Duleep Allirajah

Duleep Allirajah

Published on: 28,May 2024

By Duleep Allirajah, CEO, The Richmond Group


April 2024 saw the launch of the report from We Are Undefeatable’s public consultation, on how our campaign can best encourage and support people with long-term conditions to become more physically active. If you have an interest in the health benefits of physical activity, you should read the report.


The report illustrates how pain and low energy make it difficult for people with chronic health problems to get more active. It also reminds us that we need to listen to the professionals, carers, friends and family members who support people with long term health problems, to obtain a more complete perspective on how we can collectively overcome the barriers to physical activity.


A key insight is that there is a potential ‘empathy gap’, where perceptions of health and sport professionals, charities and government, and families, friends and carers do not necessarily correlate with people’s lived experience. For example, while people with long term health conditions say that pain and low energy are the main barriers they face being active, policy makers, professionals and care givers tend to focus on  other factors, such as cost, motivation and mindset.


In order to design the support provision which can really help people with long term conditions to manage their mental and physical health, we need to meet them where they are at, and make physical activity feel meaningful and achievable.


There is a lot in this report for us, as a group of charities, to think about as we design the next phase of the We Are Undefeatable campaign. But our campaign, vital as it is, is only part of the solution. We need all organisations, local and national, in the health, sport and leisure sectors to play a part in encouraging and enabling people with long term conditions to move more. This is why in June we’ll be building on the findings from the Big Talk consultation with a report calling for action by national policymakers.


In the meantime, we invite you to share this report and the summary infographic with your colleagues and networks, consider how the insights may apply to your work and communications, and contact us if you are interested in finding out more.


‘We Are Undefeatable’ is a movement supporting people with a range of long term health conditions to be more physically active in ways that work for them. Supported by Sport England with National Lottery funding, it is led by The Richmond Group of Charities in collaboration with Mind, MS Society and Parkinson’s UK.

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