Aspire wins at the Charity Awards 2017

Aspire is delighted to announce that it has taken the top prize in the Disability category at this year’s Charity Awards, the longest-running and most prestigious awards scheme in the charity sector.

BBC Breakfast presenter Louise Minchin, with Hilary Farmiloe, Aspire InstructAbility Manager and Brian Carlin, Aspire CEO

The spinal injury charity won for its InstructAbility programme, which enables disabled people to become fitness professionals and promote equality and inclusion across the leisure sector.

There are 11 million disabled people in the UK and less than 8 per cent are estimated to be achieving the recommended levels of physical activity.

Aspire works with YMCAfit and hundreds of leisure operators to create more disabled role models working in the fitness industry.

The scheme, funded by Sport England, has resulted in 300 disabled people qualifying as fitness professionals who have contributed over 40,000 hours of voluntary service to provide over 60,000 sessions to support disabled clients.

Over half have now been offered employment, and 80 per cent of the leisure centres which participated reported a positive impact.

Aspire was presented with the award at a black-tie ceremony at the Pavilion at the Tower of London on Thursday 8 June, hosted by BBC Breakfast presenter Louise Minchin. The above picture shows Louise with Hilary Farmiloe, Aspire InstructAbility Manager and Brian Carlin, Aspire CEO.

Awards were also given to eight other category winners, the winner of the Overall Award for Excellence, and the recipient of the Daniel Phelan Award for Outstanding Achievement.

Julian Chislett, chief executive of Civil Society Media, which organises the Charity Awards, congratulated Aspire. He said:

“We had a record number of entries this year, and the standard was particularly high, so Aspire should be very proud to have won their category. Their work delivers great results.
“For 18 years the Charity Awards have been identifying and celebrating the fantastic work that UK charities do, and the rigorous judging process ensures that only the very best charities win awards.”

John Low, chief executive of Charities Aid Foundation, overall partner of the Charity Awards, said:

“The Charity Awards celebrate the inspiring work of people who make the world a better place.
“Recognising the remarkable work and impact of charities is an important aspect of preserving and building on Britain’s proud culture of generosity and civil action.
“The organisations we celebrate at these awards lead by their example in showing bravery and dynamism at a time when demand on charities is growing, society is becoming more divided and resources are becoming increasingly stretched.
“These are all inspirational examples of the amazing work done by charities in communities all over the UK and across the world. Our congratulations go out to all of them.”

Brian Carlin, chief executive of Aspire, said:

“I wish to thank everyone who has contributed to the creation and success of the InstructAbility programme and especially Hilary Farmiloe who has been leading this work for the past five years, and with her team, has achieved so much. But most importantly, to all the InstructAbility graduates who are such wonderful ambassadors for inclusion in the fitness industry.”

Aspire is currently recruiting for the programme in Rotherham, find out more on the Instructability website.

For a full list of winners and the shortlist, visit the Aspire website.