The community hero keeping disabled and elderly people moving

A major survey from Activity Alliance has found that less than 3 in 10 disabled people feel forgotten as the country recovers from the pandemic.

Key findings included that there has been an increase in barriers relating to health and finances, disabled people are being left out and feeling less encouraged and that the workforce at many levels doesn’t understand disability and that spaces still aren’t accessible.

Exercise and health specialist Javeno Mclean is just one person who is an advocate for inclusive exercise and runs free weekly exercise sessions for disabled and elderly people and in his Blackley health centre.

Being an exercise and health specialist for 20 years, Javeno believes that the reason many instructors don’t work with disabled people is fear: “Disabled people get forgotten about because people are scared. People are scared to train disabled people. Educate yourself and sharpen your tools so that you know how to deal with people. And when you do that, there’s no fear.”

He recently received a Jubilee Community Hero Award at the National Lottery’s Big Jubilee Street Party in recognition for his work.

Daiton shows his progress doing pull ups

As well as this, social media videos from the centre have gone viral with thousands of disabled people around the world being inspired to exercise, something that has been evidenced with videos sent to Javeno: “It’s overwhelming. Since we’ve started this, [people in] countries that I can’t even pronounce have messaged me. It’s really inspirational.”

Sam Orde, Chair of Activity Alliance says: “Many of the findings show negative changes and stark differences between disabled and non-disabled people. We have listened to disabled people and urge decision makers to do the same. Some barriers that have existed for a long time have been exasperated during this crisis. We cannot allow our nation to ignore and exclude a large proportion of society.”