EFDS Update – Dec 2015

Thursday 3rd December 2015

EFDS marks International Day for Disabled People with ‘Me, being active’ films

The English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS) is marking International Day for Disabled People by launching the Me, being active series. In the first of the collection, viewers meet five disabled people and learn more about the benefits they gain from being active. Adding to EFDS’s successful Being Active guide, the national charity hopes they provide more disabled people with useful information to lead an active lifestyle.

Meet Cassie, Cath, Chandni, Hannah and Wolf. They are five disabled people with a range of impairments, who all lead active lives. In their own words, each individual shares their personal story. As well as discussing how they first became active, they explain the way it makes them feel.

The Me, being active films are supported by Disability Rights UK and Sport England. EFDS worked with production company Fuzzy Duck to create the stories that highlight running, powerchair football, gym workouts, dance and cycling.

On last year’s International Day for Disabled People, EFDS in partnership with Disability Rights UK released the successful Being Active Guide. The Guide talks directly to disabled people. It gives inactive disabled people access to relevant information, so they have control over where, what and how they can start being active. These films add to the Guide’s success, allowing viewers to hear others’ advice.

Barry Horne, Chief Executive for EFDS, said:

“We are delighted to release this set of films which follow our Being Active guide. They personify what EFDS continually tries to relay to organisations we work with. To increase the number of active disabled people, we need understand more about disabled people’s lives. Everyone has individual motivations and different people influence our behaviour. That comes through in each story.

“We want to add to this collection over the coming years, so disabled people can access information, which could encourage more to lead active lives.”

Sport England’s Director of Business Partnerships, Tanya Joseph said:

“These brilliant films perfectly capture the amazing journey which sport can take us on, from fear and apprehension to a sense of accomplishment and pride. As we mark International Day for Disabled People, these personal stories are an important reminder of the work we must continue to do to make sport accessible to everyone.”

Since 1992, people from across the globe have celebrated the United Nation’s International Day for Disabled People, 3 December. The annual celebration adopts a theme every year. In 2015, the theme is- Inclusion matters: access and empowerment for people of all abilities.

The United Nations created The International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD), as it is also known, in 1992. It aims to promote awareness and gain support for critical issues relating to the inclusion of disabled people in society. The Day raises awareness about disability issues and draws attention to the benefits of an inclusive and accessible society for all. This year’s theme is Inclusion matters.

The English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS) exists to make active lives possible and ensure that millions of disabled people can lead active lifestyles. Dedicated to disabled people in sport and physical activity, EFDS supports a wide range of organisations to include disabled people more effectively. The national charity looks to a better future where everyone can enjoy the opportunities available. Established in September 1998, EFDS has a vision that disabled people are active for life.

The Me, being active films are available in a short and full version. To watch Cassie, Cath, Chandni, Hannah and Wolf’s stories, visit the Being Active playlist on EFDS’s YouTube channel here.

For more information on EFDS, visit the website www.efds.co.uk.

Minister for Disabled People Champions EFDS Charter for Change

The Minister for Disabled People, Justin Tomlinson, has championed the English Federation of Disability Sport’s Charter for Change and urged organisations to back the campaign. On Tuesday 24 November, representatives from 70 organisations heard from leaders in disability rights, sport and Government at the Making Active Lives Possible conference.

Read about the conference here.


EFDS welcomes new sport strategy’s push for disabled people’s inclusion

The English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS) warmly welcomes “Sporting Future” the Government’s “New Strategy for an Active Nation”, which aims to increase the engagement of people who have been less active, including disabled people. Released today, the Strategy follows several months of Government public consultation and EFDS is greatly encouraged by the genuine opportunity it creates for disabled people to be active.

EFDS, the national charity, dedicated to disabled people in sport and physical activity, has welcomed the priority Government is giving to focussing more on groups who are less likely to be active. The announcement comes a week after the Sport England Active People Survey revealed consistently low figures for disabled people, confirming the fact they are still half as likely to be active as non-disabled people.

Sporting Future recognises the significant challenge we all face in addressing the under-representation of disabled people in sport and active recreation. In a bid to change this landscape, the Strategy acknowledges that previous approaches have often failed to engage disabled people effectively. EFDS is pleased to note the shift in the language away from an exclusive emphasis on ‘sport’, expanding it to a much wider definition of being active. This is backed with positive changes in how future activity will be funded and measured.

