Department for Health

Project Evaluation: ‘Inspire & Include’


Principal Investigator: Dr Rachel Arnold and Dr Jessica Francombe-Webb

Funder: Age UK

Amount: £50,000

Duration: March 2014 – July 2016

Institute for Policy Research Themes

Project rationale and aims

Age UK, Community Sports Partnerships, Sport England and National Governing Bodies have worked together to develop ‘Inspire & Include’ which is a sport and physical activity intervention for older, disabled adults.

We aim to evaluate the project's effectiveness and efficiency in order to address a number of identified research questions:

  • has this project increased the number of older disabled adults regularly participating in sporting activities?
  • has the intervention increased the choice and accessibility of sporting activities for older disabled adults?
  • what have been the experiences of older disabled adults participating in this project?
  • have older disabled adults participating experienced improvements in their health and wellbeing?
  • how successful has the training programme been in increasing awareness of the issues faced by older disabled adults wishing to participate in sporting activities?
  • what affect has the volunteering participation had on the volunteers?
  • what has been the impact of the project on Community Sports Partnerships, National Governing Bodies and Sport England?
  • how effective has the partnership working encouraged during this programme been in addressing the problem of poor participation of older disabled people in sports/activities?
  • does this project represent value for money to both the funder and wider society?

This project evaluation will involve a blended methodology that combines rigorous and validated statistical measures alongside proven creative and innovative qualitative approaches in order to produce rich and contextualised evidence about the Inspire & Include project as a ‘real world’ and economically viable intervention.

Age UK Inspire and Include from University of Bath on Vimeo.

Project outputs and impacts

The innovative multi-method approach and participant-informed analysis will produce knowledge that will be relevant to service providers such as Age UK (and beyond) as well as academic audiences.

Up to 1,300 older disabled adults will complete longitudinal questionnaires and a sample of these will participate in qualitative focus groups.

Innovative data collection methods such as photo-elicitation interviews and active interviewing techniques will ensure that stories of individual’s participation are created. Furthermore, questionnaires and focus groups will also be employed to capture the experiences of those responsible for the design and delivery of Inspire & Include.

This multi-level, multi-sector approach will result in case studies across 10 Age UK sites and the impact will be far reaching as recommendations will be made to improve Age UK’s national provision whilst also generating original research.

Provision for both ageing and disabled populations is at the forefront of policy and practice in the UK and the methodology we are forwarding in our evaluation is vital as it recognises the necessity to embed inclusive and equitable active ageing agendas that are guided by the voices of the older individuals themselves.

Find out more about this project

Name: Dr Jessica Francombe-Webb
Title: Lecturer in Education & Sport
Department: Dept for Health
Location: 1 West 3.106
Phone: work+44 (0) 1225 385111
Name: Dr Rachel Arnold
Title: Lecturer
Department: Dept for Health
Location: 1 West 4.109
Phone: work+44 (0) 1225 385107