Sports & Leisure Group, Ilkeston

sports_leisureThe Sports and Leisure Group is based in Ilkeston, and provides one afternoon per week of support and activity for a number of service receivers at a local centre. MHAG was contacted to help them stave off closure due to NHS cuts and a shortage of occupational therapists in the area. This group was the last of its kind locally, and many people had gravitated to it after the closure of other groups.

MHAG asked to speak to local managers about the issue, and eventually gained an assurance that the group would be funded to continue whilst a review was carried out. An initial review confirmed that the group would be able to survive, although with a reduced OT input. It also had to move premises, causing some stress and anxiety amongst its users.

Since 2009, the group has lived under a continuing threat due to budget reductions, and attempts have been made to change it to an entirely user-run group. This fails to recognise the importance of OT input and the fragile nature of many of the participants. Currently, Derbyshire Voice have got involved and the future is still uncertain.