to deliver two disability gymnastics taster days. The days will give you the opportunity to experience gymnastics and meet new people.

Find out more

Frame Football Development event

18 March 2018

The days provide the Frame Football Strategic Group along with players, coaches and parents with the opportunity to develop the rules, equipment and coach CPD involved with developing further the beautiful game.

Find out more



National Swimming Championships

25 March 2018

The National Swimming Championships 2018 take place Sunday 25th March 2018 at Harvey Hadden Sports Village, Nottingham.

The 2018  National Swimming Championships are kindly sponsored by Nottingham Trent University and we thank them for their kind support.

Find out more



CP Sport Athletics Series – Kingston upon Thames

07-08 April 2018

The first of Cerebral Palsy Sport’s Athletics Series for 2018 will take place on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th April 2018 for track, field and RaceRunning athletes. The event is being organised in partnership with Cerebral Palsy Sport, Kingston Athletics Club & Polytechnic Harriers and Surrey County Athletics Association.

Find out more



In other news: Read Danny’s blog, ‘Being physically active has given me back a life worth living

Achieving Inner Greatness with Accessibility Mark

Tuesday 6 February 2018

At the end of 2017, Hall Place Equestrian Centre based in Reading gained its Accessibility Mark accreditation.

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

Hall Place was delighted to receive this recognition.  Riders with special behavioural and physical needs have been riding at the centre for over 35 years and the Tilehurst RDA Group ride at Hall Place weekly.

The instructors are enthusiastic and dedicated with great client empathy – Kate Turner, Head Coach, and Ruth Chance, Assistant Coach have 25 years of experience between them and are complimented by the Hall Place team of instructors and yard staff who tailor training to rider needs.

Hall Place Livery Owner, Lindsey Stevens said: “Every child has an inner greatness and finding that greatness is one amazing adventure! Daisy, one of our riders was born at 24 weeks weighing just 1lb3oz and amongst many other diagnoses Daisy has Autism.  She faces many difficulties daily but what makes her smile, what makes her flourish and beam with confidence, what makes her concentrate and access learning with a different approach – horses!”

Katherine Cooksley, Grade III para-dressage rider, trained at Hall Place as a child and went on to be part of the UK Sport National Lottery funded World Class Programme podium potential squad.

“When I was 21 months old I got Pneumococcal Meningitis with Septicaemia, which caused a hemiplegia resulting in significant left sided weakness. In addition, I had to have amputations to my middle three fingers on both hands and have impaired hearing and loss of binocular vision.

“I started riding at the age of four as a form of therapy, because I was very weak through my left side and needed to build strength in my body. I rode at a private stables and I went around the countryside on the end of a lead rein. After about two years I decided I wanted more of a challenge, so I moved to a local riding school, Hall Place, where I was able to ride in group lessons off the lead rein, which I thoroughly enjoyed! Over the next couple of years I managed to move up groups and discovered jumping.

“This was great fun and, having no fear, I went into the jumps very fast which had my instructors worrying. My favourite pony at this riding school was Dexter who was the cheekiest, most mischievous pony going, and best of all he liked going just as fast as me. I learnt to love horses during this period and it became clear they were going to be part of my future.”

Last summer Sarah Kelly’s daughter Georgia was joined by her friends for a Hall Place Pony Party after some one-to-one riding lessons: “My little girl has various special needs, including hypermobility and visual impairment but nothing has held her back from falling in love with a pony!

“Thank you KJ and Ruth for being so lovely and patient!  I cannot praise Hall Place enough for giving my little girl the opportunity to learn to love horses. Without their knowledge, patience and expertise I very much doubt I would have seen such a beautiful sight and the biggest smile ever!”

To find out more about riding at Hall Place contact reception 0118 9426938 or visit

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

There are currently 42 Accessibility Mark approved centres across the country.

To find your nearest RDA Group or Accessibility Mark centre visit

In other news: Paid opportunity: Recruitment for smart home technology research for Citizens Advice

Paid opportunity: Recruitment for smart home technology research for Citizens Advice

Monday 5 February 2018

Citizens Advice have commissioned OPM Group to conduct research with a range of people to understand their knowledge, perceptions and needs around Smart Home technologies.

As part of the research, OPM want to understand what people see as the benefits and risks of these technologies and what protections they would hope/expect to be in place. This research will help to inform the work of Citizens Advice in developing/advocating for a consumer-focused framework for the wider introduction of such smart technologies in the future. CAB have done considerable work regarding the smart meter roll-out, and how that affects vulnerable groups, and are now exploring other smart technologies beyond the smart meter. You can have a look at one of their reports here.

