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What we'll do: Being the change

What we'll do now

Revolutionise our long-term partnership approach

We’ll fundamentally change the way we work with our long-term partners, collaborating more closely than ever before, and with a laser focus on tackling inequalities.

These partners all have a major role to play in implementing Uniting the Movement’s vision, including national governing bodies of sport and the network of Active Partnerships who work in every part of the country, but also organisations with specialist knowledge, such as working with specific audiences, the workforce, or safeguarding.

These relationships are vital to the success of our strategy over the next decade, so we know how important it is that they’re built on firm foundations and with collaboration and co-creation at their heart as we work towards achieving our shared strategic ambition.

A group of young people play a game of tag in a boxing gym.

We’ll also look to build new long-term strategic partnerships with other organisations and networks that can help us to meet people where they’re at.

Over the next three years, we’ll work with these partners to maximise their collective resources and capabilities, supporting them to adapt and realise their true potential in tackling inequalities.

This will involve identifying common goals, collective capacity and expertise across our partners, creating an environment for shared working, learning and problem solving.

We want to design the support we give each partner based on their needs and aspirations while helping to encourage new thinking – this isn’t a one size fits all approach, and we know we’ll need to adapt our own approach based on what is and isn’t working.

This means evolving our organisational structure and transforming the way we work so that we can truly meet the aspirations of this new approach with our partners, reflecting our values and the guiding principles of our strategy.

Leading for renewal

We’ve developed a package of support and learning opportunities for leaders and decision-makers working for our long-term partners.

Leading for Renewal’s aims are to:

  • Provide support to members of the professional workforce in our long-term partner organisations
  • Identify and address any mental health and personal wellbeing challenges for these individuals, or for other people in their organisations
  • Shape strategic thinking and enhance leadership skills, both our own and those of our partners, with a particular focus on inclusion and diversity
  • Take a test and learn approach to professional workforce support and development to inform our future working practice and policy decisions.

The package of support and learning has been co-designed with those taking part, with a mix of delivery methods and approaches.

It’s included a facilitated social learning space for senior decision-makers, bespoke organisational support around inclusion, and an interactive series of online learning sessions for more than 300 people.

Stepping up environmental sustainability

Sport and physical activity has a significant climate footprint, whether that’s the transport involved, facilities, energy consumption or the goods and services brought up and down the supply chain – mitigating this impact and showcasing best practice in sport, given its prominence in society, has an important role to play in our collective net zero ambitions.

The continuing effects of climate change are well documented, with extreme weather increasingly likely to impact when and where activity takes place. People’s ability to be active outdoors, through activities such as football, running, walking and cycling, is at greater risk due to extreme rain or heat.

We know there’s a greater role to play, but more work is needed to establish the specific actions we’ll collectively need to take to have the greatest positive impact.

We’ll develop our own organisational approach to environmental sustainability by evaluating and updating our policies and procedures.

Meanwhile externally, we’ll work with UK Sport, the Sport and Recreation Alliance, the British Association for Sustainable Sport and others to create a cross-sector climate commitment to guide the joinedup efforts across the sector that will make a positive impact on climate targets, as well as promoting and developing good practice.

Refreshing our investment approach

We’ve developed an approach to investment decisions involving our long-term partners that’s built on a more conversational and iterative process.

Over the past few months, we’ve been building on information we already hold with our partners, focusing on exploring our shared purpose and alignment to Uniting the Movement – alongside an honest, mutual assessment of organisational health and financial need.

We’ve completed this stage of work with over 100 partners, and we’ll continue these conversations to understand more each organisation’s specific ambitions and priorities for the coming years, and the best use of any available funding to support this.

This will result in recommendations to our Board for investment of up to five years. We’re working with our partners to develop ideas for how we’ll maximise the value of our relationships with, and investment into, them, as well as how we’ll embed learning and understand progress and impact, with a real opportunity to work on collective challenges and share learning that helps further build the movement.

We’ll take stock of what we’re learned from the process so far and iterate and adapt it for new and different partners.

Building a more diverse and inclusive organisation

We’ll live up to the commitments in our 2021 Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan to ensure our leadership and workforce is as diverse as the nation we serve.

