Response to the National Disability Strategy
On the 28th July 2021, the Government launched it’s new National Disability Strategy.
This sets out the actions the Government will take in pursuit of making everyday life easier for disabled people.
Jude Taylor, CEO of Together Active, responded:
“We at Together Active welcome the strategy and its aspirations, however we do recognise that it falls short of where we would hope it would be.
“As a sports and physical activity organisation, we’re keenly aware of the barriers to participation many people living with disabilities experience. We work hard at a local level to create as many suitable opportunities as possible, but there are nowhere near enough.
“Physical activity, even in small amounts, can have a massive impact on the physical and mental health of disabled people, both through providing health benefits as well as the chance to socialise. Yet 42% of disabled people in Staffordshire are inactive.
“We’ve been delighted with the response to Sport England’s Tacking Inequalities Fund which we have distributed to clubs providing physical activities to disabled people over the last year. However, a long-term funding strategy is required so that investment can be made into projects which can continue to deliver year after year.
“We’re also excited to hear more about training social workers to promote physical activity; we’ve been working with social prescribers locally to encourage this and so far the results have been encouraging. We hope to be involved with this programme as it rolls out.
“We are, however, disappointed not to see open data mentioned as part of the strategy. We see this as a key opportunity to make discovering physical activities suitable for disabled people far easier by having standardised, up-to-date information shared widely through activity finders online. We will continue to press Sport England for greater emphasis of the open data project nationally.
“Greenspace really is our natural health service. There is growing evidence that access to nature and green space supports better physical and mental health, and consequently helps to avoid the economic and social costs associated with ill- health whilst reducing pressure on the NHS. While we are glad to see this highlighted in the strategy, particularly because how people with any disability would benefit from improved access, we’re disappointed that clear actions and measures are not yet evident. We await developments in this area with interest.
“We exist to help everyone be more active more often. We will continue to work closely with Sport England on these new initiatives to ensure that everyone in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire are equally able to access the activities that they want to do to create a healthier future for us all.”
Read the full strategy here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-disability-strategy