As independent researchers, it is particularly important to them that they get as many views as possible, which is why they are reaching out to you to collaborate in delivering a research workshop. People with physical or sensory disabilities who live in their own homes are likely to be an important target group for smart home technology providers, so we think this is an excellent opportunity to give them a voice into the matter. The workshop is designed to ease people into the information and will be discussion based. It aims to enhance participants’ knowledge of new and existing smart home technologies, and allow for discussion of the benefits and concerns that participants feel are attached to these products covering topics including: usability, data and privacy and interoperability (how the technology should work together) and what they think would (and what they think should) happen when something goes wrong.

The workshops will last no longer than 3 hours and should be very informative and a lot of fun. They will even have some examples of smart tech with them – including a smart kettle!  They will be able to compensate you for your support in hosting the workshop and helping them recruit participants. They also have financial incentives for the participants themselves.

Please get in touch with Viviana Mustata at or 0207 239 7833 if you may be able to help them or if you have any further questions.

Please note that the workshops will be taking place in London.

In other news: CQC Tell Us About Your Care project extended


You are invited to Sporting Saturday in Peterborough

Monday 5 February 2018

On Saturday February 24th Inspire Peterborough, Disability Peterborough, The Mobility Aids Centre, Amilly Fitness, Oak Activities and friends are taking over the Peterborough Cresset for the biggest disability sporting event Peterborough has ever seen! Better yet, it’s 100% FREE.

Whether you’re coming to meet the Mayor, get disability advice, the chance to win Olympic-style medals or try our many sports activities you’ll be in awe at the many things available to you.

Did we mention that we’re holding a raffle on the day that could see you walking away with include a BRAND NEW SPORTS BIKE, a signed Manchester United football shirt, Peterborough United football goodies and some amazing prizes for Peterborough, Hampton’s Serpentine Green Shopping Centre.

The details

Date: Saturday 24th February 2018

Time: 11am to 4pm

Tickets: Book for free here

Who Can Come?: EVERYBODY! This is an all-inclusive event

Have We Done This Before?: This will be our 5th and BIGGEST Sporting Saturday

Will you be back?: We have already secured a date for Sporting Saturday 2019, but we want you to enjoy 2018’s first.

Will there be medals?: We will be playing an Olympic-Style ‘Bingo’ with sports/activities to secure a medal to take home with you.

Will there be prizes and goodies?: See below

Media Goodies: OnTrack Magazine will have several hundred copies available for you to take for free.

The Raffle

  • A signed/autographed Premier League Manchester United jersey/kit/shirt. WOW!
  • £250 Serpentine Green Vouchers – These can spent where and how you want in the centre
  • A brand new bike
  • A signed and boxed Peterborough United shirt
  • Football signed by Peterborough United Football Club
  • X2 tickets to any Peterborough United match
  • Family ticket for a selected Peterborough United match
  • 4 tickets to The Cresset’s March Comedy Night, with a meal in their restaurant/pub included
  • A family meal at Sub Xpress in Serpentine Green- Up to the value of £50

Activities, Sports & Games

Archery, Darts, Cricket, Basketball, Football, Rowing, Gym, Special Olympics, Boccia, Seated Exercise, Sledge Hockey, Live Video Link Sports, Dance, Zumba, Boxing, Martial Arts, Tai Chi, Invictus Bowmen and much, much more.

VIPs and Special Guests

The Mayor of Peterborough, Gillian Beasley, Fiona Onasanya, John Holdich, Megan Horner-Smith, athlete Alice Mason, a Mermaid (yes you did read this correctly) and others to be revealed soon.

Stay tuned to the Inspire Peterborough Facebook page for information in the build up to this amazing event. We’ll let you know of all the changes, additions and must-know news. Everyone is welcome and the event is to showcase the wealth of inclusive and disability sport available in Peterborough for people with disabilities, their families and carers.



In other news: Read Danny’s story, ‘Being physically active has given me back a life worth living’

Yorkshire Sport Foundation Coaching Bursary Application Process is still open until Friday 16 February

Friday 2 February 2018

Yorkshire Sport Foundation has opened a new bursary for those wanting to get into coaching in 2018.

The coaching bursary is open to anyone living and coaching within South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire and applicants can apply for £100 towards the cost of their qualification. Qualifications can be anything up to and including a level 2. All recipients should be either adding capacity to existing sessions or creating new sessions.

All applications should be completed through this link:

If you require a paper copy please get in touch with James Cole, Development Officer at or 0330 20 20 280.

