• Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Email Us
  • Twitter
  • WhatsApp

By GM Moving Commitment to Inclusion Partners | 19 August 2022 | TAGS: Inclusion, disability

GM Moving Partners' Commitment to Inclusion is to create a Greater Manchester that enables active lives by disabled people and people with long-term conditions.

Greater Manchester is committed to developing an inclusive, whole systems approach to active lives and tackling inequalities. This is demonstrated in Greater Manchester Moving’s emerging strategy which aims to enable active lives for all.

To support this, commitments have been co-created, with sector representatives and people with lived experience, to drive this agenda forward. This commitment is to support leisure and activity providers to enable disabled people and people with long-term conditions to lead active lives in Greater Manchester.


 In Greater Manchester, one in five people are disabled or have a long-term condition with this number set to increase in coming years.

Disabled people and people with long-term conditions are the most inactive group in society. This is a concern for Greater Manchester, with disabled people and people with long-term conditions twice as likely to be inactive. This is despite four in five disabled people and people with long-term conditions wanting to be more active. Disabled people and people with long-term conditions feel they are prevented by intrinsic, physical, social and cultural barriers

A significant barrier is a lack of accessible, inclusive opportunities for disabled people and people with long-term conditions. Eight in ten providers say they have no experience of delivering activity to disabled people or people with long-term conditions. This leads to low levels of confidence and knowledge in providing activity to disabled people and people with long-term conditions. Deliverers admit disabled people are not ‘top of mind’, ‘talked about with peers’ or ‘part of the professional’ conversation’.

Opportunity for the sector

While these inequalities are vast, reducing them offers opportunities for Greater Manchester.

In our communities it serves to increase awareness and understanding of difference, supporting togetherness and diversity.

Financially, disabled people and people with long-term conditions have an approximate combined spending power of £10 billion in Greater Manchester. This offers Greater Manchester’s mainstream leisure and activity providers the opportunity to engage a new market, increasing footfall and income.

Making activity accessible for disabled people and people with long-term conditions also offers benefits to health and social care. By creating opportunities to manage health, we reduce avoidable demand and pressure on our care system.

So how do we do it?

To reduce inequalities, Greater Manchester must work together as a whole system.

Our approaches may look different, but this is a collective movement, with all involved committed to the following draft principles:

Our shared commitment to tackling inequalities in activity for disabled people and people with long-term conditions as leisure and activity providers

 As a System Leaders and Partners, we will:

  • Recognise and champion the role of moving more in tackling health inequalities disabled people and people with long-term conditions face.
  • Work together to champion the importance of active lives and inclusion for disabled people and people with long-term conditions.
  • Acknowledge physical activity across the life course, in supporting healthier and happier people and stronger, more diverse communities.
  • Remove barriers and create environments for disabled people and people with long-term conditions to be active in their own way.
  • Work together, sharing ideas and good practice to enable active lives by disabled people and people with long-term conditions.
  • Be receptive to the experience of disabled people and people with long-term conditions as a way to inform our response.
  • Respond to changes in policy which may impact or be relevant to disabled people and people with long-term conditions.

As individuals and organisations providing activity and leisure we will:

  • Work together as a team; open-minded, learning, not competing for credit or territory.
  • Proactively create the space to engage, listen and effectively respond to what disabled people and people with long-term conditions want.
  • Appreciate diversity of experience, challenge and perspective in enabling active life across for disabled people and people with long conditions.
  • When this are difficult, keep going and work through challenges with new ideas and by working together.
  • Offer support and care for those around you, appreciating everchanging level of demand on people, organisations and systems.

We will follow GM Moving Core Principles in our work, including:

  • Take a proportionate universalism approach, maintaining universal support but channelling our resources in a targeted way. Particularly relevant to disabled people and people with long-term conditions as the least active group.
  • Take a whole system approach, using the contributions of partners across beyond who we might usually work with.
  • Take an evidence based approach, learning all the time and sharing what works best.
  • Draw on the expertise of people with lived experience, and the organisations and networks that they work with most closely.
  • Seek to understand societal attitudes and behaviours and their impact on disabled people and people with long-term conditions.

Insight from leisure and activity providers

GM Moving partners have worked with leisure and activity providers to understand what’s needed for this change to happen.

Leisure and activity providers explain there’s a need for tangible direction and actions to support this agenda on the ground.

Considering this, Greater Manchester Moving has collected examples of best practice for use and reference. These examples are based on insight from disabled people and people with long-term conditions, and organisations working alongside them. They cover specific areas which present barriers and best practice for providers to mitigate.

Learning and Sharing Together

In the spirit of Greater Manchester Moving principles, we want to ensure that people feel supported. This means partners having the opportunity to share learning, challenge and celebrate the achievements related to tackling inequalities for disabled people and people with long-term conditions.

