Families Fund

Our major new investment programme aims to support families with children to get active together

Our Families Fund – Supporting Families to be Active Together will invest in projects that deliver what families really want and need. We are currently investing in more than 30 projects to help us understand how we can help more families be active together.


Thank you to everyone who submitted an expression of interest for the first two rounds of awards from our Families Fund, we have now made two sets of announcements with 22 projects receiving funding in May 2018, followed by another nine in October of the same year.

The fund was heavily oversubscribed and we received a high number of expressions of interest. Unfortunately, we were not able to provide feedback to organisations who were not invited to stage two.

Why we're investing in families

There are currently seven million children aged five to 15 in England and nearly four in five are not doing the recommended daily amount of exercise.

The Chief Medical Officer in England recommends that children do at least 60 minutes of activity every day. For one reason or another, this isn’t the case for the majority of young people.

We want to change that.

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

We’re going to be focusing on families in lower socio-economic groups for this round of funding. A number of research studies show that children from families in these groups are less active than those in higher socio-economic groups. 

Why are families important?

Our insights tell 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 - they 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. 

And 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.

Meeting the challenge

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.