The closing date for applications is Friday 16 February. Following the closing date all successful applicants will be notified and payment will be made upon booking confirmation for the relevant course, this should be completed by 31 May 2018. All qualifications should be completed by March 2019.

If you have any questions please contact Becca Gallagher – or 0330 20 20 280


New Turn Up and Play Centre opens in Leeds for disabled females under the age of 16

Friday 2 February 2018

West Riding County FA in partnership with Leeds United Foundation are running a new Turn Up and Play Centre for disabled females under the age of 16.

The turn up centre will create new opportunities for women with a disability to get involved with football as there is currently no provision for this in the West Riding area.

Sessions will take place 3:30pm-4:30pm at West Riding County Football Association, Fleet Lane, Woodlesford, Leeds, LS26 8NX on the following dates:

Free of charge:

Friday 9th  March
Friday 16th March

£3 per session:

Friday 23 March
Friday 30 March
Friday 6 April
Friday 13 April
Friday 20 April
Friday 27 April.

Players need to fill out the Player Registration Form and Diversity Monitoring Form and bring them along to their first session or email themto Colan Leung at If you have any other questions please contact Colan.

Players who attend both FREE sessions will receive 2 x FREE Leeds United Tickets. Free tea and coffee will be available to everyone.


New Turn Up and Play Centre opens in Leeds

Friday 2 February 2018

West Riding County FA in partnership with Leeds United Foundation are running a new Turn Up and Play Centre for disabled females over the age of 16.

The turn up centre will create new opportunities for women with a disability to get involved with football as there is currently no provision for this in the West Riding area.

Sessions will take place 1pm-2pm at West Riding County Football Association, Fleet Lane, Woodlesford, Leeds, LS26 8NX on the following dates:

Click to enlarge

Free of charge:

Friday 9th  March
Friday 16th March

£3 per session:

Friday 23 March
Friday 30 March
Friday 6 April
Friday 13 April
Friday 20 April
Friday 27 April.

Players need to fill out the Player Registration Form and Diversity Monitoring Form and bring them along to their first session or email themto Colan Leung at If you have any other questions please contact Colan.

Players who attend both FREE sessions will receive 2 x FREE Leeds United Tickets. Free tea and coffee will be available to everyone.

In other news: Read Danny’s blog, ‘Being physically active has given me back a life worth living


Nottingham RaceRunning Taster Sessions

Friday 2 February 2018

RaceRunning is a sport being developed by Cerebral Palsy Sport in England.

If you rely on sports aids for mobility and balance this activity is for you

Click to enlarge

When: Saturdays 3rd, 10th and 17th February

Time:  10am–12pm

Venue: David Ross Sports Village, University of Nottingham Beeston Lane, Nottingham NG7 2RD

Cost: Each session costs £5 per person, places limited to 10 at each session.

The sessions are suitable for all levels of ability, children and adults with cerebral palsy or a physical disability.

For registration and other information

In other news: Read Danny’s blog, ‘Being physically active has given me back a life worth living

New – Female adult disability football sessions

Thursday 1 February 2018

We are pleased to confirm that in Staffordshire there will now be 2x Female Adult Disability football sessions taking place across the county for ladies aged 16+ with a disability to take part in fun football activities/ games.

Over the last few years disability football in Staffordshire has continued to grow with there now being opportunities for both adults and youth players to take part in a range of mixed football activities across the county from recreational football and grassroots through to the disability talent pathway. However although we have a number of females taking part in mixed sessions, we are now looking to develop female only opportunities starting with Turn Up & Play sessions with an aim of creating female only teams for those that wish to take part in friendly and competitive matches in the near future.

Please see below details regarding new sessions starting soon:

  • Port Vale Ladies

    Click to enlarge

Start Date Thursday 15th February 2018
Day Thursdays
Times 6.15pm-7.15pm
Venue Port Vale FC Academy Sports Hall, ST6 1AW (Indoor)
Cost £2.50
Contact PVFC Foundation Trust 01782 757066
Further Information Please see the flyer below for further details regarding the session


  • Whych Ladies

    Click to enlarge

Start Date Monday 5th February 2018
Day Mondays
Times 5.30pm till 6pm Ladies Only, 6pm till 7pm Mixed
Venue Stafford College Sports Hall, ST16 2QR (Indoor)
Cost £2.50
Contact Debbie Kent 07387200956          Further Information Please see attached flyer for further details regarding the session


If you have any questions regarding the above sessions, please contact Gemma Turner, Football Development Officer (Disability) on 01785 279828 (Ext 208) or Mobile: 07495678661 or email Alternatively get in touch with the relevant contact for each session on the flyer.


