Activities for disabled people are now available in almost every ward of the district after two decades of work by a dedicated team at Horsham District Council.
Head of housing and community development at Horsham District Council Trevor Beadle recently told councillors how the Horsham Paralympic Flame event attended by hundreds of people last month was the result of 20 years of investment in inclusive activities.
He said: “The Paralympic Flame Celebration event was organised by the council’s community development team to ensure that Horsham district residents had an opportunity to feel part of the once in a lifetime event that is the London Olympics and Paralympics.
“However, the event also sought to highlight and showcase Horsham District Council’s contribution to making art, sport and other cultural activities accessible to all.
“Year by year over the last 20 years, the council has created new accessible arts and sports opportunities that have gained it a county, regional and national reputation in this field.
“It is this reputation which ultimately resulted in our ability to attract a piece of the Paralympic Flame to Horsham.”
Since 2004 £428,000 has paid for activities for disability related activities and more recently around £143,000 granted through the National Aiming High programme has enabled the team to continue to deliver activity for disabled children to include respite for parent/carers.
He said: “Over the last 20 years the council’s community development team has delivered services in every ward or parish except Shermanbury, Wiston and Woodmancote.
“It has helped establish over 200 new self sustained clubs, activities or sessions (ranging from village cinema to baseball) that attract over 230,000 attendances each year.”
Today the Aiming High Reaching Higher programme provides the following weekly activities for children and young people with additional needs:
Dance - Monday 5-6pm, Queen Elizabeth II School, Comptons Lane, Horsham
Trampolining - Tuesday, 4-6pm, Greenway School, Greenway, Horsham
Table tennis, Tuesday 6-7.30pm, Greenway School
Athletics, Wednesday 5-6pm, Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre
Rebound therapy - Wednesday, 4.30-6pm, Steyning Leisure Centre; Thursday 4.30-6pm QEII School, Horsham
Cricket - Thursday, 4.30-6pm, Collyer’s School Sports Hall, Hurst Road, Horsham
Percussion - Friday, 4.15-6pm, QM Studios, Denne Road, Horsham
DJing - Friday 6-8pm QM Studios
Archery - Friday 5-6.30pm, Sports Hall, Forest School, Comptons Lane, Horsham
Badminton - Saturday 2.30-5pm, Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre
Video Production - 2.30-5pm, QM Studios, Horsham
The team aims to add cycling and wheelchair basketball to the programme next year. For more information contact project co-ordinator, Helen Crooks on 07734 231052 or email firstname.lastname@example.org