Health and wellbeing

Funding level: £5,001 to £10,000


Sporting Challenge provides sporting activities to encourage people with learning disabilities to keep fit and healthy. Sessions improve their health, fitness, well being and enjoyment of physical activity and those which they are most likely to continue with. Activities will be based at local venues and will include: Aerobics, Bowling, Boccia, Kurling, Zumba/Dance, Swimming and other Fitness Activities. We support around 54 people in the West Lancashire area to access a variety of activities by providing transport to and from their homes and the appropriate sessional workers to support them whilst carrying out the activities. There is evidence from a published document entitled "Health Inequalities and People with Learning Disabilities in the UK", which states that 80% of adults with a learning disability engage in levels of physical activity which are below the Department of Health's minimum recommended level Adults with disabilities are 3 times more likely to have heart disease, stroke, diabetes, or cancer than adults without disabilities. We encourage informal feedback during our sessions from staff and group members which help us develop the range of activities we do and look at trying new ideas where appropriate. We send out a monthly flyer. Our sessions help our group members, also their parents/carers get a break. Our sessions provide work for our sessional staff and our sessions provide work/bookings for the local venues we use. Our group takes place in West Lancashire. This is a mostly rural borough with poor transport links, the bigger towns include the market town of Ormskirk, Skelmersdale and Burscough. Skelmersdale is quite a deprived new town expanded upon to be an overspill from Liverpool.

We need funding to encourage more members aged under 22. We believe this is a key area to focus on and to help. Our current total group beneficiaries could be calculated as follows: current total members 52, families/carers 104, sessional staff 8, other venue staff who provide sessional for our group 10, grand total 174 people. This is only a rough figure.

One of our parents explains:
I am the mother of a 24 year of daughter with learning difficulties. She is unable to access such activities as going to the cinema, ten pin bowling, meeting with friends for such things as a meal without support, all the activities of life that young people enjoy taking part in. Sporting challenge provides the support to allow her these opportunities and not having her parents always present.
We are extremely grateful to Sporting Challenge for providing the opportunities and support to allow our daughter to be able to take part in these activities which has played a great part in improving her self-confidence and socialising skills.

We work with Lancashire County Council, West Lancashire Borough Council, West Lancashire Leisure Trust, West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group, the NHS and various local charities (including West Lancashire CVS) and carers to ensure that we are helping to meet the needs of the community.
Adults with a learning disability need to spend time away from their families so as to experience new leisure activities, develop friendships and improve their independence skills. Our work involves regular physical activities and social contact which helps to improve the individuals' metal and physical health and well-being which will lead to further improvements and opportunities as their confidence and independence skills develop.

Sporting Challenge

Moment of Pride

I am proud of Sporting Challenge and what we have achieved over our first ten years. Our numbers have phone up, we are helping more families than ever before. We have tried many new sports over recent years including: sailing, pool, trampoline nights and music nights.

Location: Burscough