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We’re celebrating the news that the Moving Social Work project, a collaboration between our Department of Sport and Exercise Science and Disability Rights UK, will be expanding thanks to a £1 million investment from Sport England.

Reducing health inequalities

Disabled people are at a disadvantage when it comes to moving more due to factors such as inaccessible facilities, medical discrimination, and policy barriers.

Moving Social Work, which is led for Durham by Sport and Exercise Science’s Professor Brett Smith, is an evidence-based education programme to encourage and train social workers to speak about physical activity with disabled people.

It is informed by research showing that social workers are well placed to help improve the quality and levels of physical activity for disabled people.

Engaging social and care professionals to help improve physical activity for disabled people can help reduce health inequalities and improve social justice.

National reach

The new funding will enable the Moving Social Work project to scale up nationally, embedding the promotion of physical activity into social work’s professional culture and studies.

It will also enable the project to engage social workers and disabled people to champion the benefits of physical activity for disabled people.

Rigorous research

Moving Social Work, which began in 2018, is based on research into educating and training social work students and social workers to promote physical activity to and for disabled people.

To date, it has engaged with social work students and social workers across six local authorities in England.

The programme is co-produced with partners, including Social Work England, social workers, disabled people, Disability Rights UK, county council leaders and the UK’s National Health Service.

Find out more:

aims to lead change in the social care, health and sports sectors to improve health and wellbeing outcomes for disabled people. It is led by Disability Rights UK and funded by Sport England.

Sport and Exercise Science at Durham

Our Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences is a welcoming, collegiate, and vibrant community. When you join the department, you'll receive a cutting-edge curriculum delivered by world-leading academics. 

We are ranked in the top 100 in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023. We are an outstanding place for excellence in teaching and research, and our students are highly employable.  

Feeling inspired? Visit our Sport and Exercise Sciences webpages to learn more about studying with us. 

Durham University is a top 100 world university. In the QS World University Rankings 2024, we were ranked 78th globally.