The importance of friendships during lockdown

Learning Disability Week, 15 to 21 June, is an opportunity to think and act on how we support those with a learning disability to be more active.

Sarah Haden-Godwin

11 Jun 2020

Gloucestershire group in inclusive activity.

Life in lockdown has been lonely and isolating for many of us and for people with a learning disability, who already experience much higher levels of loneliness and isolation, lockdown has made things worse.


In the UK, there are over 1.5million people with a learning disability, which is 2.16% of the population. Staying active is important for everyone, and for those with learning disabilities being active can help to improve their wellbeing, develop friendships and build confidence.


However, we know that people with a disability tend to be less active than people without a disability. Only 47% of disabled people are active compared to 68% of non-disabled people. *


Some of the reasons that disabled people do not take part in or do more of physical activities are:

  • inaccessible spaces
  • lack of awareness of staff
  • lack of inclusive activities
  • lack of accessible information
  • negative attitudes towards disability.

We want that to change.

Beyond lockdown and into the future

We know how important it is for people with a learning disability to have a choice of the physical activity and sport opportunities that they want to take part in.

We are striving to ensure that sport and physical activity is accessible and inclusive across Gloucestershire.

1. Be a change maker

We encourage individuals and organisations to be change makers. Change makers are a we can move community inspiring others to get more active. We provide training and development that can give you the skills you need to create an inclusive space.

2. Share your story

If you are supporting someone with a learning disability to get active or stay active, we would love to hear your story and to celebrate it. Get in touch.

3. Let us work together

If you provide leisure, recreation or sport and physical activity opportunities and you would like to find out more about how we can work together to change this, get in touch.

*Active Lives Survey, Nov 2018 to Nov 2019 results


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Sarah Haden-Godwin
11 Jun 2020

Sarah is a Physical Activity Specialist at Active Gloucestershire and leads on work for disabled people and older adults.