Leading the Way: Enhancing Well-being for Individuals with Learning Disabilities through Sports, Workshops, and Support Programs.

Lead the Way is on a mission to improve the well-being of individuals with learning disabilities and their families in Calderdale with a diverse range of initiatives planned over the coming months.

Lead the Way, a service delivered by charitable organisation Cloverleaf Advocacy, provides 1-1 support, information and advice to adults within Calderdale with learning disabilities and their family carers.

Research suggests that individuals with a learning disability often experience challenges with their physical and mental health when compared to those without a learning disability.

These health inequalities are due to a multitude of reasons, such as a lack of accessible transportation, anxieties or a lack of confidence, communication barriers and the use of technical language and even stigma, prejudice, and discrimination.

On average, the life expectancy of women with a learning disability is 18 years shorter and for men 14 years shorter than those in the general population.[1]

However, this can be easily avoidable and Lead the Way aims to bridge these gaps by providing accessible opportunities for learning and physical activity.

One exciting program in collaboration with Active Calderdale is the 20-week Chi Chi Fit musical dance classes, starting on Wednesday, February 21st, at Foundry Street Community Centre

These classes are inclusive of all abilities and can be taken at your own pace. Each dance session will last for an hour, with dancers then able to meet after for a cuppa and chit-chat, promoting not only movement but also social connections.

Classes start on Wednesday 21st February, from 1 pm till 2.30 pm at Foundry Street Community Centre, Sowerby Bridge, HX6 3AS. Classes run for 20 weeks and you can attend as many as you’d like!

£2 per session (pay for 4 sessions and get 1 free)

Interested in finding out more about what sporting opportunities are available to you in Calderdale?

Lead the Way is also thrilled to be hosting its very own Special Olympics on Tuesday the 9th of April at Forest Cottage, Cousin Lane, Halifax HX2 8AD.

This will be a great opportunity for those with learning disabilities to explore various sports and discover their preferences. Through this opportunity, individuals can not only discover the sports that resonate with them but also unlock the potential for enhanced physical fitness and a boost in overall well-being.

There will also be workshops on heart rate and how exercise can improve heart health, the importance of getting a good night’s sleep as well as healthy eating to hone in on that all-important health messaging of looking after you.

Moreover, Lead the Way is hosting two workshops at Calderdale Royal Hospital Learning & Development Centre.

The women’s session on March 20th will cover breast care, menopause, cancer screenings, mindfulness, and aromatherapy.

The men’s workshop on April 15th will focus on all aspects of men’s health, engaging in discussions with various organisations working to enhance physical and mental well-being

The women’s workshop will take place on Wednesday 20th March 9.30 am until 2.30 pm, booking is essential please contact: 0300 012 0416 or info@leadtheway.org

 The men’s workshop will be on Monday the 15th of April and starts at 10 am and ends at 2.30 pm. Please get in touch with Roy Hayes to book roy.hayes@leadthewaycalderdale.org | 07928573712

To join these empowering initiatives or for more information on opportunities, support or advice contact Lead the Way at 0300 012 0416 or info@leadtheway.org

Take charge of your well-being with Lead the Way.


Do you or your organisation have inspiring stories that need to be heard? If so, the Community Journalist is eager to listen and share your stories!

Contact Jordan at jordan.baker@cvac.org.uk


[1] https://www.mencap.org.uk/learning-disability-explained/research-and-statistics/health/health-inequalities