Spirit of 2012 has awarded £4.5 million to a UK wide consortium led by the English Federation of Disability Sport.

The initiative will be called Get Out Get Active and the funding will be used to get people active in eighteen locations across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The focus is on increasing participation in fun and inclusive physical activity, so that disabled and non-disabled people can enjoy recreational activity together, and volunteers supporting people into active lifestyles will be at the heart of Get Out & Get Active.

Dugald Mackie, Chair of Spirit of 2012 said: “There are few more important health issues facing the UK today than the health consequences of sedentary lifestyles, and as an Olympic and Paralympic inspired charity, I believe strongly that Spirit of 2012 should be at the forefront of finding imaginative ways of tackling it”.

Debbie Lye, Chief Executive of Spirit of 2012 said: “This initiative can help all of us who are concerned about health and wellbeing to learn lessons that will support delivery of the Government’s new strategy for an active nation.  We want to ensure that being active is appealing, accessible, fun and inclusive for people of all abilities.  We are determined to understand how we can give people the confidence to enjoy more active lives together with their families and friends”.

Barry Horne, Chief Executive for the English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS) said: “I am absolutely delighted that our consortium has been chosen by Spirit of 2012 to oversee such a major investment into communities across the UK. The programme will deliver exciting new opportunities for disabled and non-disabled people to “Get Out & Get Active”!

“We believe this programme has the potential to change how people can be encouraged and enabled to become more active in the opportunities which are on their doorstep but for so long have seemed out of reach. EFDS has learnt so much through our research with disabled people about new approaches to engage many more people into active recreation, and over the next four years our local and national partners will put that thinking into practice right across the UK.”

The funding will not focus on providing new activities, but aims to increase demand for, and the accessibility of, existing provision in local authorities, sports clubs and the voluntary sector. 

This award echoes the sentiments of the Sports Strategy released by the Government last month, which has put a huge emphasis on how playing sport and being active can have a meaningful and measurable impact on improving people’s lives. The charity is already committed to this agenda, as delivery partners of the Scottish Government Legacy 2014 Physical Activity Fund. Sir Harry Burns, Spirit of 2012 Board Member, former Chief Medical Officer of Scotland, and currently Professor of Global Public Health at the University of Strathclyde, has advised on the programme.

In making this significant investment in Get Out & Get Active, Spirit of 2012 is particularly interested in understanding what works best to get those who are least active into activity, and how to keep them active. It is those people that Get Out & Get Active will be specifically trying to reach.

Additional information:

Almost one fifth of the UK’s population are disabled people, so should have every opportunity to be as active as non-disabled people, yet they are half as likely to be as active as non-disabled people. Physical activity can make a fundamental difference to everyone’s quality of life, increase independence and benefit the economy.

Physical inactivity has unsustainable health, economic and social impacts on individuals, families, communities and local services in England including one in six deaths (equal to smoking) and an annual cost to society of £7.4 billion.

Seven in ten disabled people want to be more active, representing a huge and ‘untapped’ market. Six in ten (64 per cent) of disabled people would prefer to take part in sport and physical activity with a mix of disabled and non-disabled people.

(Source: EFDS lifestyle report 2013).

List of Get Out, Get Active locations:



Manchester, Greater Manchester

Rochdale, Greater Manchester

Wigan, Greater Manchester

Margate, Kent

East Lindsey, Lincolnshire

Lambeth, London

Wandsworth, London


Stoke-on- Trent

Northern Ireland

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon

Derry City and Strabane



Grampians (covering Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire Council and Moray Council)

Forth Valley (covering Clackmannanshire, Falkirk and Stirling council areas)



Rhondda Cynon Taf


Consortium partners: EFDS, Disability Sport Wales, Scottish Disability Sport, Disability Sport N.I and Volunteering Matters

National Delivery Partners: Sporting Equals, Disability Rights UK, Women in Sport, StreetGames, Parkrun, England Athletics, Youth Sport Trust, Amateur Swimming Association, Age UK, Play England

Other local partners: Bradford Disability Sport and Leisure, City of Stoke on Trent, Greater Sport, Kent County Council, Kent Sport, Lincolnshire Sport, London Sport, Nottingham City Council


Spirit of 2012 is an independent trust, established with a £47m endowment from the Big Lottery Fund. We fund projects that empower people to get out, be involved and feel better. We fund partners that provide opportunities in sports, physical activity, arts and culture, volunteering and social action. http://www.spiritof2012trust.org.uk/   

The English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS) exists to make active lives possible and ensure that millions of disabled people can lead active lifestyles. Dedicated to disabled people in sport and physical activity, EFDS supports a wide range of organisations to include disabled people more effectively. The national charity looks to a better future where everyone can enjoy the opportunities available. Established in September 1998, EFDS has a vision that disabled people are active for life.

To find out more, please visit www.efds.co.uk

For further information, please contact:

Catherine Riley, Head of Communications, Spirit of 2012 [email protected]

T: 0203 7017440 M: 07833470985

Sarah Marl, Marketing & Communications Manager, English Federation of Disability Sport [email protected]