Making sport and physical activity accessible for all
Wednesday 8th May 16:55 - 17:30
There are 11 million disabled people in the UK – who are almost twice as likely to be inactive as non-disabled people – yet a large portion are keen to take part and be more active. Creating the right environments and interventions to overcome barriers to participation are key.
What are the steps that facilities and operators can take to make simple low cost adaptations to make facilities more inclusive? And how can inclusive approaches to grass route sport make participation more exciting, enjoyable and accessible?
Lyndsey Barrett, Senior Occupational Therapist & Founder at Sport for Confidence
As a Senior Occupational Therapist with the NHS for 19 years, Lyndsey Barrett was no longer willing to accept that traditional delivery methods, employed by the NHS, are always the most effective way to achieve positive client outcomes on a large scale. So, in 2015 she set up a social enterprise called Sport For Confidence and became the first Occupational Therapist in the UK to be based in a leisure centre. The programme places physical activity at the heart of client interventions and proves the true value of sport, as an assessment and treatment tool.
Today, Sport for Confidence, delivers more than 800 interventions per month across 5 mainstream leisure facilities. An independent study recently documented an array of life changing participant outcomes and evidenced average savings to public health of £10,000 per participant due to a decreased reliance on health and social care support.In September this year, Lyndsey will become one of only 4 occupational therapists, from a nomination pool of 1,500 to be accredited the Merit award by the Royal College of Occupational Therapists for services to her profession. The work of Sport For Confidence also appeared as an example of innovative and successful occupational therapy practice in the NHS England Allied Health Professionals Into Action report late last year.