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New funding to facilitate more inclusive activities for disabled children and young people

young person on accessible swing

The children and young people at Rose Road love to be active and to try new things! Now with support from our friends at South Western Railway, we can go on more adventures and support other disabled people to be more active too.

Following our two-year partnership with South Western Railway (and a full pandemic later), we are delighted to be awarded funding from their Customer and Communities Improvement Fund again, this time to employ an Activities Coordinator, and create an inclusion audit for and with our young people.

This new post will help to facilitate a network of local providers to be more inclusive, and shout about the excellent examples of inclusive venues and activity providers that already exist too. Parents and carers of children or young adults with complex disabilities often face multiple societal barriers to getting out and being active, so we hope that by introducing a comprehensive ‘tried and tested’ guide for local provision, we can help break down some of these barriers.

The last 36 months have been especially tough for disabled children and young people. The lack of opportunities for taking part in their usual recreational activities during the pandemic has contributed to a decline in their health and mental well-being.

A survey of our young people showed that there is a desire to participate in more activities, and that they want to decide what these are. Many felt happiest when they were socialising and with peers, but some felt they could not take part in activities because they are wheelchair users and some also felt that people were not friendly towards them when out and about.

This funding means that children and young adults using Rose Road services will be taking part in more activities, they will get the opportunity to share their views on local provision and have a say in how improvements are made.

Our long term goal is that our young people can start to shape the world around them, have better access to all the places they love to go, and that these places are supported to make the changes needed to be fully inclusive, accessible and welcoming.