Health, disability & well-being

Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000


Boccia Club, a precision ball sport activity, is part of the Active for Life service at Plymouth Guild. Active for Life supports adults of all ages that have learning disabilities, mental health problems and physical disabilities, to become more physically active. We deliver a programme of weekly activities in the community, which are open and accessible for everyone to attend.
In Plymouth 20% of the overall population are disabled, which is higher than the national average. 71.3% of those do not engage in any sport or physical activity, losing out on improvements to their physical and mental health.

In 2010, we began in a small way to deliver a fun Boccia session with encouragement from the local NHS trust and some enthusiastic volunteers. For those who take their Boccia more seriously it is a Paralympic sport, but there are very few opportunities to play the sport in the South West. We are looking to develop a competitive arm, playing other teams across the country and are targeting the first Plymouth Boccia Paralympian for Tokyo in 2020 We still run the only open club in Plymouth and it has grown massively in popularity; Currently 2 sessions are being delivered a week with 80 players attending. This funding would give us the opportunity to take our members to the next level.

Our project will also provide a great opportunity for Boccia to be developed within schools and residential homes. We know it can also improve the quality of life for people in all stages of dementia We can also further the development of our Boccia club so that as a charity we can get more people involved in this opportunity to experience the life enhancing benefits this sport has to offer. We plan to more than double those engaging in Boccia in Plymouth to at least 200 across all community settings.

How will the project be run and developed?
Funding our project would enable us to employ a full time development worker who will work with and support a team of volunteers to assist them with the delivery and expansion of the project. Sessions will be run in leisure centres, at various residential settings, drop in centres and schools across the city of Plymouth, building up a real community Boccia network!

We would;
• Maintain registration with, and liaise closely with the National Governing Body, Boccia England, to ensure sessions are good quality and are being delivered safely and to the correct standards.
• Provide competitive routes for players with talent for the game and those who want to compete, by setting up games played to the Paralympic rules and by arranging local tournaments and friendly matches.
• Build the current volunteer base by recruiting, inducting and supporting new volunteers to assist with the sessions. Training courses would also be set up to give volunteers an accredited Boccia Leader’s award.
• Publicise Boccia to the local community, encouraging more participants to get involved with the sport.

We will build on the pilot sessions that have been run for older people focusing on adults with dementia and other mental health problems. We will also build on the very popular pilot sessions in schools, teachers have noted various developments in their students including increased confidence and understanding.

Funding our ‘Get on with Boccia’ project would allow us to develop the vibrant and sustainable sports club that our current and future players need and deserve. The opportunity to compete on local, national and potentially Paralympic level, I know for a lot of our players this would be a dream come true. The club, school and residential pilot sessions has helped develop our wider community, giving a better quality of life to many people that suffer physical or mental pain and established many friendships that simply wouldn’t have happened without us. Over 200 people will have a great time and improve their health through the Boccia sessions we will provide.

Project Video

Plymouth Guild

Moment of Pride

We are very proud of our Boccia Club in Plymouth, for all adults regardless of ability or disability. With the hard work of dedicated volunteers with one of our workers, people have fun together and improve their health. Who knows, perhaps we could have the next Boccia Paralympian!

Location: Plymouth