Transforming the delivery of physical activity locally
Posted: Sat, 16 Dec 2017 12:34
In a bold new approach Sport England are investing in 12 new pilot placing across England including Birmingham and Solihull.
Sport England have chosen 12 grassroots projects to work on bold new approaches to build healthier, more active communities across England. Around £100 million of National Lottery funding will be invested through these projects in the pilot scheme over four years, to create innovative solutions that make it easier for people in these communities to access sport and physical activity.
By focusing intensely in 12 areas, Sport England want to identify better ways to address these stubborn inequalities and break down the barriers that stop people getting active, such as poor transport, safety, cost and confidence. And they want to encourage wider, collaborative partnerships which look at how all parts of a community can better work together to help the most inactive. From the transport links and street lighting to the quality of parks and open spaces, to how sport and activity is promoted by GPs. Partnerships will encompass organisations beyond the sport sector such as voluntary groups, social enterprises, faith organisations and parenting groups.
Jennie Price, Sport England Chief Executive, said: "On our assessment visits to choose the pilot places I was vividly reminded that the barriers to getting active might have little to do with the activity itself, yet this is where we often start.
"I talked to one older lady who was very keen to start swimming again, but to do so she needed someone to sit with her husband who had dementia, a bus that stopped on the right side of a busy junction for the leisure centre, and a session with people like her in the pool rather than lots of children for example.
"Working with all of the partners in a local area means for the first time we can think about that broader range of issues and work right across the local system to address them."
The 12 chosen places were selected following a rigorous selection process with partners including Public Health England. They cover a mix of geographies (urban, rural and coastal), have a range of make-ups (local authorities, boroughs, counties) and varying population sizes and inequalities to address. They are:
Birmingham and Solihull, Bradford, Calderdale, Doncaster, Essex, Great Exeter, Greater Manchester, Hackney, Pennine Lancashire, Redcar & Cleveland and Middlesbrough, Southall, and Withernsea.
Sport England will work closely alongside each place to devise a tailored approach based on the needs of communities. Each place is likely to have its own solutions and will have the support from our expert teams.