In a move to drive prevention through integrated place-based approaches in adult health and social care, Nottinghamshire Healthcare’s Newark Intellectual Developmental Disabilities (IDD) has enlisted the skills, knowledge and expertise of Sport for Confidence CIC. 
 
Working with a consortium of community partners that includes YMCA Newark and Boccia England, Sport for Confidence is supporting the creation of a clear pathway from health to leisure services, that supports those with Intellectual and Developmental Disability to access, participate and sustain physical activity opportunities that drive positive occupational outcomes. 
 
“The project is a fantastic example of how a whole-system approach that recruits the skills and services of a diverse array of community providers can deliver quality, health and social care focused outcomes that not only work for the individual but also helps to take the pressure off clinical services.” Says Becky Sutton, Nottinghamshire Healthcare’s Chief Operating Officer. 
 
The project directs individuals from NHS services to their local YMCA Community and Activity Village, where they take part in weekly, coached Boccia sessions tailored to their needs. Sessions are delivered by the YMCA team and are specifically designed in collaboration with the NHS Newark team. Healthcare professionals, such as occupational therapists, speech therapists, and physiotherapists, adapt their clinical expertise to the community and activity-oriented setting and work closely with sports coaches to make personalised adjustments, ensuring everyone can meaningfully participate. 
 
Liz Fletcher, OT and National Lead at Sport for Confidence, says: “Sport and physical activity has the power to deliver a vast array of physical and mental health outcomes. This project in Nottingham opens the door to participation opportunities that for many have, until now, not been accessible whilst also creating a wider network of support that drives social connection and engagement with the community. 
 
“We are working with the collective delivery team, sharing our experience and knowledge from similar projects we have delivered in Essex. This includes a *2-year test and learn pilot with Essex Country Council’s Adult Health and Social Care that recorded a return of £58.71 in social value for every £1 invested.” 
 
Sarah Needham, Specialist Senior Physiotherapist, working within the Newark Intellectual Developmental Disabilities team, adds: “The project started as a result of our multi-disciplinary team of therapists in Newark wanting to signpost our service users to accessible sporting groups for adults with learning disabilities in our local community. We quickly realised there were very limited options for our service users to attend. 
 
“After looking at the new facilities at the YMCA we wanted to see if we could set up a group in partnership that provided accessible physical activity for our service users with NHS therapy input delivered at the same time. 
 
“With a lot of research and discussions we collaborated with the YMCA and our other partners to allow our vision to become a reality.” 
 
The project started in January, with the first Boccia sessions being held at the YMCA Community and Activity Village. Becky Sutton adds: “Assuming this project is a success, our ambition is to extend this pathway to include access via other local leisure centres, further improving accessibility. 
 
“So far, the feedback from partners and participants has been hugely encouraging. It is fantastic to be able to offer people an alternative to individual at-home rehabilitation which encourages social interaction, movement and therapy all under one roof.” 
 
To view a video about the project, visit: https://youtu.be/ju4DVL0pmOY 
 
 
*For more information about this 2-year pilot - Prevention & Enablement Model 
 
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