HAVING a degenerative visual impairment, and being an avid gym goer, Ben Andrews is fully aware of the barriers disabled people face in keeping active.
So, with the help of Dr Anna Robins and Dr Paul Sindall at Salford University, he set up his own company, Beyond Empower, to make things better.
NHS commissioners were so impressed with how Ben helped people in Broughton, Greater Manchester, they helped him to expand his Empower You project in Eccles, Pendleton and Swinton.
And now, thanks to a long-term contract with Salford CCG, Ben is inspiring even more people in Trafford.
Since the Coronavirus pandemic, Ben has continued to support online keep active sessions for disabled people in Trafford, and has continued his consultancy work.
At the moment, he is working with Salford Community Leisure to develop resources to support inclusive PE sessions for disabled children in mainstream schools.
Ben, who has the eye condition Retinitis Pigmentosia, said: “The ideal for me is that disabled people don’t need to access services like mine and can just access things in the mainstream. In most cases, it doesn’t make sense that there’s one provision for one group and another for another. I feel we should be past that stage, although, for now, there is still much work to be done.”