British Blind Sport (BBS) and three Active Partnerships, Sport Birmingham, Active Gloucestershire and Together Active are pleased to announce that they will collaborate with partners to replicate and deliver See My Voice (SMV), a sports leadership and volunteering programme for young people with disabilities. The expansion aims to encourage more organisations to offer inclusive volunteering opportunities, with the ultimate goal of making disability inclusion the norm in the sports sector and beyond.
As an extension to the Sport England and National Lottery funded project which saw BBS’s successful See My Voice programme being scaled up in 2022, over the next 10 months, BBS will work with the Active Partnerships to replicate the project.
The three Active Partners will deliver the project in clubs and communities. The project aims to provide young people with disabilities the opportunity to volunteer in a local club or organisation by offering an inclusive and supportive environment tailored to the individual needs of the young people taking part.
The project helps Young Leaders to gain confidence and achieve a Sports Leadership Level 2 Qualification. It also allows them to meet new people, network with sports organisations, raise awareness of their disability and have a positive and long-term impact on the host organisation.
Alaina MacGregor, CEO of British Blind Sport, said: “Many young people with disabilities miss out on opportunities to volunteer or gain valuable work experience. This is often due to a lack of appropriate support. BBS believes that people with disabilities should have the same opportunities as everyone else. By working with key Active Partners within the West Midlands, we can empower more young people to take on this fun, life-changing experience, overcome barriers and encourage more organisations to implement inclusive volunteering practises.”
Nicola English – Inclusion Development Manager from Sport Birmingham said: “Having been involved in See My Voice previously, we have seen first-hand the positive impact the project can have on the young people involved. Not only this, but the confidence and knowledge within clubs to support young disabled people increased dramatically. We are looking forward to continuing this project and being able to support more disabled young people across the City get involved in a variety of volunteering opportunities.”
Carly Jones, Chief Executive Together Active said: “Together Active are excited to be working with British Blind Sport to deliver this valuable and exciting opportunity for young disabled people in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. We believe all young people have the right to develop their skills, build confidence and experience volunteering activities in clubs and communities locally.”
Ben Langworthy, Senior Project Officer (Active Ageing & Disability) from Active Gloucestershire said: “We are really looking forward to being part of See My Voice. As the Active Partnership for Gloucestershire, we want to see a county that is inclusive and accessible for everyone to take part in physical activity and sport in any way they wish. We are delighted to be working with a local partner to support disabled young people develop their leadership skills, gain a Sports Leaders qualification and find volunteering opportunities across the county.”
Since 2018, the programme has supported 194 young people to contribute over 3110 hours (444 working days) of their time to help facilitate sports clubs, events, and organisations across the UK. In 2022, BBS collaborated with UK Deaf Sport and Sport Birmingham to empower more young people with other impairments and influence organisations that provide volunteer opportunities to adopt more inclusive practices. The success of this programme has inspired BBS to explore new partnerships and pilot the programme to support young people from different impairment groups and backgrounds to participate.
For more information about the project, please visit: https://britishblindsport.org.uk/see-my-voice/
If you want to become a delivery partner or host organisation for young volunteers, please contact the BBS office at 01926 424247 or email email@example.com.
For more information on each project partner, please visit:
Sport Birmingham - Website: https://sportbirmingham.org/ Tel: 01212965190
Together Active - Website: https://togetheractive.org/ Tel: 07800619681
Active Gloucestershire - Website: https://www.activegloucestershire.org/ Tel: 01452303528