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Providing support and services for more than 500 children and adults with learning disabilities and their families across Cumbria.
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Get into shape with our videos!

Why not use your time at home during the second national lockdown wisely by getting into shape with our series of keep fit/activity videos?

Posted Tuesday, 5th January 2021

OUR award-winning Independence Studio has produced as series of 16 short videos aimed at keeping people with learning disabilities fit and healthy in mind and body during the Covid-19 crisis. 

Backed by a grant of £6,000 from Sport England via Active Cumbria, and made in conjunction with Manchester-based filmmaker John Slemensek of Studio Bokehgo, the series of 16 short videos show a variety of simple exercises and healthy pursuits, from bench presses to gentle walks in the countryside, squats to stretch exercises.

You can watch the videos now at the Resource Videos facility on the front page of this website and if you would like more information about them or how to be sent links to download, please email

Carlisle Mencap’s Grace Little Centre is home to our Independence Studio whose members star in the videos in groups of two along with fitness instructors Julie Hetherington of Carlisle Youth Zone and Stephen Phillips of Ability Counts Adaptive Training.

Richard Johnston, senior manager operations at Active Cumbria, said: “These videos are so appropriate and really cater for the needs of vulnerable people and those with learning disabilities. There are a lot of sport videos available on the internet but many of them are quite complicated and technical or involve expensive equipment. These don’t. They are easy to follow and so well done to everyone involved in making them.”

Dan Campbell, who runs the Independence Studio as well as the charity’s Sunday Active group and sports programme, said: “All these activities can be done with no equipment. The videos are short and sweet but can be linked together. They are suitable for wheelchairs too and they have subtitles so are easy to follow. And John has done a great job with the production of them.”

Carlisle Mencap’s CEO Sheila Gregory added: “We are very grateful to Sport England through Active Cumbria for supporting this. Julie and Stephen as professional instructors did a great job and thanks too to filmmaker John and all the Independence Studio members for making a really good job of these videos which will be of such benefit to so many people in lockdown.”


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