Disabled people across the region are being encouraged to volunteer in sport, thanks to a new project supported by Lincolnshire Sport.
IMPACT Volunteering aims to recruit and train 120 volunteers with a disability or sensory impairment and provide disability awareness training to 40 clubs or organisations in the East Midlands, following a £60,000 project grant from Sport England.
The 12-month project – a collaboration between four sports partnerships in the region – aims to identify a link between disabled volunteers and participation, before encouraging people with a disability to start volunteering within a sporting environment.
The scheme will also create more sporting opportunities for the local disabled population, and deliver awareness training for volunteer coordinators.
Ian Brown, equality and diversity Manager at Lincolnshire Sport, said: “From the latest Active People Survey in December 2015, we understand nationally and regionally that less people with a disability volunteer, than those who are non-disabled – and this is the same with participation.
“In the East Midlands, we think that having volunteers with a disability at a club will make it more welcoming for participants who also have a disability.
“Over the next year, I’ll be working closely with groups and organisations to increase volunteering opportunities in sport for people with a disability, and to increase their confidence and social skills through volunteering.”
Dan West, a British Paralympic track and field athlete who has cerebral palsy, is supporting the project.
He said:“One volunteer that I always remember taught me how to swim properly, rather than just trying to stay afloat.
“I believe the fact that the volunteer had a disability that I could relate to, gave me confidence in the water.”
For further information about IMPACT Volunteering and to get involved, please contact Ian Brown on 01522 730 325 or email firstname.lastname@example.org