Plus One scheme is a hit with SIV users

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A Sheffield mum-of-two has heaped praise on a health and fitness scheme, which enables people with physical and learning disabilities - as well as mental health conditions - to take a family member, carer or friend to Sheffield sports venues, as support, for free.

SIV, which runs many of the sports and leisure venues across Sheffield, recently revamped its ‘Plus One’ scheme, an initiative which gives people who need additional support when using an SIV venue the opportunity to take a family member, carer or friend with them.

As a result, SIV venues have seen 686 additional attendances, by both ‘Plus One’ members and their companions, since the scheme relaunched in April.

George Flowerdew, aged 11, who is autistic and has a learning disability, learnt to skate at SIV’s iceSheffield through the Plus One scheme, after mum Patricia was made aware of the initiative at a Sheffield Parent Carer Forum/SIV consultation workshop.

George’s mother, Patricia, said: “It’s been fantastic to do something like ice skating together, having not really had the opportunity before.

“We’ve been going to ice skating lessons at iceSheffield for nine months now, and George loves it. He loves exciting activities and everything about ice skating – even as little as the swish of the air as he glides across the ice. I feel really lucky and pleased to have been able to do this with George.”

David Bly, dry sports programme and engagement manager at SIV, said: “The Plus One scheme has proved a real success. It’s great to see so many people who would not normally have felt able to take part in these types of physical activity to break down barriers and get involved. This scheme is really having an impact.”