Active Norfolk secures huge funding to provide greater sports opportunities for older people and those living with disabilities

Posted: Fri, 11 May 2018 15:33

Active Norfolk secures huge funding to provide greater sports opportunities for older people and those living with disabilities

Active Norfolk has secured almost £335,000 of Sport England funding to increase opportunities for over 1500 disabled adults to be active, and to develop physical activity research. The fund will be used to commission the delivery of a significant number of activity opportunities for those living with disabilities in our county.

Active Norfolk applied for two lots of funding from the Core Markets fund, a funding pot that supports projects across England to keep people active after major life changes or transitions, such as leaving school, changing jobs, having a baby, or retiring.

The largest award will bring almost £290,000 in funding over a four year period for adult disability sport, the most significant level of disability sport funding to be brought into the county in the last 10 years. This funding will provide much-needed support to local adult social care services where budgets are restricted.

Ellen Vanlint, Disability Project Officer at Active Norfolk, said: "This award is a highly significant level of investment into disability sport. It will have a real impact on local sporting opportunities and the awareness of their locations, whilst supporting some of the adult care providers in Norfolk to offer more active opportunities. We have a strong cross sector working partnership that already exists and we believe we can use this to really drive delivery towards a sustainable outcome at the end of the four years."

The funding for the "On the Move" project will help young disabled people that are leaving education and entering adult life to have a greater number of quality opportunities to be active. Over 1,500 disabled people in Norfolk are estimated to benefit, with 56 day care centres and 40 sports clubs and charities on board over the life of the project. It also includes a Transition Directory that will provide information about providers county-wide to help identify centres where disabled young adults can further their interests and help reduce the drop off in activity levels that happens when leaving school.

Sarah Harrison, lead officer at DRAGON (Disability Real Action Group of Norfolk), said "The young people involved recognise that they have found it very challenging to maintain their sporting activities once they left education. They have told me that they experience particular barriers in growing up and becoming independent and this includes accessing sporting activities.

For the DRAGONs it is an opportunity to make a difference, to encourage young people to stay healthy and to have an opportunity to meet new friends and try new sports."

The second award for PARTS (Physical Activity in Retirement Transitions), sees another £45,000 investment for one year to develop new research into older people's physical activity levels as they enter retirement. Physical activity in later life has a range of social, physical and mental health benefits, but currently not enough is known about how physical activity habits are affected by retirement.

The research outcomes will feed into the development of appropriate activity provision for older people to prevent a decline and maximise the opportunities to be active that retirement presents. A further significant three year financial award for programme implementation has been secured in principle, pending the outcome of the research.

Stephen Hulme, Physical Activity Development Manager at Active Norfolk, said "Retirement is becoming a more fluid and harder to define transition in people's lives. Working in partnership with the University of East Anglia, the PARTs study will help us to grow our understanding of what is happening to people's activity levels at this stage of life, and to develop opportunities to ensure that they are able to remain or become physically active into later life."

For more information on disability sport in Norfolk visit our disability sport page.

Tags: Core Markets, Disability, Funding