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Our History
ILEAP’s History

ILEAP began life in 1996 as the Stratford Summer Activities Project for Disabled Children. This project was based at Stratford-on-Avon District Council and was supported by the District Council, Stratford Social Services Childrens Team, Stratford Community Education, Startford Council for Voluntary Service and Stratford Scope. The project empowered disabled children living in Stratford district so that they could access community leisure provision during the long Summer Holiday.

In 1998 the above organisations formed a partnership and steering group and came up with the ILEAP Mission Statement. The Steering Group applied to BBC Children in Need and were awarded 3 years funding for a Project Co-ordinator.

In 2000, the Project Co-ordinator began a 3 year contract and was based at Stratford District Council offices. The Co-ordinator recruited a team of part time Youth Workers to assist disabled children living in Stratford and enable local Summer Scheme providers so that they could be inclusive.

In 2001 the Steering Group handed over ownership of the project to a Voluntary Management Committee made up from Parents, Leisure Providers and past Youth Workers. Later that year the project became a registered Charity and a Company limited by Guarantee called the Inclusive Leisure Education Activities Project (ILEAP).

As a Charity the Project Co-ordinator applied for funding from Charitable Trusts and increased the Summer Holiday provision for disabled children to all the school holidays and began to deliver a weekly programme of small group activities.

The group programme quickly developed and proved a positive way for members to meet up with their friends and have fun and for ILEAP staff and Volunteers to learn new skills and support each other.

In 2002 ILEAP received a grant from Barnardos to deliver an inclusive play project for disabled children. This project replicated the Stratford Project in the Warwick District and ILEAP changed from a Stratford based Charity to one covering South Warwickshire.

In 2003 ILEAP gave a talk to a group of adults with a learning disability from Stratford College about the work they were doing for Children. The adults asked if ILEAP could help them to access leisure opportunities in the evening and at weekends and so ILEAP empowered them to form a project called Lets Go. The Lets Go project allowed ILEAP to continue to support members once they reached 19 years and so ILEAP became a Charity for both Adults and Children in 2003.

In 2004, ILEAP received three years funding from the National Lottery to continue and develop the Charity. The Project Co-ordinator became the Project Manager and developed the project using funding received from the statutory sector and various charitable trusts to keep supporting disabled children.

In 2007 ILEAP became the first organisation in Warwickshire to receive the Bronze level of the Warwickshire Award for Involvement Award. This award showcased how ILEAP had developed a project based on the involvement of its member and their families.

Also in 2007 ILEAP were awarded the Stratford-on-Avon Community Sports Award in recognition of the work the Charity had done in getting disabled young people into Sport.

In 2008 ILEAP received 3 years funding from BBC Children in Need and in 2009 they received 2 years funding from Lloyds TSB Foundation, to pay for the salaries of the ILEAP Youth Workers so that they could support members old and new in their chosen leisure pursuits. This allowed ILEAP to charge a subsidised rate for their group activities of £2.50 per hour.

In 2009 ILEAP were awarded the Silver Level of the Warwickshire Award for Involvement Award in recognition of the continued empowerment of young people taking the lead in the running of the Charity.

Also in 2009 ILEAP were awarded the Stratford-on-Avon Community Sports Award in recognition of the work the Charity had done in getting disabled young people into Sport.

In 2010 ILEAP was supporting over 150 members to access personalised leisure programmes during the school holidays and in the evenings and weekends.

In 2011 ILEAP begin to target people with additional needs, particularly those with a mild / moderate learning disability who we believe are falling through the net of statutory funding and who are therefore very isolated and vulnerable.

By 2012 with an ageing membership ILEAP focuses more and more on vulnerable young people and adults offering them user led leisure opportunities in the local community.

Over the past 12 years the ILEAP Charity had received on average approximately £120,000 per year from Warwickshire County Council, for various projects and services, enabling the Charity to offer reduced prices to all.

In 2013 we were informed that this funding would now be paid directly to individuals and that ILEAP would be receiving no direct funding from WCC.

The ILEAP Charity believes that the majority of its members are not eligible for these payments and so we are seeking alternative funding in order to keep our prices affordable for the majority.

On a positive note, ILEAP were nominated as a Finalist in the Carer of the Year category of the Pride of Warwick District Awards 2013.

The future for ILEAP looks a little precarious at present as we are quickly spending our reserves. Rest assured we are doing all we can to sustain our service by submitting grant applications and working towards a social enterprise model in order to keep our services affordable for everyone.

If anyone has any time to apply pressure to Councillors, fundraise, volunteer please get in touch. Thank you.