British Blind Sport Takes Collective Approach to Covid-19

The British Blind Sport (BBS) 2020 Impact Report examines how the ongoing pandemic has affected service users' levels of physical activity and engagement with the charity. The report also includes an overview of BBS's projects, partnership initiatives and how the charity intends to support blind and partially sighted people in returning to sport and physical activity in the coming year.

BBS was forced to review its project delivery plan and introduce new services as a result of Covid-19. During the lockdown, it became clear that social isolation posed a greater risk to blind and partially sighted people than ever before. BBS helped to support its service users by delivering virtual activities and maintaining communications. Over 54,000 people visited our website in 2020, with the most popular pages being Active at Home, Classifications, Activity Finder and Find A Guide. This indicates that service users were visiting the BBS website to learn how they could get active despite the pandemic. Even with these restrictions, BBS's 2020 membership survey found that 76% of its members met the UK Physical Activity Guidelines of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity per week.

It has been more important than ever to work collaboratively to support as many blind and partially sighted people as possible to be active, get involved in their community and improve their physical and mental wellbeing. BBS continues to prioritise and strengthen partnerships in the sport and sight loss sector and actively seeks opportunities for collaboration to raise awareness for the charity and add value to services. BBS have continued to assist sports organisations and clubs in becoming more inclusive by providing expert advice on ways to engage BPSP in sport. This report, as well as potential future studies, will provide BBS and partner organisations with insight into how to best support blind and partially sighted people in 2021 and beyond.

Alaina MacGregor, BBS Chief Executive Officer said, “Although it has been a challenging year, it has also been a year of tremendous strength and insight. BBS continues to be passionate about making a visible difference through sport and this runs through all we do. We are excited to release our 2020 Impact Report as it reflects the hard work everyone in the charity put in over the last year. We’re currently working hard towards achieving our strategic aims, despite some adaptations we needed to make in 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic. We continue to develop projects, partnerships and engagement to maximise opportunities and our capacity for all.”

Data was collected between March 2020 and March 2021. This period includes the eight months since the start of COVID-19 restrictions to the start of the second national lockdown in November 2020. The report is available to view and download via our website: https://britishblindsport.org.uk/impact-reports/

For more information on the British Blind Sport 2020 Impact Report, please contact alex@britishblindsport.org.uk or phone 01926 424247