WheelPower invites you to join its Primary Sports Camp

We are looking for local authorities to collaborate with

Wednesday 31 January 2018

We are looking for local authorities (adult social care and public health) to collaborate with.

Disability Rights UK is working with local partners to increase opportunities for disabled people to get active through working with social care, health and public health colleagues across the country.

Sport England have funded the Get Yourself Active project for the last three years to build relationships across disabled peoples organisations, social care, health and the sport sector. We have made particular progress in improving outcomes for people in receipt of personal budgets and we are working towards demonstrating the impact of this on level of service use. Essentially, we believe that we can show that as a result of better approaches to knowledge and information about physical activity, people will start to use public services differently.

We have just announced that our project has been extended by one year starting from February 2018. In year four we would like to find areas with an interest in exploring this approach so that we can share our evidence base and models of practice as well as measure the impact of this.

Please do get in touch with Leanne Wightman at if any of the above interests you.

Save the Date: I Can Make a Pledge

Wednesday 31 January 2018

You are invited to the I Can Make a Pledge event on Tuesday 20 March 2018 to help celebrate the end of the first phase of the I Can Make It project, led by Disability Rights UK and funded by Comic Relief

Date: Tuesday 20th March 2018
Time: 10am start followed by networking lunch; optional afternoon workshops
Venue: Financial Times Office, One Southwark Bridge, London, SE1 9HL
Cost: Free of charge

The I Can Make It (ICMI) campaign by Disability Rights UK will come to the end of its first phase, funded by Comic Relief, in March 2018. The campaign was launched to create job opportunities for young disabled people by generating social value in the procurement of public services. See our website for more background information on the campaign

With the help of our Champions, all of whom are young disabled people, we have made significant progress to date. We’ve supported procurement teams and commissioners in several local authorities nationally with their social value policies and processes; met with MPs, Councillors and Mayors to gain political support; and we’ve evolved to offer support in social value to corporate businesses. We’ve left almost no corner of England untouched, having met with local authorities in the southwest through to the northeast…and that was just one week of the campaign! Our Champions have also progressed, gaining knowledge, confidence and skills.

The event:
All of this is fantastic and a credit to our Champions, but what really matters now is creating real jobs for real people. Until we see more young disabled people gaining and keeping employment as a direct result of the campaign, we won’t have achieved our desired outcome. The “I Can Make a Pledge” event is intended to bring together all the
friends we’ve made so far – in addition to inviting some new friends – as we come to the close of this first phase. We are asking all of the local authorities and businesses to either pledge a specific number of jobs for young disabled people, or pledge to make it a requirement of some of the services that they contract. We’ll be asking Mayors and Councillors for a pledge of more political support. Pledges can be made in advance of the event (see details below), or on the day. How and what you decide to pledge is up to you, but we will support you with your aims. The event will also be a fantastic opportunity to meet our Champions, chat to the ICMI and Disability Rights UK team, make new contacts and discuss ideas on getting more young disabled people into employment. We will also have some fantastic guest speakers. An agenda will be sent to confirmed guests nearer the time.

Please put the date in your diary now but above all, have a think about what your organisation can do to give young disabled people an opportunity to participate in your workforce. You can e-mail us anytime with your pledge or any queries at: or call us on 0207 250 8180

Formal invitations will follow in the New Year – please either share this message, or let us know of anyone else who you think may be interested in attending.

Disability Rights UK extends its thanks to The Financial Times for kindly hosting this event for us.

‘Being physically active has given me back a life worth living’.

Tuesday 30 January 2018

This week’s personal experience blog is written by Danny.

I wasn’t always a sporty person but when I was fourteen I took part in school rugby tournaments. Rugby led me to weight training which quickly took over and became my passion. I realised quickly that it was because the results were all down to me. I used the gym religiously with my training partner, and even came in third in an amateur body building contest in 1995. I had high hopes of further progression having found my ‘thing’; sadly it wasn’t to be.

My life changed between 1995 and 2013 when I experienced some mini strokes and kidney damage. I was diagnosed with a condition called Antiphospholipid Syndrome (Hughes Syndrome/APS or ‘sticky blood’) which is an autoimmune condition that causes the blood to clot. This affected my fine motor coordination, particularly in my hands and it caused me to temporarily lose the ability to talk.