The Strategy reinforces the need to build on insight and progress already made, including reference to our successful Talk to Me principles, released in 2014. One of ten principles, ‘stay local to me’, is amplified by the Strategy’s greater emphasis on local, strategic leadership in getting more people active. EFDS agrees that there is a real need for local partners to bring active recreation in as a central component of local planning and delivery.

EFDS is also pleased to learn of the potential to shift funding to projects that can evidence that they are relevant, effective and marketed well. This echoes EFDS findings that this country needs more opportunities, which respond to disabled people’s needs and preferences. Our insight shows engaging disabled people through customer-centric approaches could be more beneficial than traditional methods.

The Strategy calls for the right mix of marketing methods and EFDS continues to lead the way in promoting inclusive marketing communications within sport and physical activity. This is shown through increasing demand for EFDS’s Inclusive Communications Guide and associated advice. We will continue to support all partners, including Sport England, to improve delivery and measurement methods. This includes making organisations fit for purpose, with the focus on improving inclusive leadership and their commitment to better offers for groups, who can gain most from being active.

Barry Horne, Chief Executive for EFDS, said:

“We are encouraged by this new strategy and its aim to address the many barriers disabled people face when trying to access opportunities. Sporting Future advocates the use of our well researched “Talk to Me” principles but that research is just one example of the extensive EFDS insight which can help organisations change how they work.

“Being inclusive and accessible is no longer ‘a nice thing to do’. It is essential that the right support is in place to ensure that disabled people can be active for life. To back this improvement, Sport England will be able to direct its significant funding to a wider range of activities.

“Plans to get people active need to be as relevant to the average gym goer or recreational cyclist, as they are for the potential elite sports person. If disabled people are to have genuine choice, then the opportunities need to be as comprehensive as those available to non-disabled people.”

Over 9.4m people in England, consider themselves to be disabled. There are also many more people living with impairments and long-term health conditions, who do not relate to the term ‘disabled person’. Ensuring all opportunities are inclusive and accessible for every participant will benefit a wide number of groups, including the high number of disabled people in older age groups. This is something, which EFDS reinforced in its contribution to the Strategy.

EFDS is delighted to see that Sport England is to widen its participation objectives to include children five years old upwards. Government, alongside all relevant partners, will also back inclusion principles within sporting education from a young age.

Horne continues:

“It is important that this new strategy points to lifelong activity. The fact there are more disabled people in older age groups means it is even more crucial that we lay the right foundations from a young age for everyone.

“EFDS is aware of the impact you can have on all children, as seen through the Sainsbury’s Active Kids for All programmes. If we have positive active experiences- from early years to school and beyond- if we do become disabled later on in life, there is a greater chance that we will still be motivated to be active.”

Research indicates that low numbers of active disabled people is not down to lack of interest. In EFDS’s 2013 Lifestyle Report, seven in ten disabled people said they want to be more active. Other EFDS reports such as Motivate Me suggest that whilst many opportunities exist, the low participation level can be that either disabled people are unaware of opportunities available to them or the activities offered are not appealing enough.

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, EFDS Honorary President, was named as Chair for the new ‘Duty of Care’ working group to ensure that people in sport at all levels can participate safely. EFDS supports inclusive safeguarding and will look to work closely with Grey-Thompson. We want to ensure disabled people never experience or worry about abuse or harassment at any participation level.

In EFDS’s current strategy, the charity outlines two broader outcomes. Firstly, enhanced health and wellbeing for all disabled people, which focuses on improved wellbeing and quality of life. Secondly, an equal society in which disabled people can achieve through increased opportunities and choice. These chime well with the Government’s aim within Sporting Future, where everyone can reap the benefits of an active lifestyle.

In the New Year, EFDS will review and refresh its organisation’s strategy for 2016-2021. We will use our insight to help deliver the Government’s strategy as well as the upcoming Sport England strategy. Through continued collaboration, we will be able to engage more people within the wider definition of disability and give greater emphasis on those who are inactive or less active.

For more information on EFDS, please visit www.efds.co.uk