MOVE has been making a difference for disabled children in the UK for over 20 years now, after the charity was formally set up in 1997. But, the international history of the MOVE Programme extends back even further, with the programme originally being created in 1986 by a special needs teacher in California, meaning the MOVE approach has been used by thousands of people for almost 35 years.

The first pilot study back in the 80s showed the dramatic impact that MOVE can make and the programme quickly began to spread, first across California and then more widely across the states. Did you know that there have been over 20,000 MOVE practitioners trained in the USA, as well as others in Australia, New Zealand and Japan?

For years we have communicated with MOVE International, our American counterparts, on lots of different things but we have never had the chance to properly compare the organisations we run, share challenges and opportunities and talk about future projects we would like to work on. We know that there is so much we can learn from each other, so over more recent times we have been chatting a lot more about all things MOVE from both sides of the pond.

Because of this, last month we were lucky enough to be invited over to the states by Rifton, an international disability equipment company, to meet with them and MOVE International. Rifton’s products are well known as having been developed for use with the MOVE Programme and they work closely with MOVE International.

The trip was invaluable for us for many reasons but here are some of the key things we took away;

  1. MOVE in Action: We got to visit two MOVE Model Sites (the American version of our Centre of Excellence); which enabled us to compare notes on how we maintain high quality across all of our organisations and what best practice looks like in the UK and US. While differing legislations such as those surrounding moving and handling make some aspects of our delivery different (there were no hoists in the US sites), we were pleased to see that an US Model Site closely represents a UK Centre of Excellence.
  2. Meeting with Rifton: We spent a morning at Rifton, touring the factory and meeting with the directors of the company, who are also trustees of MOVE International. This helped us to gain a deeper understanding of the history of MOVE and to provide an update of the progress we have made with MOVE since we began working with Enham Trust back in 2015.
  3. Planning for the future: with both organisations facing similar challenges in the current climate, we also discussed potential ways we can collaborate both now and in the future, such as assisting each other with research projects on the programme.

This trip marks the beginning of a closer relationship between our two organisations where we can access more support to continue driving the development of this programme and ensure the children and young people our MOVE Organisations work with achieve the best possible outcomes for many years to come.