After a long stay in hospital and rehab I started to manage my condition. I slowly got back to a new normal although my adjustment to my impairments was not without some difficulties. I naively thought I could pick up where I left off with the gym, but soon found out I would need to relearn some old habits because of my loss of coordination and other issues.

I was initially in denial when I thought about my attitude and ability to take part in sport. I felt I could just get past my condition and go back where I left off. I decided I’d try something different instead, so learned martial arts – not the smartest move when on blood thinners.

During the Christmas period of 2012 I came down with what I believed to be a bug/flu-type illness. I collapsed on my landing and next thing I remember I was in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. The next two-three months were a blur, bouncing from neurological ward to a high dependency, intensive care unit. My APS had become an extremely rare catastrophic type (CAPS) which means several organs are directly impacted in very quick succession.

I lost my balance, coordination and speech and I still suffer from this today. My balance was so bad I couldn’t sit on a bed initially without toppling over or falling off. I felt very frustrated as to why I couldn’t now function as I did.

Day to day things felt impossible and were often terrifying. I had to learn the things I’d taken for granted most of my life all over again.

I was pleased to learn my physiotherapy could start after weeks on the neurological ward – finally I’ll be doing something physical again! Not so. My early rehab consisted of attempting to pass a sponge rugby ball around my waist back and forth… easy! Or so I thought.

I was very fortunate to go to a brain injury rehab unit to relearn some of these functions. I often say the hospital saved my life but the rehab unit gave me a life worth living. I felt I owed it to the staff and myself to achieve everything I could there. I cried when I met the rehab consultant begging him to give me a chance as I didn’t want to live trapped how I was.

I was sure I’d just go straight back into judo, as it gives me focus and an aim. I even did a group talk on judo at the rehab unit as my personal project exercise. The reality was however that I couldn’t sit, stand, walk or do anything particularly coordinated, just small things.

I wanted to get back into physical activity and sport because I always felt throughout that it wasn’t my time to go, that I had things I wanted to do. I felt cheated by my situation, not achieving what I felt I was capable of.

My competitive nature had stayed with me throughout and I knew early on that my ‘job’ was now my recovery and this was an investment in myself. Progress was slow but I did what I was taught and asked to do – and more – because I knew I’d only get out what I put in.

At the moment I do a balance of physical activities. I initially got back into swimming because I felt safe in the water and couldn’t fall over and hurt myself there. I progressed to attending the local council gym and using the exercise bike there. I get support from a brilliant support worker who helps me set and achieve my goals. One of those goals was to take part in a studio cycling (spinning) class within a few months – which I achieved and am very pleased with.

I am back regularly in the gym now and am aware of which exercises I can do now when switching between work stations. I also practice Tai Chi which I now hugely enjoy.

On discharge I managed to find a fantastic local teacher for one-to-one lessons who also had experience of brain injury. I still attend now and the progress it has made to my day-to-day life is massive. I can now stand upright without leaning with my back against the wall and i’m no longer experiencing violent twitches. I’ve learned so much about myself and have become much more self aware.

These three activities, Tai Chi, gym and spinning, make me ‘tick’ and I love them equally. I’ve learned about and appreciate the balance in what I now do.

My advice to other people who may find themselves in similar situation is that you should find and do something you enjoy first and foremost or you won’t stick with it. Being consistent is the key, be it healthy eating or exercise. So many people start something because they read or are told it’s good, often never enjoying it then quickly dropping out. If you enjoy it you stand a chance of sticking with it.

Being physically active has given me back a life worth living. During severe illness I complained all the time that I’d looked after myself, ate well, kept fit yet this had happened so what was the point? I remember a nurse, probably sick of my complaining, simply said to me, “Have you ever thought you might not still be here if you hadn’t?”

I stopped there and then. The ‘woah’ hit me and I just got on with it.

I’d tell anyone to take part in something they enjoy doing. If you are lonely maybe join a team or club. Sport has a way of boosting people up, it’s often social, and if you stick with whatever it is long enough you will learn something about yourself. I know. I have.

If you want to be featured on our personal expereince blogs then email

CQC Tell Us About Your Care project extended

Monday 29 January 2018

Disability Rights UK is pleased to announce the extension of our work with the Care Quality Commission as part of their ‘Tell Us About Your Care’ partnership.

Michael Paul from Disability Rights UK said:

“It’s vital that disabled people and those with long term health conditions can share their experience of using not only specialist services but also GP surgeries, dentists and the like. The partnership with CQC, who regulate these services, will ensure more disabled people are able to do so.”

The CQC website can be accessed here, and you can also provide direct feedback to the CQC on your experience of using any of the services they regulate.

