Learning Disability Week 2020: the importance of friendships during lockdown

11th June 2020 | Sarah Haden-Godwin | Covid-19, Disabled people, Gloucestershire, Inclusivity

Life in lockdown has been isolating for us all. People with a learning disability already experience significantly high levels of loneliness and isolation and this will have only been made worse by the lockdown*.

In the UK, there are over 1.5million people with a learning disability, which is 2.16% of the population. Staying active is important for everyone, and for those with learning disabilities being active can help to reduce and manage physical health conditions, develop friendships, build confidence and support increased wellbeing. People with a disability are significantly less active than those without a disability, with 47% of disabled people being active, compared with 68% of non-disabled people**.

Staying connected

Being active and staying connected during lockdown has been difficult and although lockdown measures are slowly being relaxed, many people are still staying at home. During Learning Disability Week there are many ways to be active at home, whilst still connecting with friends over platforms such as Zoom and even Facebook live streams.

Many organisations across Gloucestershire are already adapting to this distanced way of staying in touch, such as Goals Beyond Grass who are finding innovative ways to stay connected with their group members.

Beyond lockdown and into the future

We know how important it is for people with a learning disability to have a choice of the physical activity and sport opportunities that they want to participate in. Some of the main barriers to participation include inaccessible venues and facilities, lack of awareness of staff, lack of inclusive activities, lack of accessible information and negative attitudes towards disability.

Striving for accessible and inclusive sport and physical activity across Gloucestershire

At Active Gloucestershire, we are striving to ensure that sport and physical activity is accessible and inclusive across Gloucestershire. We provide a year-round change maker programme of training and development opportunities; bespoke support and networking opportunities to share best practice and find solutions to problems together.

If you provide leisure, recreation or sport and physical activity opportunities and you would like to find out more information in how we can work together to achieve this, please get in touch.

* Mencap

** Sport England Active Lives Adult Survey November 2018/19 Report

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