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Championing Inclusion: Pioneers in the Community Making a Difference for People with Disabilities

With a number of disability focused initiatives through November and December, it seems like a good time to highlight the various influences that disabled people have had across the board. Today, I wanted to shine a light on the champions in my local community, who have helped lift the confidence of disabled people. Or to describe these people in one word- pioneers!

Firstly, I wanted to highlight the fantastic team at Coalville Town FC. In December 2021, they started up a football session for children with Special Educational Needs. This was something I was proud to support as a volunteer. I was thrilled to give children, who were perhaps excluded from sporting activity for whatever reason, a platform to have fun and increase their skills. I can’t stress enough the importance of provision for individuals with Special Educational Needs and disabilities. The provision needs to exist right across the board in a streamlined fashion, so that beyond the age groups they fall into at a particular time, they can access sport, and in this case, football, whenever they wish to.

I truly think that it helps when you, or someone you know, has a disability themselves. This is where you can find common ground with other parents who have children with additional support needs and disabilities to build something incredible. This is what is great about Coalville Town FC, as this was an idea that was inspired from the leaders’ ambition to see their children included in sporting environments. This inspiration, has led to the Coalville Town Under 15s pan-disability football team being selected for the final 3 at the North West Leicestershire Health & Wellbeing Team Junior Sports Team of the Year 2023.

Next on my list to congratulate, is our very own Enrych Boccia & Multisport Group, for its nomination as Group or Club of the Year. It gets a strong attendance every week and there are smiles all round. Many friendships have been formed and grown through a common interest. Originally just a Boccia group, we branched out by consulting our clients about the sports they wanted to try. Nowadays, you can see our clients and people from the local community play Badminton, Basketball, Curling and Table Tennis, as well as the already popular Boccia games. This has been almost like our flagship event at Enrych. It has always been a big hit with everyone who has attended. And even during the times where we had to transition from the old Hermitage Leisure Centre to the brilliant new Whitwick and Coalville Leisure Centre, our clients felt well supported to still navigate new surroundings.

What’s more, is that one of our fantastic support workers has been nominated as Let’s Get Moving Hero. This is a testament to their continued hard work in getting people involved in all of our groups. Even when I first attended Enrych groups, this support worker always put a smile on my face and made the atmosphere friendly and warm. The Boccia & Multisports Group continues to thrive, and everyone here at Enrych is so proud of the work done to create such a successful environment for people in the local community who live with a disability or mental health condition.

Lastly, I wanted to wish all the luck in the world to two of our clients, who have been nominated for the Disabled Person of the Year and Let’s Get Moving for Health Awards respectively. This, again, is just a demonstration of the huge progress these individuals have made, and this is all thanks to our incredible support workers, who inspire our clients to achieve full independence and get involved in activities that they want to do. As you can see, this has had such a lasting impact on these particular clients, and we are so thrilled to be a part of their journey. This confidence, we truly believe will translate into many other areas in these people’s lives, and links to the things we will continue to do: break barriers, empower those with a disability, and nurture minds so every disabled person has the opportunity to live their life with purpose.

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