ESCAPE-pain awarded Sport England funding to help older adults get active

    October 12, 2017

    ESCAPE-pain awarded Sport England funding to help older adults get active

    Coleen, 84, is a retired nurse, who has suffered knee pain for many years. Through ESCAPE-pain she has been able to cope and is determined to continue the programme.

    Award-winning programme for people with chronic joint pain ESCAPE-pain has been given £392,000 of National Lottery funding from Sport England to help reduce the number of inactive older adults.

    ESCAPE-pain is a rehabilitation programme for people with chronic joint pain, that integrates educational self-management and coping strategies with an exercise regimen individualised for each participant. It helps people understand their condition, teaches them simple things they can help themselves with, and takes them through a progressive exercise programme so they learn how to cope with pain better.

    Currently there are 36 active sites running the ESCAPE-pain programme across six AHSN patches in England; Health Innovation Network (South London), UCLP(North London), Kent, Surrey & Sussex, West of England, Oxford AHSN and North East & North Cumbria. The programme also runs in Wales and the Republic of Ireland.

    The Escape Pain app was launched in February and has been downloaded more than 1,800 times.

    Sport England has put tackling inactivity at the heart of its strategy Towards An Active Nation, and launched the Active Ageing fund to tackle inactivity in the over 55s.

    Sport England research shows:

    There are roughly 5.8 million inactive people over 55 in England and the number of inactive people is growing as people are living longer.

    Inactivity among over 55s is responsible for as many deaths as smoking

    36% of over 55s are inactive compared to 26% of the population as a whole

    Age 55-64 (28% inactive), 65-74 (31% inactive) 75-84 year olds (49% inactive), 85+ (72% inactive)

    Mike Diaper, Executive Director at Sport England, said: “Being active is one of the most important things people can do to maintain health and wellbeing as they age. We’re delighted to be supporting ESCAPE-pain with National Lottery funding to help get older adults lead happier and heathier lives. We’ll be sharing learnings so successful approaches can be scaled-up or replicated across the country.”

    Professor Mike Hurley, originator of the ESCAPE-pain Programme, said: ”We’re delighted to have been selected to work with Sport England, in partnership with Arthritis Research UK, to help older people increase their physical activity levels.

    “We know that for millions of older people, chronic knee or hip pain is seen as a barrier that prevents them from being active. The ESCAPE-pain programme has already shown 3000 people in England that they can become more physically active and manage their pain.”

    The Health Innovation Network will be looking for more leisure organisations and other partners to run the ESCAPE-pain programme in community locations. For more information please see or email