Activity Alliance Chief Executive Barry Horne
Activity Alliance Chief Executive Barry Horne

Disability inclusion charity Activity Alliance has announced that its Chief Executive, Barry Horne, has received an MBE in the New Year’s Honours. Barry is recognised for services to inclusivity in sport. This comes after more than 10 years at the charity’s helm.

Barry’s personal and professional life is built on his passion for social and political inclusion and change. Hailing from Rotherham, and living in Nottingham for four decades, Barry‘s early career in the third sector included rights advice and campaigning on low income, homelessness and housing.

He moved into local government, where he worked his way up to be lead the East Midlands Local Government Association as well as the Regional Assembly. For seven years, he worked for Nottingham City Council as a Corporate Director responsible for Environment & Regeneration.

But it is when he became Activity Alliance’s Chief Executive (then the English Federation of Disability Sport), that he really got to put his drive for equality and justice into action.

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He helped to transform the organisation into a strong national charity and leading voice for disabled people in sport and activity. Now, a team of almost 30, changing attitudes and embedding inclusive practice across the country.

During his tenure, he has shaped powerful strategies and secured significant funding. With his passion to truly make a difference, he continues to ensure more disabled people are genuinely represented at every level.

Among his many notable achievements, is the ground-breaking programme, Get Out Get Active (GOGA). He was the key player in driving the consortium of organisations together to create a multi-million-pound inclusive programme.

GOGA began in 2016 and is a programme created to bring disabled and non-disabled people together to be active. It is changing lives, getting some of the UK’s least active people moving through fun and inclusive activities. All made possible by founding funder Spirit of 2012 and additional investment from Sport England and London Marathon Charitable Trust, but a dream come true for Barry.

Barry Horne commented: “What makes this Honour really special for me is that it’s about success in including people. I’m so lucky to work with a fantastic team of talented and dedicated people.

“But just as importantly, I’ve had the chance to meet and spend time with people in communities right across the country. People who tell incredible stories about how their lives have changed for the better. For me, there’s no greater reward than knowing that.”

Sam Orde, Chair for Activity Alliance, added: “We’re delighted to hear this fantastic news. Barry is an inspiration to many who meet or work with him. This honour is testament to his commitment to achieve fairness for disabled people in sport and activity. On behalf of the organisation – congratulations Barry!”

Activity Alliance is the operating name for the English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS). The national charity is the leading voice for disabled people in sport and activity, working collectively with its members to reduce the fairness gap between disabled and non-disabled people.

Last year, the charity urged leaders to make disabled people a priority to prevent the long-term effects of inactivity resulting from the pandemic. This was after its Annual Survey revealed that twice as many disabled people felt that coronavirus greatly reduced their ability to do sport or physical activity compared to non-disabled people.

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