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Families Fund

Our Families Fund invests in projects that give families what they really want and need to get active.

We’re currently involved with more than 30 projects and hope this work will help us better understand how we can help more families be active together.

The £40 million fund is currently closed to new applications or expressions of interests.

A family cycle together

Why we’re investing in families 

There are 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 currently focusing on families in lower socio-economic groups. A number of research studies show that children from families in these groups are less active than those in higher socio-economic groups. 

Why is working with families important?

Our research tells 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. Parents and caregivers can:

  • Provide support and encouragement – but they can also add pressure
  • Share their own sport and physical activity passions – but 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, so that their children have positive experiences and develop competence and confidence in their ability to be physically active.

What’s the purpose of the 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, allowing for quality family time. 

We believe funding can support families taking part together – this means reshaping the support and offer which traditionally focuses on the child and leaves adults on the sidelines.  

It's important we address this gap in provision to ensure that families can take part together.

Meeting the challenge

This work will also ensure we meet the health and social outcomes set out in the government’s Sporting Future strategy, 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.

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