NB please remember to select Disability Rights UK in the ‘how heard’ section!

Good Care, Poor Care. Tell us now

Good Care, Poor Care. Tell us now

We're working together to ensure health and social care services in England provide you with high quality care so tell us about your care.

We’re working together to ensure health and social care services in England provide you with high quality care so tell us about your care.

Take part in our research about how disabled people think about physical activity and receive a £15 Amazon voucher.

We have moved!

Thursday 18 January 2018

Our new address is:

14 East Bay Lane,
Here East,
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park,
E20 3BS.

Registered Charity No.1138585.
Company No. 07314865.

How to find us:

Free shuttle buses run from Stratford underground, train and bus stations from 7am to 10.30pm. There are two pickup points for the shuttle bus:

  • Bus stop E outside Stratford International
  • Bus stop X just opposite Stratford City bus station

Find out more on the Plexal website

General enquiries

Office Number: 0330 995 0400

This line is not an advice line.





Media enquiries

07590 929441 (this number is for journalists only, it is not an advice or enquiry line)
Calls cost 10p to 20p per minute from a landline and 3p to 55p per minute from a mobile

Website enquiries


Social media

Here East Press Centre (Plexal is in this building) 

Here East Press Centre (Plexal is in this building)

Free shuttle buses run from Stratford underground, train and bus stations from 7am to 10.30pm. 

Free shuttle buses run from Stratford underground, train and bus stations from 7am to 10.30pm.

WheelPower invites you to join its Primary Sports Camp

Monday 15 January 2018

You are invited to WheelPower’s Feel Inspired Primary Sports Camp on Saturday 10th February at Stoke Mandeville Stadium.

Passionate about sport? Want to try something new? Why not join WheelPower for their Feel Inspired Primary Sports Camp running on the 10th February at Stoke Mandeville Stadium. Get active this winter, for more info see: or contact us on 01296 395995 or

If events like these are of interest to you, or you want to find out about disability sport opportunities in your area, then sign up for their FREE newsletter and receive updates straight to your inbox.

Like what you read? Sign up for the Get Yourself Active newsletter to receive updates and information on how you can get active.

Women’s Blind Football

Wednesday 10 January 2017

We revisit the latest stage of Laura Turner’s physical activity adventures, as she delves into the world of women’s football

What is blind-football?

A blind-football team is made up of 4 players and a sighted goalkeeper.

All players must wear eye-shades and the ball contains loose ball-bearings allowing players to locate the ball when moving.

Blind-football is currently a Paralympic sport and the International Blind Sports Association (IBSA) supports and organises tournaments throughout the world.

What are the benefits of blind-football?

Not only does blind-football encourage you to be physically active, it also helps to improve your listening and communication skills, your ability to work as a team, your spatial awareness and your balance and flexibility. Additionally, blind-football is fantastic for your mental wellbeing; giving you the opportunity to meet new people and improve self-confidence both on and off the pitch.

Why should girls/women get involved in blind-football?

Blind-football for women and girls was launched in May 2017 with the aim being for countries to encourage active participation, develop players and eventually to form a national team.

Football is one of the most inclusive sports out there and we are fortunate to have dedicated and qualified coaches to support blind/visually impaired individuals to become better players.

Wearing a shirt, shorts, long socks and astro shoes really isn’t that bad! It’s all about the eye-shades and ball; encouraging an inclusive level playing field.

Adaptations are currently being developed and tested to help introduce the sport to youngsters, beginners and/or those who do not wish to play as part of a larger team.

It would be great if, in time, England had its very own blind women’s team! But for this to happen we need to encourage more women, and young girls, to get involved.

From a personal perspective; I once said ‘I won’t do blind-football because I don’t do football’! I have since learnt that whilst the same principles apply, blind-football is a very skilful sport and very special to the blind/visually impaired people. Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean that you don’t have the ability to kick a ball! Even if it takes time, no one says it’s easy but, it’s the taking part that counts!

So… whether you are a sporty individual or looking for a new challenge we’d love to hear from you!

Please contact Philippa Bass for more information on 07944194252 or

Don’t knock it till you’ve kicked it!

To read Laura’s previous Get Yourself Active blogs click the links below:

One year on volunteering with Get Yourself Active

Tuesday 9 January 2018

Get Yourself Active volunteer, Iyiola reflects back on his time spent with Get Yourself Active over the past year.

