With our growing team here at UK Deaf Sport and so many exciting projects being worked on behind the scenes. We want to share with our supporters and members the array of work our staff are currently working on. So for our very blog we our National Partnership Advisor Sadie, who started in January this year and will be giving us some insight into her work at UKDS so far!
My first couple of months at UK Deaf Sport has flown by and consisted of many Zoom meetings. I attended Sport England’s new strategy launch as well as Activity Alliance annual disability survey. Both conferences have highlighted how the pandemic has disproportionately impacted disabled people’s ability to be active and how collectively we must prioritise disabled people in all current and future plans. Due to these findings this is an exciting time for me to join the organisation and help increase grassroots provision for the deaf and hard of hearing community.
Something I have really enjoyed this month is meeting with several different National Governing Bodies and discussing their Return to Play plans once restrictions are lifted. I will be looking to work with National Governing Bodies to improve workforce development and deaf specific projects as well as local delivery pilots that are in the planning process currently. This line of work will really focus on growing grassroutes opportunities across several different sports and geographical locations, making the sessions more inclusive. Moving forward I will look to assist the way National Governing Bodies monitor their data so we can really capture and understand how many Deaf people are taking part in each sport, this will then highlight key areas to improve grassroutes opportunities.
One particular project I have been working on with Swim England is a Strobe Lights Project to assist with deaf and hard of hearing swimmers on the starting blocks. As part of this project, I will also be delivering Deaf Awareness Training to Coaches and Venues who will be installing these strobe lights in their facilities. Not only will this help grow the interest of deaf swimmers, but it also supports their pathway to competition. Swim England and UK Deaf Sport making swimming accessible with equal starts – UK Deaf Sport This
Another project I am working on in London is the Tackling Inequalities Fund with the Sensory Alliance. This is in Partnership that consists of UK Deaf Sport, British Blind Sport and SENSE. This aim of this project is to assist communities, organizations and partners who have endured outreach activities being reduced or stopped and vital support being restricted to those over the age of 45 who are Deaf/ Hard of hearing, Blind/Visually Impaired and/or may have complex needs. We are working to provide activity and challenge packs, mental health resources, virtual activities, and links to local community provisions when restrictions allow. This is a great opportunity to work with grassroots activity and develop important community provisions. The project is aimed at reaching those who have been impacted the most during the pandemic and those who are at risk of social isolation. By signposting participants to their local clubs we hope to encourage more community provisions for deaf people local to them once restrictions ease, whilst in the meantime providing challenge packs and mental health resources to complete at home or in their local parks.
Although in the early stages of planning I have begun to map out 2 local delivery pilots. This is a fantastic opportunity to grow grassroots activity on a local community-based level for all ages. This will involve several different National Governing Bodies and Active Partnerships who are passionate about having every deaf person active and taking part in sport and physical activity.
UK Deaf Sport have released their first ever Virtual Challenge for the month of March. UK Deaf Sport are encouraging all members of the public to get involved in ‘Moving 30 Miles in March’ Challenge to help UK Deaf Sport reach and encourage more Deaf children, young people and adults into being physically active
For more information, please email me on Sadie.Lawson@UKDS.org.uk