ICT supports people with learning disabilities to be active

Mencap's Learning Disability Week 2017 takes place 19-25 June. To recognise this, the English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS) takes a look at how people with learning disabilities have benefitted from the Sainsbury’s Inclusive Community Training.

Read on to find out how attending a workshop has enabled people with intellectual impairments to lead more active, healthier lifestyles.

A workshop for members and volunteers at Kenilworth’s Helping Hands Club in Warwickshire

The Sainsbury’s Inclusive Community Training is a creative, informal and informative training programme aimed at those who support disabled people in the community to improve their skills, knowledge and confidence in delivering sports-based activities to disabled people. It is delivered in partnership by EFDS and UK Coaching and consists of a three-hour practical workshop complemented by online resources.

Last month saw workshops delivered to people with learning disabilities and those who support them in Warwickshire and Hertfordshire. Both these workshops received very positive feedback and were enjoyed by all who attended.

On Wednesday 17 May, Hertfordshire Sport Partnership hosted a Sainsbury’s Inclusive Community Training Workshop for staff and service users at the Daylight Club in St Albans. The Daylight Club is a social club for disabled adults of working age that meets twice a week. The workshop was arranged to support staff and service users to have a greater understanding of how to deliver inclusive physical activities.

The workshop was attended by almost all of the Daylight Club’s members. One of the attendees said:

“I liked the activity where we had to pass both balls around the room because it was fun and we were all able to join in. I think it was good exercise to get my arms moving and I enjoyed being able to try some of my own ideas as well – I don’t know if you noticed but at times I was improvising!”

Salpi, who runs the Daylight Club, added:

“The workshop went really well. We learnt techniques for involving everyone which helped our staff by giving us more variety in the work we do, as sessions can become repetitive without new input.
“In an age where there is so much emphasis on physical activity it is sometimes a challenge to run inclusive sessions so the Sainsbury’s Inclusive Community Training has really opened our eyes to the possibilities of the whole group exercising and having fun at the same time.”

A few days later, Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire Sport hosted a workshop for the members and volunteers at Kenilworth’s Helping Hands Club in Warwickshire. The club has over 40 members with learning disabilities and meets on a weekly basis for social activities. Their committee of volunteers wanted to arrange a workshop to learn how to easily adapt games and physical activities to include everyone during their Friday night sessions.

Having attended the workshop, Louise, a member at the club who has a learning disability, told EFDS that she enjoyed taking part. She said the training has encouraged her to be more active:

“I liked playing the games which everyone could join in with. The training has made me want to do more physical activity so that I can keep healthy.”

Chris, who volunteers at Kenilworth Helping Hands Club, said:

“The training showed us how we can easily adapt activities at our social evening so that everyone can join in with the activities we deliver. It has also given us a lot of new ideas which I can’t wait to try out!”

Tim, who is on the committee and helps to arrange activities for the club’s members, added:

“It was really helpful to encourage us to think more broadly about activities that we could run to ensure that all members are included in physical activity. I would definitely recommend the training to other people who support people with learning disabilities.”

Over 8,000 people have now attended a Sainsbury’s Inclusive Community Training workshop and have benefitted from this unique training opportunity. With less than four months of the current programme remaining, if you support disabled people of any age in the community there’s still time for you to get involved. You can either attend one of over 100 workshops planned nationwide or arrange a free, bespoke workshop for your staff and volunteers. Contact EFDS today to find out how!

For more information, to find out about workshops in your area or arrange a bespoke workshop, please contact EFDS on AK4A@efds.co.uk / 01509 227751.