This will mean ensuring we have the right resources to achieve our aims, and defining the role of our internal employee-led equality and diversity networks, to support growth and promotion from within our organisation.

We’ll also continue to build positive recruitment practices, such as setting targets and goals and reviewing them annually, encouraging underrepresented applicants through positive action, and exploring how we can diversify our candidate pool through apprenticeships, mentoring, paid internships and other training opportunities.

Redesigning our structure and developing our people

We’ll adapt our organisation’s internal structure and ways of working so we can best deliver on the aims of Uniting the Movement.

Our organisation’s people and leadership will continue to be developed by focusing on the skills, competencies and behaviours that bring our values to life.

We’ll do this by working with our colleagues to identify their critical development needs, which will complement our work with partners to develop leadership and integrity, and help us identify opportunities to learn together.

This will help ensure we can be agile as we face opportunities and challenges in the decade ahead.

Governance, safeguarding and integrity

It’s fundamental to our vision for sport and physical activity that everyone involved can do so in a safe, secure and effectively led way, so we’ll continue to work with our partners to ensure good governance, safeguarding, integrity and inclusion is embedded in what we all do.

Too often we’ve seen issues of safety, poor governance or corruption destroy people’s relationship with sport, removing trust and acting as a barrier to participation.

Through our revised Code for Sports Governance – which we’ve developed with UK Sport – along with the partnerships we have with organisations, the support we give them and our leadership network, we’ll work to ensure sport and physical activity is well run and safely delivered.

We’ll put safeguarding at the heart of our investment in sporting organisations, further enhancing the support we provide the sector and continuing to build stronger requirements of those we invest in. We’ll also enhance our own internal team to support this work and our understanding of how it continues to evolve and the external structures that are in place to support it.

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Partners worked with on our plans to refresh our investment approach.

Co-designing a measurement and accountability approach

Working with our partners and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, we’ll agree the detail of the approach to understanding our success, in a way that reflects the values of Uniting the Movement, helps us all hold ourselves and each other accountable, directly supports the wider agenda of the government and builds a compelling evidence base about the value of investing in sport and physical activity.

As part of this, we’ll ensure the data we’re collecting and the measures we’re using are relevant, meaningful and proportionate.

Evaluation and learning plan

We’ll establish an updated evaluation approach that’s aligned to the ambitions of our strategy, and which fosters a culture of learning.

By engaging with our colleagues and partners, we’ve identified three shared ambitions for evaluation and learning: improving how we embed evaluation and learning, improving how we evaluate, and improving how we use what we learn from evaluation.

We’ll work alongside partners to develop and implement actions that’ll bring above these improvements, with an approach to evaluation and learning that’ll never be fixed – we’ll keep working to review and improve it as we go.

Being more efficient, effective and agile

We’ll create a culture of continuous improvement, where we’re always questioning if something can be done more efficiently or effectively.

Our processes will be improved so we can be more efficient, effective and agile as an organisation, focusing first on where we can make it easier for colleagues to do their jobs and deliver the commitments in this plan.

We’ll ultimately create new business planning, resourcing and delivery models, ensuring everything is aligned so we can harness the skills we have in our organisation to effectively deliver our strategy’s aims.

This will be done in collaboration with our colleagues, and built on partner feedback and the needs of our organisation.

Realigning our planning function

We’ll review the way our planning function can be realigned with Uniting the Movement and particularly the big issues.

We already play a major role in leveraging change locally – where the way places and spaces are designed has a huge influence on how easy it is for people to move more – and this review will help us refocus that influence and maximise our impact.

Managing complex relationships with multiple partners

We’ll develop a way to manage complex and evolving collaborations and consortiums of partners.

This will be through co-designing the preferred approach with these partners and our colleagues.

What we'll do next

A revised communication approach

Our communications will help bring to life the biggest opportunities for change to support Uniting the Movement.

We’ll share useful assets with the wider movement – images, messaging and the latest research – to enable us to act as a collective. We’ll also highlight examples of great work, celebrating success and highlighting the changes being made.

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