Fiftieth sign up to pioneering activity pledge

A ground-breaking campaign to encourage organisations to improve their approach to increasing participation and equality has signed up its fiftieth organisation.

The Include Me West Midlands Pledge is led by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) in partnership with Sport England and disability charity Activity Alliance. It is a regional approach to making the West Midlands an exemplar region for engaging disabled people and people with long term health conditions to be physically active.
The pledge shows disabled people, and people with long term health conditions that an organisation has made a commitment to become a supporter and consider how it engages better with people and is open to listening to their thoughts and views. The fiftieth sign-up is the Tudor Grange Leisure Centre, Solihull which is managed by Everyone Active. Meanwhile, 50 other organisations have contacted WMCA stating they are keen to sign up. Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands said:

“Include Me WM has reached an important milestone in helping to challenge perceptions and change lives of disabled people. 
“This project gives disabled people, and people with long term health conditions, a voice to help improve access and opportunities across the West Midlands. In addition, it gives organisations the opportunity to contribute to making the region a better place to live.”
Cllr Yvonne Davies the WMCA portfolio holder for Public Service Reform and leader of Sandwell Council, added:

“It is highly encouraging to see such a variety of organisations show they are eager to commit to improving how they engage with disabled people in the West Midlands.” 
Include Me WM uses the Activity Alliance Talk to Me principles to identify how organisations can make improvements to engage better with people. Focusing on these areas helps organisations understand their needs and make physical activity a viable option.
Initial evaluation has shown there are three Activity Alliance Talk to Me principles that Include Me WM participating organisations value the most. The first is Listen to Me which refers to discussing needs in a safe and private environment and listening to thoughts and views on how to improve services. 
The second is emphasising disabled people who are already undertaking activities and working within an organisation to give disabled people the confidence to be involved, referred to as Show Me. The third is using the channels that are trusted to communicate with disabled people and people with long term health conditions. Called My Channels, this includes organisations wanting to look at how they can make their communications more inclusive.


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