Partners involved in this work are working together and are here to support each other with knowledge, insight, learning and practical support. If there is anything that would help, you can get in touch via [email protected] and someone will connect you to the best people and organisations to support.

This might be a ‘road-map to inclusion’ planning session for leisure and activity providers to offer structure and direction. It could be regular sessions to share learning, offer accountability and updates in relation to this work. Or support from partners within the system who may have expertise around a specific element of best practice. Get in touch and we will all see what we can do to support.

Partner Visits and Workshops 

As part of GM Moving Partners' Commitment to Inclusion, we want to share good practice when it comes to getting disabled people and people with long-term conditions active.

To support this, a range of organisations are offering colleagues across Greater Manchester with the opportunity to see what inclusion looks like in practice through partner visits. As part of these visits you will have the opportunity to:

  • See first-hand how some of the good practice from the commitment is implemented in the real-world
  • Discuss your learning from these opportunities with others to explore how you might take it back and implement in your place
  • Access a network of support to share your successes, concerns and challenges and explore how they might be overcome

There are over 30 organisations already involved in the Commitment to Inclusion network and there will be more visits and workshops as we grow this approach.

If you would like to join this growing network of partners committed to inclusion, please email [email protected] to add your name to the group.

Upcoming workshops:

Click on the titles for more information and to book your place.

Please note: these events have limited spaces. If you'd like to be put on a waiting list please email [email protected]

More partners visits will be added soon so please keep an eye on this page.

Partner visits hosted by:

Beyond Empower

Beyond Empower helps places #DoItDifferently to support healthy, active lives by disabled people. The organisation has provision across Greater Manchester specifically to make mainstream leisure and activity environments more accessible to disabled people to encourage inclusion between disabled and non-disabled people.

Having worked with a range of individual, organisations and communities to work towards more inclusive offers for disabled people, Beyond Empower is looking forward to sharing it’s work, experience and learning with you as part of this opportunity. 

Active Tameside

Active Everybody Can, is an award-winning inclusion and disability service, providing everybody the opportunity to develop, thrive and achieve no matter their need or ability. This is done through encouraging aspiration and hope through learning and moving with confidence from childhood to adulthood, ensuring barriers are removed for everybody to belong, enjoy, engage and grow in their community. There are different services and programmes to suit different needs and stages of life, all of which can be found in the attached brochure below.

You can also find out more information on the 'Everybody Can Adult Day Service' in this short video.


Seashell Active offers a range of inclusive sports, wellbeing, health and leisure activities for students of Seashell school and college, residents, our staff, and the wider community. Seashell are a partner organisation with Stockport Council on the GM Moving Local Pilot Project which aims is to reduce inactivity levels for children and young people with SEND in an out of school setting.

Seashell Active utilises the specialism of staff across the organisation who educate and care for children and young people with complex learning disabilities with little or no language ability to deliver services outside of school hours for people from the community to be active and utilise their facilities for the use of sport and physical activity.

Seashell Active is looking forward to providing an opportunity for you to gain a unique insight as to our school holiday CADS inclusive events and learning with you. Read more on Seashell here.

Dance Syndrome

Jen Blackwell has Down’s syndrome and is the inspiration behind multi-award-winning charity, DanceSyndrome. With the support of her family, she co-founded DanceSyndrome in 2009, which then became a registered charity in 2013. Jen’s dream was to be a community dance leader providing accessible dance for everyone. Her challenge to find appropriate inclusive dance opportunities, dance leadership and performance training led to Jen and her Mum setting up their own organisation. 

DanceSyndrome operates a unique co-delivery model providing dance training in the community and online - both in the form of inclusive technique classes and open creative sessions. DanceSyndrome offers a broad programme of innovative dance, leadership and inclusion workshops and training to address health inequalities, social inclusion, prevention, and transformation. DanceSyndrome also developed and delivers the ‘Dance by Example’ training course accredited by Sports Leaders UK as well as performing spectacular routines all over the UK and delivering inspirational and motivational talks and presentations. Read more on DanceSyndrome here.



Latest News

Growing community-led health and wellbeing across Greater Manchester

By Live Well | 24 May 2024

Live Well’s mission is to ensure people and communities are at the heart of Greater Manchester's model for health and wellbeing.

Environmental sustainability: Making Every Move count in Greater Manchester

By Eve Holt, Strategic Director, GM Moving | 17 May 2024

‘The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second best time is now’. Chinese proverb.

GM Ringway launches new website with 80% of route now waymarked

By GM Ringway | 16 May 2024

GM Ringway, Greater Manchester’s walking trail, has launched a new website with the trail expected to be fully waymarked by the end of June.