Get Yourself Active is a programme run by the leading national user-led pan-disability charity Disability Rights UK. Since we began in 2015, we have worked tirelessly to increase Disabled people’s participation in sport and physical activity so that everyone can experience its benefits.
We want to break down barriers so that every Disabled person can find ways to get active in their local area in a way that is right for them. Disabled people have a right to get active, and we want everyone to have the chance to feel good and have fun wherever they are.
When our work began, we quickly saw how barriers prevent Disabled people from getting active. It wasn’t that Disabled people didn’t want to get involved, but that many preventable barriers were stopping them.
At Get Yourself Active, the answer is clear – centring Disabled people’s voices will change lives for the better. As Disabled people leading change, we champion the rights of Disabled people to take part in and benefit from physical activity.
Equal participation in physical activity for all.
Everyone has the right to get active and feel the benefits of sport and physical activity in ways that suit them. We know that if the barriers to participation are broken down, more Disabled people will get active. It’s that simple.
Leanne Wightman, Head of Programmes and Impact
Leanne qualified as a social worker in 2009 after working as a social care worker for a number of years. Leanne has held roles in different types and sizes of charity working in advocacy, engagement, project and programme management and strategy.
Leanne joined Disability Rights UK in 2015 as project manager of the Get Yourself Active pilot project and now leads on the organisation’s programmes and impact. Leanne is a big fan of her bike and uses it as much as possible to get to work, to see friends and take in the sites of East London where she lives. Also, having two small children provides plenty of opportunities for physical activity!
Anna Denham, Programme Manager
Anna has been working with Disability Rights UK since joining as a Research and Policy Volunteer in October 2015. She has since had various roles in the organisation and is now one of the Get Yourself Active Programme Managers. It’s a role that she loves as she knows the importance – and joy – of being active in a way that works for the individual.
Anna enjoys being physically active and particularly likes walking in the woods with her dog, swimming, Pilates, and yoga – having discovered the benefits of yoga during lockdown!
Lydia Bone, Programme Manager
Liddie joined Disability Rights UK in November 2019 and works as a Programme Manager for Get Yourself Active. Liddie is a qualified social worker and has worked in various roles in the voluntary sector before joining DRUK.
She leads on various projects within Get Yourself Active, including rolling out training to the social care sector and advocating for co-production approaches within the sport sector. When she’s not working, Liddie loves to stay active by going on long walks in the peak district. She has also recently started lifting weights in the gym!
Elliot Watson, Project Officer
Elliot has been working with Disability Rights UK since joining as a volunteer in January 2020, where he assisted with the running of DR UK’s shop. He has since joined the Get Yourself Active Programme, where he helps deliver the Together Fund, supporting Disabled people to become more physically active. It’s a role that Elliot is passionate about due to his personal experiences.
Elliot is a Disabled person himself and has 17-years of lived experience. He has had four spinal operations to remove a tumour and drain a cyst from inside his spinal cord, affecting how he walks. He had his first operation when he was 11 back in 2005 and his most recent one in 2013 and needed stoma surgery in 2017. As a result of his own experiences and the barriers he has faced inspired him to move into the charity sector to help support Disabled people.
He is a lover of the sea and graduated from the University of Plymouth with a BSc (Hons) Oceanography and Coastal Processes degree. He enjoys going sea fishing, kayaking, open-water swimming, and walking his bonkers springer spaniel Bella in his free time.
Mikey Erhardt, Communications Officer
Mikey is the Communications officer at Get Yourself Active. As a young Disabled person, Mikey understands how empowering it can be for young Disabled people to take positions to enact real systemic change.
Since joining in 2021, Mikey has been working hard to share our community’s stories. His work has him take on all forms of communication, from the website to social media. He is keen to make sure that Get Yourself Active is always telling honest stories from our audience, empowering Disabled people to share how they get active – and the change they want to take.
Outside of his work with us, Mikey is a keen cyclist, dodging traffic, and potholes across London whenever he gets a chance.