Iyiola at the start of his volunteering journey
Iyiola after 12 months of hard volunteering with the Get Yourself Active team









Remember me!  Almost a year ago I wrote a blog about my joining the Get Yourself Active project as a volunteer and  shared with readers my expectations of being a volunteer and the warmth I felt from the entire DR UK team. It’s been a really good time this past year; I went back to part time work but retained my role as a volunteer once a week because I really like being at Get Yourself Active.

What does a day look like at DR UK?

I get in around 11am and I am usually ushered in by K-boss who then settles me in, collects my taxi receipts for Ben to reimburse me and then makes the glorious coffee… L-boss is also often at hand to ensure I am comfortable with the tasks assigned to me. I enjoy the conversations with other DR UK staff too, especially with Ken who frequently shares a joke or two with me – by the way Ken is a master coffee maker too!

So what have I been doing this past year?

It surely wasn’t all spent just drinking coffee…just joking; I have been doing a lot, a lot of fun stuff.  I contributed a number of news articles and blogs on the GYA website and scheduled them for the project’s Twitter account. Learning to post articles and edit blogs was really empowering for me. In a previous career I put together e-newsletters and emailed them round to subscribers, but at GYA I was actually accessing the back end of the website and doing the technical tasks. For example, I learnt how to post articles and incorporate pictures in them and I also learnt how to link these stories to twitter. In the past few weeks I have also been helping Kate, who runs the Get Out Get Active project, to transcribe audio feedback and evaluation of her project. The process involves attentive listening which can sometime be frustrating, but in the end it has enhanced my communication skills – and we all know listening is huge part of a person’s communication skills.

The highlight of the year for me however was being involved in the ‘GYA on Tour’ series. The events were held in cities and regions across England and focused on lessons learnt so far, what is working and can be improved, and also what the sport, leisure and physical activities providers require to enable them engage effectively with disabled people. I really felt valued when I was asked whether I would like to participate and help out – of course my answer was yes and within days found myself in Peterborough to participate at the event there. I also participated at the event in London where I helped register people and provided my insight as a disabled person at one of the workshop tables.

As the project moves into the New Year I have told Leanne and Kirsty that I am happy to continue this journey with them and together champion the inclusion of disabled people in all community activities including sports, leisure and physical activities.

Finally as my latest photo show, I have grown a beard in solidarity with Ben and the operations manager!!!!

Like what you see? Click the below links to read more from Iyiola:

Take part in our research and receive a £15 Amazon Voucher

Tuesday 9 January 2018

Get Yourself Active and the University of Birmingham want to find out what you think about how information about physical activity and sport is presented to disabled people.

You can do this in your home. It would take in total about 15 minutes of your time.

The project

Disability Rights UK has partnered with University of Birmingham to conduct a study into how we produce knowledge and information about physical activity aimed at disabled people.

Our findings

Disability Rights UK has been working with partners in disabled people’s user led organisations to develop models of practice to support more disabled people to be active locally. The evidence we will gather from this research will help us to understand how disabled people want physical activity knowledge to be communicated.

Who should take part in the research?

We would like to hear from you…

  • If you consider yourself disabled and affected by one or more of the following impairments: amputation, spinal cord injury, restricted growth, Cerebral Palsy, visual impairment, hearing impairment
  • If you have been unable to take part regularly in physical activity or sport for a while
  • If you are over the age of 18

How to get involved

Get in touch with us if you are interested in taking part in our research and give us your name and the best way for the researcher to contact you. We will then arrange a time for you to take part in the researcher from your own home. Once your bit is done you will receive your £15 Amazon voucher. You may also randomly be selected to receive £100 Amazon Voucher!

Who to contact

Eva Jaarsma – Research Fellow at University of Birmingham


Read more about the partnership between Get Yourself Active and the University of Birmingham.

Accessibility Mark – Everything You Need to Know

Wednesday 3 January 2018

Here we take a closer look at Accessibility Mark, the scheme that is helping change people’s life through horse riding.

As Accessibility Mark continues to march forwards, the revolutionary scheme is helping more and more disabled people to get involved in sport and activities.

Here we delve into what Accessibility Mark really means to provide a better understanding and explain everything you need to know.

Accessibility Mark is helping to provide more opportunities for disabled riders.

Accessibility – Accessibility Mark is opening up more opportunities making horse riding more accessibility to a wider group of people.

Centres – There are currently 42 Accessibility Mark centres across the country.

Confidence – Riding has many benefits for both physical and mental health as well building confidence that can transfer into other areas of life through increased social interaction.

Equipment – Centres can take advantage of specialist or modified equipment to ensure the safety of both horse and rider.

Support – Accessibility Mark centres receive on-going support from a dedicated Accessibility Support Officer.

