SportsAble to close its doors after 46 years

1st March 2021

SportsAble Closure

It is with great sadness that the SportsAble Trustees have made the decision to close the charity.

The Trustees are unbelievably proud of all that the charity has achieved over the last 46 years, not least the significant role the charity has played in encouraging the social changes that mean disabled people of all ages can participate in sport in mainstream clubs and compete at the highest levels nationally and internationally.

It is important to the Trustees to explain the reasons behind this difficult decision – especially since a major campaign to ‘save the charity’ was launched recently. Unfortunately the campaign did not achieve all that the charity needed to secure its future in terms of donations, and equally importantly, offers of practical help to run the charity. The Trustees are extremely grateful to everyone who did respond, and in light of the decision to close the charity, all the donations received in response to the campaign will be returned to the donors.  Please email with your name, address, bank details and donation amount (if anon) to request a refund.

It is well known locally that the charity has been struggling with numerous problems over the last 12 months, including the investigation by the Charity Commission. The impact of Covid-19 cannot be ignored: on the one hand government grants helped to keep the charity alive through 2020 but did not prevent staff redundancies, and on the other the almost total inability to fulfil our charitable objectives by running sports sessions or room hirings severely curtailed fundraising efforts and income generation activities.  The fundraising environment has changed significantly over the last few years and It is clear that donors are increasingly unwilling to pay for the costs associated with running the SportsAble clubhouse which means that the charity’s biggest asset has become its biggest burden.

Over the last few weeks the Trustees have had to face up to the fact that without the human resources required to run the charity and restart operations post-Covid , and the lack of a reliable income stream able to generate the funds needed, there really were no more viable options.  This has been a very hard and distressing decision to make and it is important to the Trustees to manage the closure with as much dignity as possible, taking responsibility for paying creditors, refunding donations and restricted grants, and in the event that monies are left over, a donation will be made to another charity with similar aims to SportsAble.

Finally, from the heart, all the SportsAble Trustees both past and present would like to extend their grateful thanks and appreciation to everyone who gave the charity financial support, encouragement, appreciation, and love throughout its history.  The Trustees would like to make a special mention of all the wonderful volunteers who have contributed so much to SportsAble over the years. You all played your part – but very sadly SportsAble has run its course.