Breaking the Barrier

Breaking the Barrier addresses the very real need for sporting opportunities that cater for children and young adults with learning disabilities to enjoy alongside their families.

Lifeworks has been running Breaking the Barrier for over 12 years and over that time have hosted over 1,339 learning disabled young people.

Breaking the Barrier was created not to provide formal lessons, but rather to offer the thrill of experiencing surfing and where possible, standing on a surfboard as it catches a wave, with a specialist instructor riding in tandem.

Paralympian David Hill - BTB 2017
Click to see the Full Gallery.
Surfing 2017 - Triathlon Event
Trampolining 2017 - Triathlon Event
Surfing 2017 - Triathlon Event
Surfing 2016 - Saunton
Surfing 2017 - Triathlon Event
Surfing 2017 - Triathlon Event
Surfing 2017 - Triathlon Event
Click to see the Full Gallery.

Breaking the Barrier 2019 

These are the latest Events for Breaking the Barrier 2019.
To download a PDF copy please click here.

Family Cycle at the Torbay Velopark: Saturday 07 September, Saturday 5 October, Saturday 2 November
Trikes, Bikes and Tandems and the launch of a brand new offer…

Surfing at Bigbury: Saturday 14 September, Saturday 12 October
One to one and family surf sessions with Discovery Surf School

Lifeworks Breaking the barrier 2019 Leaflet_Page_1

Legacy Project

This year Lifeworks Young Volunteers are learning skills to help them lead regular Breaking the Barrier events now and in the future.

With their support and in partnership with Lex Leisure, Freetrike Disability Cycling the Torbay Velopark Veterans Lifeworks is launching:

The first Saturday in every month July – November 2019 and February – May 2020 1pm-4pm.

New accessible cycles; a Freetrike instructor and Breaking the Barrier Young
Volunteers will be there to make your participation as a family easier.

To book a session please contact: [email protected]

OUT OF SEASON SURF SESSIONS with Discovery Surf School, Bigbury

September/October 2019 & February/March 2020

Supported by Lifeworks Young Volunteers and making use of Lifeworks accessible boards Discovery Surf School will be running 4 ‘out of season’ family surf sessions for learning disabled people and their families – wetsuits and a strong constitution essential!!

To book a session please contact: [email protected]

Whilst Lifeworks Young Volunteers are helping your family enjoy no-cost or low cost outdoor pursuits together, they are learning new skills and achieving accreditation to help them realise their vocational ambition – a win – win!!

To find out more about Lifeworks Young Volunteers Programme please contact [email protected]


Lifeworks Breaking the barrier 2019 Leaflet_Page_2


Last Year – Breaking the Barrier 2018

Breaking the Barrier 2018 was supported by Santander, Mercer and the Totnes Rotary. Their support enabled 139 learning disabled young people age 8 and over to cycle and surf with 67 parents and siblings enabled by 74 volunteers, 2 cycle instructors from British cycling and 1 performance artist funded by the Branchline Partnership.  The Evaluation can be downloaded below.


With a lot of help from our adventure sports partners and volunteers we created the Breaking the Barrier Toolkit. our aim was to help community groups and schools wanting to take up outdoor pursuits with learning disabled young people become more confident. –  Click on the Image to access the Toolkit.

Feedback from Participants 

“The event and everyone there, from volunteers to caterters were extraordinary” Parent 2018

“Thank you for today and all the wonderful things you all do for the children. We are so pleased to have found you guys – T has had the best summer and he so looks forward to the next.” Parent 2017

“Our son loves the surfing events. He loves being on or in the water. The volunteers are always amazing. Thank you!”

“Thank you everyone for your time and energy organising the cycling today – shame about the British weather!! He managed 101 laps and came home very pleased with himself!!”

“Thank you for a fab day, we had a fantastic time, so much so he hired a board and went back in on Sunday. All the staff and volunteers were amazing with him and he felt totally safe at all times. A truly amazing experience.”


Or To find out more about how you can get involved please contact Tracey Hubbard

Email: [email protected]

Tel: 01803 861 069 (Mon-Fri 10am-2pm)