There are 18,803 disabled people living in Milton Keynes and 27,655 disabled people living in Buckinghamshire (2021 Census) – around 20% of the respective populations.
They are less likely to be active than non-disabled residents. Engaging in regular physical activity and maintaining an active lifestyle can play an important role in the lives of disabled people. It contributes to their overall health and well-being, from enhancing mobility and improving cardiovascular health to boosting mental well-being, as well as fostering social connections and developing life skills..
Twice as likely to be inactive
Disabled adults, and those with a long-term health condition, are almost twice as likely to be inactive as non-disabled people. More than half of disabled people (52.5% Sport England Active Lives Survey (2021-2022) do not meet Chief Medical Officer’s guidelines of 150 minutes of activity per week, compared to only 31.9% of non-disabled people.
In addition, disabled people are more likely than non-disabled people to say they want to be more active (77% vs 54%). (Activity Alliance Annual Disability and Activity Survey 2022-23). This “activity gap” has remained consistent in previous years, showing an ongoing unmet need.
The responses also showed that disabled people’s mental health and wellbeing is being disproportionately affected. Disabled people were nearly three times more likely than non-disabled people to feel lonely always or often (23% vs 8%). Nearly two-thirds of disabled people who felt lonely agreed that being active could help them feel less lonely (65%).
We are working in partnership with others to increase the opportunities for these residents to move more.
We’ve worked in partnership with several organisations to support physical activity, including:
Thomley ‘clubs’ offer heavily subsidised physical activity and social opportunities to disabled people. By making these sessions affordable and accessible they’re able to access sport and physical activity that they may struggle to attend in the community or other settings.
Talkback provides autism and learning disability support and service programmes in Bucks and the surrounding areas. Thanks to funding from the Together Fund, Talkback partnered with local sports clubs to offer taster sessions in a range of sports and activities. Over 100 disabled people from across Buckinghamshire enjoyed a huge range of sports and activities including with the opportunity to follow up on the things they enjoyed doing.
Lead The Way is Leap’s Young Leaders’ programme for pupils aged 13-15. In 2023, the two courses focussed on pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities – a group that often misses out on opportunities to develop their leadership skills. Through improved confidence, young people develop skills that aid their life chances and future employment.
Would you like to partner with us to help improve the opportunities for disabled people to be more active? Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
For information on activities for disabled people we recommend: