Swim England

A nation swimming

The Ripple Effect

Project funded by – Spirit of 2012

The Ripple Effect will break down barriers for disabled individuals who want to become volunteers and encourage them to get involved with aquatic sports.

The 24-month project, which will end in March 2024 will operate in two phases. The first, lasting until September 2022 will see Swim England work closely with national disability sporting organisations to get their input ensuring the inclusive programme is developed by disabled people.

The second will see a small cohort of disabled volunteers join Swim England and progress through the volunteering pathway. This will identify accessibility barriers for the volunteers, present an opportunity to work with non-disabled volunteers and challenge perceptions around disability.

The project will use a test and learn approach, and share learning with other sporting organisations and sectors at a series of learning events during the grant period.

Project aims

  1. Remove barriers to participation for disabled volunteers
  2. Develop inclusive volunteering practice
  3. Share learning about inclusive volunteering practice with other sporting and non-sporting organisations



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A few words from one of our National Disability Sports Organisation, WheelPower on working on the Ripple Effect with Swim England.

“We are incredibly pleased to be included among the NDSOs working with Swim England on such an innovative and forward-thinking project, one that will undoubtedly highlight the barriers and challenges faced by disabled volunteers wanting to progress through the volunteering pathway.

That being said, the opportunity that this presents to demonstrate how barriers can be overcome and challenges met head-on through broader thinking, inclusive practices, and strong collaboration is a truly exciting prospect.

This project has the potential to create immense value, most notably a huge shift in people’s perceptions of disability. This is pioneering work, and we are thrilled to be a part of it.”

Special Olympics GB

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Special Olympics GB is excited to partner with Swim England and National Disability Sport Organisations to deliver The Ripple Effect project.

The Ripple Effect is a fantastic opportunity for us to be involved in developing more accessible volunteering pathways with and for people with intellectual disabilities. For the intellectual disability community this is one of many volunteering and participation initiatives that we will be involved with to ensure we support our mission of being inclusive, accessible, diverse, unified and create a sense of belonging.

CP Sport

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‘CP Sport has been encouraging people with cerebral palsy to participate in swimming for many years and hosts a national swimming championships annually for swimmers with cerebral palsy.

CP Sport is looking forward to working with Swim England on The Ripple Effect volunteering programme. We think it a wonderful opportunity for people with cerebral palsy to receive training to support areas within swimming of their choice, develop new skills and make new friends whilst contributing to the development of swimming in England.’