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A Year in Inclusive Sports Academy!

What a year that 2022 has been, arguably the biggest Inclusive Sports has had yet! In this blog, we take a look back on all of the wonderful events and key points of our year! 2022 has been jam- packed full of inclusive, fun activities that we have brought to the wonderful SEND community of Solihull. With not only our team but our client base growing, we have met so many new people and we are so glad to have them on board with us! To kick start, we held an amazing Easter camp at the beginning of the year, a week full of wonderful activities over the break... With lots of egg hunts, trips and in house sessions packed with fun. It was closely followed by our five week extravaganza during the Summer holidays, making it our second summer camp that we have ever held! There are too many activities to document, and so much fun was had in both the North and South of the borough for the SEND communities. When the cold season started to come around, we hosted a spooky Halloween party full of ghoulish ghosts, with plenty of tricks and treats! Then of course, our latest week that was full of festive fun for the Christmas season! Thanks to everyone who came along, as well as everyone who worked or volunteered, we hope you had just as much fun as we did. This year we have really began to concentrate more on our PA service, providing our participants with a tailored and directed approach to respite throughout the year. Just some of the amazing things we have done as part of our PA service has been a comedy night, horse riding, lots of baking, trampolining, mini golf and rock climbing! This service is not only amazing for our participants, but is a huge help to the parents and carers over the weekend, and allowing others to experience new things. We also can’t forget the commonwealth games, which we were lucky enough to take some of our participants to… as well as our commonwealth session that we ran whilst all the events were taking place! It was such a historical and memorable event for us all in Birmingham, and we are so honoured that we managed to provide that experience. We have also brought in some new sessions this year that have been an absolute hit! Inclusive Development, where we concentrate on independence and general life skills that will help the lives of our young people… Whilst providing them with skills for the world of work, such as CV building and providing them with valuable volunteering experience. Not just that, but Inclusive Futures as well, that provides the children and young people with the extra support they may need for school. This includes short workshops, lessons and support to fill the gap that may have emerged through the Covid-19 pandemic. We also started our Saturday sessions, Inclusive Youth and Inclusive Active, giving our participants a safe and monitored space at the weekend to socialise and have fun outside of their school life. It also gives respite to busy parents and carers… and they have gone down a storm so far! If you would like to book onto any of our sessions, please jump on over to our Class for Kids link! We are restarting our provision back up on the 9th January 2022 so please mark your calendars! Whilst we have sadly said goodbye to a few core members this year, but we have also had two new join the core Inclusive Sports team. We said hello to Claire, our new term time coordinator who brings you all of our wonderful activities throughout the week, and has a vast knowledge on the world of inclusion! She is passionate about SEND accessibility and rights, and has been such a valuable addition to the team! We also got Eva on board, who has helped us stay organised in the office with admin as well as getting involved as a coach on our sessions! With this being her first job post-education, we hope we have provided her with a warm and friendly first time job environment. We collaborated with Time 2 Shine Drama for a total of 10 weeks of drama lessons for our participants, that allowed them to express themselves and let their creativity run wild, whilst building on their confidence! This all concluded with a fantastic performance of the Emperors New Clothes, which went down a storm. Thank you again to the wonderful team for providing such a fun and inviting session! We took a big step this year and set up our very own fundraising platform Inclusive Giving, which allowed all of you wonderful people to donate to us as well as gift items off our wishlist that will come in handy at our sessions. We want to now take the opportunity to thank every single person who generously donated, no matter how big or small. Every single penny helps and we are so eternally grateful. Thank you for making Inclusive Sports even better! We also can’t forget the 3 Peaks fundraiser completed by our CEO Andy and practitioner James in October. Braving the Yorkshire hills to raise money for Inclusive Sports Academy and Ordinary Magic- raising a grand total of over £300. What an achievement! We have also moved a lot of our sessions to multiple new locations, Fordbridge, Hatchford Brook and the Onward Club! Thanks to all of them for welcoming us with such open arms, and being such amazing venues for us to hold our provision. We want to also say a big thank you to all of our new participants who have joined us this year, we are so glad to have you on board and we hope we have given you plenty of fun opportunities throughout the year. We hope to see you back at our sessions next year, and hopefully bring along some of your friends also! Another thank you to every single member of staff who have worked with us or volunteered throughout the year. We wouldn’t be able to run our provision without you- you are all absolutely amazing... we are so lucky to have you all! Another massive thank you to all our funders this year. There are too many of you to list! Thanks so much for your generosity, every penny is so appreciated. As we are a CIC, we do depend on funds and grants for our core income. Sometimes these funders do have specification which means our participants must meet certain criteria for the sessions to run. This is why we sometimes can't accept every single person- as much as we would love to! So, from Andy, Kat, Caitlin, Claire, Eva, and myself we are wishing you all a very happy new year, and all promise to come back with a bang in January… Making 2023 the best year Inclusive Sports has had yet! Happy New Year!

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