British Blind Sport ‘scales up’ their successful See My Voice programme!

Following the success of the three year See My Voice programme that British Blind Sport developed to support blind and partially sighted young people achieve leadership skills through volunteering, we are delighted to announce that we have been selected by Sport England as one of only five organisations that have been given the opportunity to ‘Scale Up’ the programme.

The programme was chosen for its potential to scale its success from Sport England’s existing pool of volunteering fund grantees. Over the next 18 months BBS will receive support from social impact consultancy, Spring Impact to pilot their approach to scaling See My Voice and explore new partnerships with other organisations to work alongside to enable young people from different impairment groups and backgrounds to participate.

Since its launch in 2018, the 'See My Voice' programme has supported 159 Young Leaders to contribute over 2650 hours of their time to help facilitate clubs, events and organisations across the UK. They have volunteered in a variety of capacities, including coaching and event coordination to develop skills that will inevitably increase their confidence and enhance their employment prospects.

'See My Voice' helps young people to develop life skills, leadership qualities and a recognised qualification to take with them into future employment and volunteering experiences.

Melanie Piper, See My Voice Lead Officer said, "This is an exciting time for the project and is a fantastic opportunity for young people to have a positive and lasting impact on the wider sporting community. The scaling up of the programme allows us to offer more meaningful volunteering experiences and support organisations to adopt inclusive volunteering practices nationwide.”

Spring Impact’s Steve Robcraft, Managing Consultant said “We are excited to be working with British Blind Sport (BBS) through Sport England’s Scaling Programme to support its ambitious efforts to scale its fantastic See My Voice (SMV) programme. Working with strategically aligned partners will be an exciting opportunity for BBS to expand access to the SMV programme, empowering more young disabled people and influencing host organisations that offer volunteering opportunities to adopt more inclusive practices, with the ultimate aim that disability inclusion becomes the norm within the sports sector and beyond."

Rainbow Mbuangi, a previous Young Leader said, “’ See My Voice’ made me realise I didn’t have a disability. I had a different ability. I would encourage any young person who is looking to enhance their leadership skills to apply for this amazing opportunity!”

British Blind Sport are looking for young people with a visual impairment between the ages of 14 and 19 to volunteer for the year-long scheme, which will begin in September 2021. Applications are now open and will close at 5pm on the 27th of August 2021.

In addition, if you are interested in becoming a delivery partner or becoming a host organisation for young volunteers, please contact Melanie Piper, See My Voice Lead Officer, at melanie@britishblindsport.org.uk

For details about the delivery of the project and the Young Leader recruitment process, please contact Connor Fellows, See My Voice Delivery Officer, at connor@britishblindsport.org.uk

For more information, please visit https://britishblindsport.org.uk/see-my-voice/

NOTES TO EDITORS
Based in Leamington Spa, British Blind Sport is the national disability sport organisation that represents visually impaired people in sport across the UK. The charity helps blind and partially sighted people get active and play sport. Sport and recreational activities can enhance the lives of people with visual impairments, by improving their health and increasing their social interaction. We encourage adults and children to participate in activities at all levels, from grassroots to the Paralympic Games.

About Spring Impact
Spring Impact is a global non-profit which enables organisations to scale social impact through consultancy and developing and sharing insight, is running the scaling programme over three years, in partnership with Sport England.

About Sport England
Sport England is a public body and invests up to £300 million National Lottery and government money each year in projects and programmes that help people get active and play sport.

It wants everyone in England, regardless of age, background, or level of ability, to feel able to engage in sport and physical activity. That’s why a lot of its work is specifically focused on helping people who do no, or very little, physical activity and groups who are typically less active – like women, disabled people and people on lower incomes.

The scaling programme  initiative forms part of Sport England’s broader strategy to grow more inclusive volunteering opportunities to build an active nation, particularly through inspiring increased participation from more diverse groups, such as disabled people, older people, those from lower social economic backgrounds, and women and girls.

About The National Lottery
This work is made possible by National Lottery Funding. Thanks to National Lottery players, up to £600 million has been made available to support communities throughout the UK during the Coronavirus crisis. National Lottery players raise £30m every week for good causes, funding arts, heritage, sports, voluntary and charity projects around the UK.

For more information on good causes in your area go to www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk