GOGA: making a difference with The Ear Foundation

Deaf Awareness Week runs from 15-21 May 2017 and the theme this year is Celebration. Promoted by the UK Council on Deafness, the week long campaign celebrates collaborative work that makes a difference to people who are deaf or hard of hearing. As part of the Get Out Get Active (GOGA) programme we would like to highlight some great collaborative work happening between Nottingham City and The Ear Foundation.

Two people on a bike

The GOGA programme works across 18 locations in the UK, one of which is Nottingham and the lead organisation Nottingham City Council. GOGA aims  to get some of the UK’s least active people moving. By focusing on delivering fun and inclusive activities and supporting disabled and non-disabled people to enjoy being active together. The programme supports Nottingham City's manifesto which pledges to become ‘the fastest growing city for disability participation’.

Three areas across Nottingham City are a focus for the GOGA. Existing activity in these areas will be expanded and supported to become more inclusive, plus new activities will be delivered. Also six priority activities have been selected, four of  which are also Nottingham City’s core sports - swimming, cycling, basketball, tennis, Coca Cola Park lives and IFI. 

According to Sport England’s Active People survey (2016), regular participation in sport and physical activity is lowest among the deaf population. Only 10% of adults who are deaf or hard of hearing take part in sport once a week, compared to 40% of non-disabled adults. This disparity in participation levels has driven the basis of partnership work between Nottingham City Council and The Ear Foundation.

Nottingham City and The Ear Foundation, based at the Marjorie Sherman House have established a great working relationship as part of GOGA programme. The Ear foundation strives at bridging the gap between services and the technology used to support those who are deaf or hard of hearing. Their vision is to ensure all deaf children, young people and adults have the opportunity to hear, communicate and develop spoken language using the latest technological interventions. Both partners through GOGA are looking to ensure all individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing can access sport and physical activity opportunities across Nottingham.

Early discussions and consultation have highlighted potential activities that the organisations will be looking at developing. The activities will look to include family fun days to support individuals with hearing loss to become more active. These multisport days will provide a variety of sports for individuals and families to get involved in. Cycling taster sessions, which will provide an introduction to cycling, and working alongside deliverers, parents and carers to provide deaf awareness training to increase knowledge and confidence in relation to cycling. They will also be linking with younger individuals to adapt the Learn to Cycle programme to ensure it is fully inclusive.

The combined work of these organisations will also look to develop team building opportunities for individuals and their friends to enhance social interaction and friendships. Lastly with advances in hearing technologym swimming and splash sessions will be introduced at the Leisure Centres to engage individuals in using new aqua technology to ensure individuals experience full swimming sessions.

The activities will look to start in the summer months with the Cycling and the multisport sport events being held in Nottingham City. For further information about this work please email Kylie Parr, GOGA lead for Nottingham City.

For more information about the GOGA programe please visit GOGA website.