Yorkshire Sport Foundation (YSF) has distributed £140,000 of National Lottery funding from Sport England’s Tackling Inequalities Fund, to organisations in South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire.
The funding aims to tackle inequalities in activity levels by working with partner organisations to reach those most in need as a result of the impact of COVID-19.
The funding is allowing YSF to further support community groups across the two counties, particularly those operating in the charity’s 36 focus communities, where the funding can make the biggest difference. There has been a particular emphasis on distributing the money to those working with BAME groups; those working with people who have long-term conditions; and those working with disabled people. In total, 32 projects have received funding.
Grants of up to £10,000 have been awarded to: ensure an organisation can continue to operate; or provide new activity based on demand of the communities they work in. Ideas include the distribution of activity packs, providing online activity, and small group activities such as walking or fitness.
Sport England’s work and contribution to Tackling Inequalities focuses on reducing the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on activity levels in under-represented groups, ensuring gaps between those who are active and those who are not, do not widen during this period.
With a strong understanding of the needs and issues in their areas, Sport England has initially channelled £3.3m through the 43 Active Partnerships across England to support community groups in their areas as a result of the impacts of COVID-19. Yorkshire Sport Foundation is the Active Partnership for South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire.
Kathryn Mudge, who is part of the YSF Communities team, commented: “This is a very challenging time for a number of organisations who play a crucial role in supporting people within their community. This funding allows us to support them to continue, develop or create opportunities that support people to be active.
“The Covid-19 lockdown has shone a light on the inequalities in our society – the dangers of living with multiple health conditions; the increased impact of the virus on Black, Asian and other minority ethnic communities; and on people in our poorest communities living in overcrowded and/or multi-generational households.
“There is also increased concern about the toll on people’s mental wellbeing which again, is potentially worse for our poorest and most vulnerable people and communities. We worked to identify organisations embedded in our poorest and most vulnerable communities and offer support to enable them to continue to provide opportunities for their community to be active. These organisations have provided vital services during the pandemic and are often a lifeline for the community. This investment will allow groups to maintain their presence, provide opportunities to be active and continue to safely bring people together.”
Tim Hollingsworth, Sport England’s Chief Executive, said: “We are proud to be able to provide funding and support to Yorkshire Sport Foundation in this difficult period.
“This funding will help support our valuable community infrastructure that is so important in keeping the nation active and will also provide important connections and reconnections for people whose lives have been affected by COVID-19, and for whom remaining active is so important for their physical, mental and social wellbeing. We know from our research and data that there are existing inequalities between groups when it comes to activity levels and COVID-19 has re-enforced these.
“Thanks to the support of the National Lottery and its players, the Tackling Inequalities Fund will be both crucial and central to ensuring no-one is left behind when it comes to having the opportunity to be active during this period. This builds off the back of our £35m Community Emergency Fund that has already reached and supported over 7,500 community clubs and groups across England.”
Ad Astra – £9,960
Funding to increase capacity of the organisation and allow to bring staff off furlough. This will allow the organisation to deliver much needed services within St Helens/Old Town area of Barnsley. Funding will support the safe planning and delivery of:
- Out of School activity provision and Activity Packs for vulnerable families
- Walk & Chat Youth sessions and Youth Provision,
- SWAG (Stronger women’s and Girls Groups) virtual dance, fitness, and walk and chat sessions,
- Visits to 30 children/young people in three areas, once per week plus some walk and chat sessions with our young volunteers
- Walking activity for older adults.
Unity Centre – £2,151
Unity Centre will use the money to support asylum and refugee males. They are a large group of the asylum and refugee community and are often extremely isolated.
There are little services set up to support men from BAME communities, and part of the money will support the ongoing development of a football team made up and created by asylum seekers. The group of 25 would like to start training while keeping to social distancing guidelines and therefore would need more space to train, and need more resources to allow a social distanced response. This will provide an activity they enjoy, keep them active, and focused on a positive outlet instead of being isolated.
Darnall Wellbeing – £4,997.70
The money will provide a ‘Wellbeing’ programme of activities, supporting predominately BAME communities. Funding will cover the payment of a staff member to co-ordinate a series of eight different activities each week, with a focus on walking, cycling and chair-aerobic. The funding will also cover cost of PPE, qualified delivery staff, staff training and promotional material/ activities.
Thornhill Cricket and Bowling Club – £7,930
The money will support delivery of a range of activities including tennis, football, dance, cycling and bike maintenance to families across the Thornhill community. This will be aimed at groups and families that do not access the club, aren’t members and couldn’t afford to use the centre normally. The funding will support training of local volunteers and coaches who can continue delivery after initial funding. Activities have begun over the school holidays and will become weekly during term time, with holiday activity picked up again at half-term. The club are aiming to engage up to 200 local children who are not currently part of the club.
The ADDY (Outdoor Adventure Playground) – £3,852
The Old Quarry Adventure Playground (The Addy) is an award-winning community owned organisation located in, and serving, the Warwick Estate in Knottingley. The estate is in the 2% most deprived areas in the whole of the country. During COVID the facility was closed, and staff spent time delivering activity packs to young people and families, as well as providing telephone calls to the elderly and those socially isolated. There is still a huge need and responsibility to reach those who are vulnerable, elderly or have other specific needs and are not able to attend for specific reasons. Funds would enable to continuation of phone calls, and delivery of packs to identified local people.