Actor Will Mellor raises awareness of sports for disabled people in Whitechapel
- Credit: Tangerine
Renowned actor Will Mellor came to the east end yesterday to help raise awareness of sports for people with disabilities.
The Broadchurch actor dropped by the Attlee Youth & Community Centre, in Thrawl Street, Whitechapel, on Wednesday to participate in some Paralympic sports as part of the Together We Will campaign.
“We are spreading the word set up by the website so people can go on there and find out how to get more active,” said Will. “I don’t think there’s enough advertisement letting people know about these things.”
“Hopefully we can get the word out that you don’t have to be a Paralympian to stay active.
“Even if we help just a handful of people that’s a handful that didn’t know about this.”
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Will became an ambassador for the campaign, which aims to encourage more disabled adults and children to get active, because of his experience growing up with his older sister Joanne who had Marfan’s syndrome.
“My sister was physically and mentally disabled and I know how important it was to keep her active,” said Will. “We got her cycling her bike and she learnt to go into town independently - everybody knew her.
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“I think that stemmed from getting out in the community and meeting new people.”
Will was joined by trainees with disabilities from CORE projects, a community interest company in Whitechapel, who attend weekly sports sessions at the centre.
Campaigns like Together We Will are crucial for groups like CORE, which provides independence training for people mental and/or physical disabilities, as it helps their members develop new skills as well as stay fit.
“It’s all to do with healthy living and healthy lifestyles and how to have the confidence to work as a team, our trainees really enjoy it,” said Dawud Marsh, CORE project coordinator.
“Some people say it’s just sport but it isn’t. It’s about trying new things and learning new skills.
“The biggest thing you notice is the increase in their confidence. You see that with some who started with us, they lacked confidence, and now their communication has got so much better.
“The other thing we work on a lot is behaviour and I’ve seen a lot of difference in that as well.
“It’s been great we get to link up with some fantastic people that participate in sport at different levels and to see the skills they’ve learnt.”
To learn more about the campaign visit efds.co.uk/together.