Tag Archives: partnerships

Virgin Media helps ParalympicsGB go for gold

In this guest post, our partner Virgin Media, is excited to announce their partnership with the British Paralympic Association (BPA). 

Virgin Media in partnership with us and the BPA have the ambition to positively change attitudes towards disability to drive participation of disabled people in work and everyday life.

At Virgin Media, we celebrate and value differences. This includes working to change attitudes towards disability – supporting disabled people in work and everyday life. That’s why we have partnered with Scope until 2020 to support more disabled people to get into and stay in work.

But our ambitions don’t end there. We also want to change attitudes towards disability to help drive participation of disabled people in the UK.

That’s why we’re so delighted to announce our new partnership with the BPA. This means that Virgin Media is supporting ParalympicsGB in their fearless quest, both in PyeongChang and in Tokyo in 2020. We’ve watched ParalympicsGB go from strength to strength over the years and I am thrilled we have the opportunity to support these athletes so they can reach even greater heights.

Not only does this partnership sit perfectly alongside our existing work with Scope, we know that sport has the power to inspire the country.

The 2012 and 2016 Paralympics were landmark moments that saw the country rally behind our Paralympic stars. And it did more than just spur us to unprecedented successes at the games.

Research from Scope shows that these sporting successes can change attitudes right across society:

  • Three quarters (78%) of disabled people say the Paralympics improve attitudes and four in five (82%) say the Games change negative assumptions to disability.
  • The poll of 1,000 disabled adults reveals that four in five (82%) believe the Games make disabled people more visible in wider society and challenge negative assumptions about what disabled people can achieve.
  • And more than three quarters (78%) of disabled people say the Paralympics have a positive impact on attitudes to disability.

In addition, recent research we commissioned to mark the start of our partnership with the BPA showed that Paralympians are the most inspirational athletes for young children.

Of course sport can’t change everything. That is why Virgin Media, Scope and BPA will be campaigning all year round, long after ParalympicsGB leave PyeongChang.

We are partnering with incredible organisations like Scope and the BPA to transform lives of disabled people, whether it’s on the snow or ice, in the workplace, or by shifting attitudes towards disability.

Our amazing Paralympians are already achieving great things in PyeongChang everyone at Virgin Media is cheering the team on.

To keep up to date on how ParalympicsGB is performing at PyeongChang, visit the BPA’s website or follow them on Twitter @ParalympicsGB

What does good co‑production look like?

Our service in Leeds has been awarded a certificate of appreciation for “true co-production” from EPIC Leeds. We asked Sara Smithson, Chair of EPIC Leeds, to tell us about the award and the importance of co-production:

The Certificate of appreciationEach year EPIC Leeds take time out to celebrate successes and say thank you to those who have worked with us to make Leeds a better place for disabled children, young people and their families. We have seen significant changes over the past year with introduction of the special educational needs and disability reforms and roll out of the Independent Support Programme. In these changing times, partnership working and listening to parents is crucial to make sure the benefits of new legal rights become a reality.

Why did you give Scope an award?

Because of them having developed such a fantastic relationship. We like Scope’s enthusiasm to improve the world for disabled children and young people. Scope says ‘yes’ to ideas and new ways of doing things which was evident in development of the Independent Support programme:

  • Researching through semi-structured interviews, focus groups and activities with children and young people. Getting their views on what was and wasn’t working in the SEN process and what they’d like to see from the upcoming independent support programme.
  • Working with parents, children, young people and frontline professionals to design a service which was meaningful to them and would work in the ‘real world’.
  • Having ALL parties round the table to create a Memorandum of Understanding. Sometimes this involves moving meeting dates four times to accommodate everyone’s diaries. Doing this shows the importance placed on representing everyone’s view.
  • Creating an atmosphere where all partners can collaborate, discuss and work out a way of making this programme work. And recognising that the expertise is in the room and no single party can achieve this alone.

In your view, what does good co-production look like?

To put it in a nutshell: being equal partners in every aspect from the beginning. Doing things together and not having things ‘decided for’ and done ‘to you’. EPIC created a guide to Effective partnership and consultation (PDF). I would urge every organisation or agency to use it to direct how to work with families with disabled children. It describes ways of creating an ‘us together’ rather than the age old ‘us’ and ‘them’ approach which ticks boxes but doesn’t create meaningful relationships and a real change.

What difference does good co-production make to disabled children, young people and their families?

Ultimately it means a better world for disabled children, young people and their families. Their views, ideas and contributions are included in things that affect them. When co-production is done well, there is no longer a perceived hierarchy of opinion, everyone’s experience, thoughts and insights are valued. Who wouldn’t want to feel valued and listened to?