Synergy – The aim of the scheme is for both RDA Groups and Accessibility Mark centres to work in synergy together to provide the most productive strategy for every rider.

Inclusion – Accessibility Mark is actively encouraging inclusive equestrian sport.

Business Growth – In a tough economic climate, Accessibility Mark is providing equestrian centres with another avenue of revenue.

Involved – Through Accessibility Mark disabled people are being encouraged to get involved in sport and activities.

Learning – Integrating disability sport helps others including staff members and volunteers learn about the challenges faced by disabled people in everyday life.

Instructors – All instructors wishing to teach Accessibility Mark lessons are qualified to at least UKCC Level 2 or equivalent.

Training – All Accessibility Mark centres have to undergo training and assessment with the RDA. During the practical training there is a focus on different mounting and dismounting techniques, and lesson planning, to ensure instructors tailor the lessons to an individual’s needs.

Yes -get involved – Accessibility Mark would like more centres to say ‘yes’ and get involved. With RDA groups massively over-subscribed the scheme is helping bridge the gap.

Marketing – All Accessibility Mark centres are offered marketing support to help promote their accreditation and raise awareness of the scheme.

Accreditation – Upon meeting all the criteria and completing the training, centres receive an accreditation to officially recognise their Accessibility Mark status.

Riding – The physical benefits of riding can help improve posture, balance and coordination.

Knowledge – As centres form an affiliation with such a well-respected organisation as RDA, they benefit from the knowledge gained over 40 years of providing life-changing activities.

Accessibility Mark provides riding centres with access to valuable training and RDA resources.

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

To find your nearest RDA Group or Accessibility Mark centre visit

In other news: Vacancy: British Blind Sport Trust and Foundations Officer

Vacancy: British Blind Sport Trust and Foundations Officer

Wednesday 3 January 2018

British Blind Sport (BBS) is looking for a self-motivated and highly organised individual to join our ambitious team and generate income from Trusts and Foundations for British Blind Sport. The role is within the Fundraising team at the Head Office but we will also consider flexible working and applications from freelance Trust Fundraisers.

Position: Trust and Foundations Officer

Salary: £19,500 – £25,000 pro rata p.a. (based on experience)

Contract: Part-time role – 15 hrs per week -12 month contract (with potential to extend)

Closing date for applications: 5pm on Monday 8th January 2018

Location: Flexible working within Warwickshire/West Midlands

This role will report directly to the Fundraising Manager within British Blind Sport.

Could you make a visible difference?

Reporting to the Fundraising Manager, you will play a key role in supporting income generating activities that support the whole organisation and help British Blind Sport to achieve its aims and objectives. You will work alongside the Fundraising Manager on the Trusts and Foundations programme and manage prospecting, bid-writing and reporting for small grants. You will work to a target to sustain and grow income from Trusts and Foundations and support other fundraising activities, as needed, across a range of income streams.

Candidates for the post must have a proven track record of success and experience in Trust and Foundations fundraising. You will have excellent literacy skills and the ability to write highly compelling applications.  You will be an excellent communicator and able to liaise with all levels of seniority and build strong relationships.

Click here for the British Blind Sport Trusts and Foundations Officer Job Description.

How to apply

To apply for the role, please submit a CV and 2-page (A4) covering letter detailing your experience and suitability for the post and email or post it to Lucy Cooper, Fundraising Manager at:

Or submit your application online by visiting:

If you have any questions regarding the role or application process, please contact Lucy Cooper on

Interviews will take place over Thursday 11th – Friday 12th January 2018. If you have not been contacted by Wednesday 10th January then please assume you have been unsuccessful in your application.

In other news: New Year Cheer for Get Yourself Active

New Year Cheer for Get Yourself Active

Tuesday 2 January 2018

Get Yourself Active is delighted to announce that Sport England has agreed to extend the funding of this project for a further year. The project, which was due to finish its work in January 2018, has been extended for another year.

The new funding means that Get Yourself Active will continue to build on the work undertaken so far until January 2019.

The extension of the funding, which is worth  £262,874, means that the project will also have the opportunity to develop its work in another 12 local areas.

Coming up

For those of you who attended one of our Get Yourself Active roadshows, we’re currently writing a report of all the events and will share those findings sometime in the new year.

Also coming up early in 2018 will be the launch of the new guidelines targeted at social workers who might be looking to support people they work with to become more active.

In other news: Disability Rights UK is pleased to invite you to attend our seminar: Into Apprenticeships, Traineeships, and Supported Internships