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15 May 2018

Active Black Country and Sense get together to support people with complex communication needs

Sense and Active Black Country have partnered to launch a new action plan- designed to support people with complex communication needs across the region to become more active.

Participation in sport and physical activity has significant physical, mental and emotional benefits; yet over 300,000 people with dual sensory loss in England encounter a number of barriers in accessing and participating in sporting activities.

In the Black Country there are 234,991 people whose day to day activities are limited by a long-term health problem or disability, representing approximately one in five of the population.

Currently, half of this population (50.7% ) are classed as inactive (less than 30 min of activity a week), and 22.4% have not participated in sport or physical activity in the past year.

In 2016, Sense were awarded over £420,000 from Sport England to deliver ‘Sporting Sense’, a project aiming to increase opportunities for these individuals with multi-sensory impairments and complex communication needs to participate in sport and physical activity.

Following on from the Sport England- funded Deafblind Active project awarded in 2014, this represents a combined £670,000 investment in Sense’s sports function over the last 3 years.

The partnership aims to build on the ongoing provision across the Black Country, developing new opportunities for the Health and Social Care sector to engage with sport, and ensuring sports venues and providers are capable of delivering high quality services which meet the needs of participants.

Together, Active Black Country and Sense hope to drive the development of these opportunities by connecting one another with key partners, sharing best practice, insight and learning, and marketing and promoting new activities and training opportunities through multiple channels.

Ian Carey, Active Black Country Director, said:

We’re very excited to be working with Sense and supporting the Sporting Sense project. One of the key areas we will be supporting is the upskilling of deliverers to ensure that individuals with an impairment get a great experience when trying new activities. The joint action plan certainly provides the framework to generate more accessible activities and raise the profile of much-needed opportunities to be active for people living with a disability in the Black Country.”

Callan Barber, Midlands Sport Coordinator at Sense, said:

We are really pleased to announce this partnership with Active Black Country, and hope that by working together to implement our action plan, we can support more people with complex communication needs across the Black Country to become more active. The CSP will provide us with crucial local insight and knowledge, which will allow us to understand the barriers faced when trying to access sport, link with new partners, and upskill the sports community to ensure they deliver high quality, inclusive activities.”

ENDS

Photo credit: Sense Charity

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