What's the purpose of these funds?
Our Potentials Fund targets young people aged 10-20 years who want to give their time, while our Opportunity Fund is designed to attract those aged 20 and above from disadvantaged communities.
Both are supporting projects for groups where we’ve identified significant untapped potential. We know that those with lower household incomes, young people, women, disabled people, and Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities are currently less likely to volunteer in sport, yet they’re often keen volunteers in other sectors such as religion or education.
We want to see how we can use sport or physical activity to fulfil their motivations. In turn, communities will see an even greater benefit when there are more volunteers from their own neighbourhood.
Location: South east
Active Life for a Healthier You helps people of all ages and abilities get active and stay active. Their newly-funded She's Ready project helps women who are experiencing life-changing circumstances and challenges, including disabled women, mothers with small children, those who’ve suffered domestic violence, and retirees.
Two hundred women are being empowered through different levels of volunteer engagement – from occasional volunteering through to running classes and events to increase physical activity in their community. Women are empowered by designing, delivering, and shaping the development of the events, often with the opportunity to train to become fitness instructors themselves.
YMCA Sutton Coldfield
Location: Sutton Coldfield
This project is working with Black, Asian and minority ethnic girls from disadvantaged areas in north Birmingham. The girls are trained and mentored to deliver ‘non-traditional’ exercise sessions in local parks and facilities.
The YMCA aims to get the girls more active, while fostering their confidence and lowering the risk of social problems and poor mental health. The sessions also benefit the health and wellbeing of those around them, increasing physical activity within the girls’ own peer groups as well as younger children and the wider community.
Young people just want to have fun. That’s partly the mantra of Play Gloucestershire, which is striving to get kids active and form friendships while they’re at it. The project aims to reach hundreds of local young people living in challenging circumstances in isolated rural areas.
My Park is a three-year ‘social action’ project – meaning it’s powered by the energy and determination of 10-14-year olds who, with guidance and support from Play Gloucestershire, are finding ways to make their local green spaces great places for sport and physical activity.
At the same time these young people are learning about the power of volunteering, campaigning and fundraising.
Investing in People and Culture
Location: North east
Investing in People and Culture use community projects to help marginalised groups integrate into local life and reduce their risk of becoming socially isolated.
We’ve funded a three-year project which recruits refugees as volunteers in deprived areas of Middlesbrough and Newcastle. The project works with a range of partners including Refugee Community Organisations, Middlesbrough FC Foundation, parkrun and Max Training Academy to develop volunteering opportunities suited to the needs of the refugees.
Volunteers are also be provided with training opportunities to improve their employability skills.
Location: Bristol and London
Access Sport has an award-winning track record in engaging volunteers from under-represented groups in disadvantaged areas. Over three years its Team100 project is engaging with 300 new volunteers aged 20+ from three deprived sites in Bristol and London. The aim of each 100-strong team (Team100) is empowering local people to come together, be more active, and maximise their individual and community’s potential.
Volunteers are benefitting by developing valuable skills and experience while helping to support local clubs and other community services. Roles include leading a walking or cycling group to school, helping with transport, being a mentor, helping to organise sports clubs’ away trips, administration and coaching.
See My Voice
Imagine feeling that because you’re visually impaired, you aren’t being recognised or heard by those around you – especially those in authority. These are exactly the frustrations that many young visually impaired people were expressing to British Blind Sport, and are what drove them to start the See My Voice project.
Through a mentoring, volunteering and leadership programme, a group of 'young leaders' are developing the confidence and skills to enable them to voice their opinions and share their experiences – ultimately with the aim of improving the sport opportunities available to visually impaired people.
Our Volunteering Insight Guide has insight from national surveys on volunteering across all sectors, details on what we know about volunteering in sport specifically, as well as #iwill’s research into youth social action.
You can see our Workforce section for more information on how we’re supporting the 6.2 million adults who are giving their time to support sport and physical activity through volunteering.