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Tackling Inactivity and Economic Disadvantage

We know that those who do the least activity stand to gain the most, even if they only do a little bit more. That’s why tackling inactivity is at the heart of our Towards an Active Nation strategy.

We also know that the take-up of sport and physical activity varies and one of the biggest differences we see in our Active Lives survey results is between socio-economic groups.

Defining socio-economic status can be complicated, but in general we can see that the more affluent parts of our society are nearly twice as likely to be active than those from more disadvantaged communities.

That's why we established the Tackling Inactivity and Economic Disadvantage fund, which is supporting 35 projects via £4.5 million of National Lottery money.

Two women high fiving during game

Power of sport

Whilst all projects are aiming to increase physical activity levels, we know that sport and physical activity can be extremely powerful in supporting positive social change for communities and individuals.

We want to help projects to demonstrate this wider impact, which could be using sport or activity to improve someone’s mental wellbeing, help drive down crime rates in an area, or reduce social isolation.

Who is the fund supporting?

Most of these 35 organisations had never received funding from us before and did not have a track record of delivering sport or physical activity, but they all wanted to make a difference for the communities in which they work.

Their projects are focusing on a broad range of different audiences, from people in employment who sometimes struggle to make ends meet, to those facing more complex challenges such as substance misuse or homelessness.

Their approaches to engaging these audiences are also varying greatly, from late-night physical activity sessions for shift-workers in Manchester, to a programme of activity sessions at a women’s refuge charity in Yorkshire.

What we’re learning

We’re starting to see some common themes from the projects we’re working with:

  • The pre-delivery preparation stage, before a project starts, is vital to help understand the community, build trust, and identify assets within the community that can be utilised
  • Successful projects are taking a flexible, open, friendly, and patient approach, and are not afraid to change things if something isn’t working
  • Enabling and empowering the local community to take ownership of programmes themselves can really help to sustain and embed projects.

You can find out more about the projects we've invested in and access the fund prospectus by clicking below - please note applications to the fund have closed.

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