Active Essex is supporting a new sports campaign which aims to inspire 19,601 residents who suffer with limiting long-term health conditions to become more active.

The national ‘We Are UndefeatABLE’ initiative, aims to support people with chronic conditions to be more active by highlighting their personal journeys.

Their plan to encourage the 16 per cent of Epping Forest residents with long-term illnesses to get more active and enjoy the benefits that exercise can bring.

According to research by Sport England, those with long-term health conditions are twice as likely to be inactive, despite evidence that small amounts of fitness can significantly improve your wellbeing.

Billy Ray Mansell is an Active Essex coach core apprentice who suffers with Fibromyalgia, shared his story.

He said: “When I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, I was in a very bad place. I was on lots of medication and both my mental and physical health had deteriorated substantially.

“Beginning to exercise again changed everything for me. I started off with low-impact movements, then moved onto trying other activities such as inclusive football, yoga, cycling and much more.

“For people who don’t know where to begin, it’s all about stepping out of your comfort zone and trying new activities until you find something you enjoy.”

Throughout the campaign, Active Essex will be hosting a variety of long-term condition awareness workshops for sport and physical activity providers in the region.

The sessions will focus on how exercise can help manage the symptoms of chronic illnesses such as cancer, dementia and diabetes.

Dr Elizabeth Towers is an NHS and Macmillan general practitioner who specialises in cancer care, said: “There is a common misconception that, when a person is diagnosed with cancer, they must rest and cut down on physical activity – this is simply not the case.

“Exercise can help reduce fatigue and can even prevent recurrence of some forms of cancer.

“Even something as simple as a five minute walk out in the fresh air each day can make all the difference in managing symptoms effectively.”

To find out more about the national campaign,

For more information on activities which are taking place throughout the campaign or to read more inspiring stories, visit