Families Fund

Find out about our investment into projects that offer new opportunities for families with children to get active and play sport together

There are nearly seven million children aged between five and 15 in England, and around a third of people in England live in a household with at least one child aged 5-15.

We want everyone in England regardless of age, background or level of ability to feel able to engage in sport and physical activity – and we need a sport sector that welcomes everyone, meets their needs, treats them as individuals and values them as customers.

What we mean by the term 'family'

Being customer-focused means we should be led by the children and/or family in terms of who they consider as their family – be that parents, siblings, grandparents, carers and so on. However, we know that the most common composition of households in England is two-parent families.

For this investment, we are looking to make a difference to families with children aged 5-15, with a focus on low income families and families living in areas of high deprivation.

Why are families important?

Our insight tells us that families, and in particular, parents and caregivers, play a key role in shaping a child’s attitudes and behaviours. This is also true for physical activity and sport. They can:

  • Provide support and encouragement – but they can also add pressure
  • Share their own sport and physical activity passions – but they can also share their fears
  • Facilitate access to various opportunities to be active – but they can also limit options
  • Model active behaviour by taking part with children – but can also model sedentary behaviour.

We want our investment to support families on low incomes to allow their children to have positive experiences and develop competence and confidence in their ability to be physically active.

What is the purpose of this fund?

Underpinning our investment is the need to ensure experiences are fun, enjoyable and/or deliver value to children and their wider family.

We want our funding to give families inspiration and confidence to take part together and enable quality family time.

We anticipate successful applicants will encourage families to plan and take decisions together, with children involved in shaping how they and their families are active.

We believe the funding should support families taking part together. This means we need to reshape the support and offer which traditionally focuses on the child and leaves adults on the sidelines. We need to address a gap in provision to ensure that families can take part together.

This work will also ensure we meet the outcomes set out in the Government’s strategy Sporting Future as projects won’t just be about increasing physical activity. This work will support the ambitions outlined in the Department of Health’s Childhood Obesity Plan and ensure that keeping children active becomes a shared responsibility for parents, carers and schools.