Disability Sports Coach launches Sport England partnership and Christmas campaign on International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Charity Disability Sports Coach are working with Sport England to support disabled people to keep active and connected over winter. The partnership will launch on International Day of Persons with Disabilities (3 December), an exciting range of activities to get more disabled people and reduce feelings of loneliness this Christmas. One of the core challenges facing disabled people is loneliness. Disabled people are four times more likely to experience loneliness than non-disabled people1. Christmas can be a time of increased loneliness for many people, especially disabled people. However, this year the problem is worse, with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing thousands of disabled people into further isolation.

Sport England partnership, launching on International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Working with Sport England, Disability Sports Coach will send 500 packs of sports equipment to disabled people across London so they can keep active with their families this Christmas and into the New Year. The charity was the first to distribute equipment packs back in April 2020 and have delivered nearly 400 packs so far.

The packs will also include their brand new Active At Home guide, featuring exciting activities and resources to support disabled people, parents and carers.

This new partnership will launch on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (3 December), with an online activity session launching a month of sports activities taking place each week throughout December.

Disability Sports Coach CEO, Peter Ackred, says:

“It’s really important to focus on disabled people this Christmas, especially with COVID-19 still going on. Research has found that 2/3 of the deaths that have occurred so far due to COVID-19 are disabled people2, and that sends a really strong message that the members of our community need to be supported not just now, but throughout their lives.”

Virtual Christmas Club

On 29 December, the charity will run their first ever Virtual Christmas Club, involving fun sport sessions featuring special guest Paralympians, creative activities, and a festive quiz.

The period between Christmas and New Year is often frustrating for many disabled people, with many activities closed or inaccessible. For the last two years, the charity has run a Christmas Club featuring a day of festive fun and free lunch for guests. In 2019, over 60 people joined the club.

While the pandemic means the event can’t run face-to-face this year, the charity remains committed to bringing disabled people together as we head into the New Year.

The Virtual Christmas Club form part of the charity’s 12 Days of Wishmas campaign, featuring social media takeovers by influencers, interviews with disability awareness advocates, competitions and giveaways between 25th December to 5th January. The aim is to reduce loneliness among disabled people during the Christmas period, while inspiring people to look forwards to a new year with aspiration and motivation after the challenges of 2020.

Since Disability Sports Coach began their Home Activity Programme in April, 65% of members have reported feeling less lonely as a result of the charity’s online provision. Parent of Ruby, a member of Club Brent, explains:

“The options for our children to have access to meaningful and fun activities are very small. Disability Sports Coach allows our child to do this – it brings her much joy and makes her and our world a little bigger and brighter.”

Through their new Sport England partnership and Christmas offering, Disability Sports Coach will reach even more disabled people in need of support this winter.

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