Disability Sports Coach
Disability Sports Coach provides disabled people with a way to meet friends and have a good time through its community clubs across London, and also provides specialist coaches so schools and community groups can deliver inclusive sport sessions on-site, while training volunteers, coaches, and PE teachers on how to deliver inclusive sports in and around the capital.
Hub Gives Disabled People a Sporting Chance
We chatted with Amardeep Gill, Head of Fundraising & Communications at Disability Sports Coach.
Loneliness and isolation can be real issues for disabled people. Disability Sports Coach provides disabled people with a way to meet friends and have a good time through its community clubs across London, and also provides specialist coaches so schools and community groups can deliver inclusive sport sessions on-site, while training volunteers, coaches, and PE teachers on how to deliver inclusive sports in and around the capital.
‘We help around 5,000 people every year,’ says Amardeep. ‘They come to us not just for the sport, but for the social aspect – they get to meet people, have a good time and get some exercise at the same time. Thanks to our partners, we can keep our charges very low, and the impact to mental health is massive – it really helps to reduce isolation and loneliness, which disproportionately affects disabled people.
We have been working with the Benefact Group for a number of years, since being awarded a Movement for Good large grant back in 2019, regularly attending their fundraising forums and making use of their online fundraising hub
‘During the pandemic, we couldn’t open our clubs for 18 months,’ said Amardeep. ‘Many people missed out on meeting their friends each week. We also found venues were closing and costs were rising. We looked at the Benefact Fundraising Hub and found it to be a mine of useful information. With face-to-face activities closed, it helped us to find new ways of fundraising.
‘For instance, we found webinars and guides on different ways to fundraise, such as text giving. We decided to give it a go, and it actually helped our campaign to raise £1,300, which was very welcome indeed. The money helped us to run free online activity sessions while our clubs were closed, so disabled people could meet up virtually and socialise. We also provided packs of specialist sports equipment so people could keep active safely at home.
‘We also used the Hub to train two new colleagues in fundraising from Trusts and Foundations. Neither had a fundraising background, so it helped them to understand where to find grants, how to put an application together, what makes a strong case for support, and gave them a really good grounding. Since then, they secured £50,000 to deliver our inclusive sport clubs, which is absolutely brilliant. It’s helped us bring disabled people together again, to get active and feel part of their community.
‘I really can’t overstate how useful a resource it is to small charities, who are having to do more with less in the cost-of-living crisis.’