Dame Kelly Holmes Trust to work with youths in disadvantaged coastal areas

Young people in eight coastal communities with high levels of inactivity are to be mentored by elite athletes

21 February 2019

The Dame Kelly Holmes Trust is hoping to improve the lives of 700 disadvantaged young people in coastal communities around England by helping them to get more active.

Our investment of £749,300 will be put towards an adapted version of the organisation’s Get on Track for Wellbeing programme, which we've previously awarded them £6.9m over six years to help deliver.

The National Lottery funding will be used to employ sport and physical activity as a way of helping young people into new situations that develop personal, social and emotional skills to boost young people’s attitudes and behaviour towards physical activity, which in turn is likely to increase their wellbeing.

“I’m passionate about the power of physical activity to transform lives,” said double Olympic champion runner Dame Kelly Holmes.

“I’m proud that Sport England have chosen my charity to work with young people across the country to increase their physical activity levels and I know that the brilliant athletes we have working with the Trust will inspire and motivate them to transform their lives.” 

The programme will be delivered by elite athletes to, working with local delivery partners, act as mentors to young people and unlock their potential.

Working in Dover, Grimsby, Hull, Scarborough, Southport, Torbay, Liverpool and Folkestone, the project is targeting areas of low socio-economic status that have high levels of inactivity among their population and, as a result, have issues with wellbeing and ill health of their young people.

“Southport has areas of high deprivation and there really isn’t a lot for young people to do here or aspire to,” said Laura Pudvine, a worker at Southport delivery partner Youth Fed.

“We want to help young people become more active, increase their confidence and become more connected to the local community.

“There is a real need in the local community for programmes like this and we can’t wait to get started.”

With young people more likely to sustain an active lifestyle when they feel connected to their community and have positive influences and opportunities, part of the programme is aimed at delivering social action that will impact on a further 3,500 people in their communities.

I’m passionate about the power of physical activity to transform lives

Dame Kelly Holmes

The mentors will introduce the young people to new activities, with the aim of moving them from being classed as inactive to active over the course of the programme by breaking down perceived barriers to activity and helping physical activity to become a part of their everyday lives.

“At Sport England our job is to help people get active, particularly some of the most disadvantaged people in society who have the most to gain from the benefits activity brings – improved physical and mental wellbeing, new confidence and skills, and a sense of community,” said our chief executive Tim Hollingsworth.

“That’s why we’ve been funding and supporting Dame Kelly Holmes Trust’s Get On Track programme since 2012.

“This new funding will take the total to over £7 million and will bring their brilliant work to eight more coastal communities, where the athlete mentors will help some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged young people improve their lives.”