Nine new awards from Families Fund

More than £3.2 million of National Lottery money awarded in latest round of project funding

22 October 2018 News

Kinship carers in Middlesbrough will be among those benefitting from a financial boost aimed at getting more families active.

Our £40 million Families Fund has already seen 22 projects across the nation receive National Lottery funding to increase physical activity levels in low income families.

And now Grandparents Plus, a charity dedicated to grandparents and their role in the care and development of their grandchildren, is among nine new recipients of awards from the fund.

Our latest Active Lives Adult Survey revealed that only 54% of adults, with children, on a low income are active – compared to 71% of those in higher income groups.

There is a similar picture when it comes to inactivity, with a third of adults, with children, on a low income classed as ‘inactive’ – doing fewer than 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity a week.

This persistent trend is why we have dedicated this £40 million of National Lottery funding to address this, by helping families get active together.


More than 3,000 families will benefit from these nine projects

“Parents have many demands on their time and can lack confidence in how to get active with their children,” said our executive director for children, young people and tackling inactivity, Mike Diaper.

“That’s why Sport England is working hard to make getting active or playing sport with your children an easier choice.

“It doesn’t matter what people do or how good they are, having fun together is what is important and helps ensure children continue to be active adults.”

Kinship care is when a child lives full-time, or most of the time, with a relative or friend who isn’t their parent – usually because their parents aren’t able to care for them.

It’s estimated that around half of all kinship carers are grandparents and, as a result, we have awarded £383,194 to Grandparents Plus.

As part of their programme, kinship carers will receive one-to-one support, personalised activity plans and group peer support, with low-cost or free activities also being developed with support from partners.

Among the eight other award recipients are Sanctuary Housing Association, Workers’ Educational Association, Family Lives and Family Action.

Through these awards we aim to give children direct access to sporting opportunities and enable parents and carers to be role models in helping their children get active.

I look forward to seeing the positive impact this programme will have on people's health - both physical and mental

Tracey Crouch, Minister for Sport and Civil Society

Parents who enjoy physical activity themselves can engender a positive attitude to physical activity in their children, which our research has shown is an influencing factor on a person’s activity levels later in life.

Each of the funded projects will work to build adults’ confidence around getting active with their children, and provide experiences for families that are enjoyable, convenient and low cost.

“This will encourage families to get involved in sport together and increase opportunities for people to get active in their local community,” said Tracey Crouch, Minister for Sport and Civil Society.

“I look forward to seeing the positive impact this programme will have on people's health - both physical and mental - and how it can help nurture a life-long love of sport and physical activity."


Family Action

The project: A 12 week ‘Active Families Together’ programme. Families will attend one session per week, facilitated by local co-ordinators and community volunteers. Participants will also receive an activity pack, containing ideas about how to be active as a family, as well as maps showing free/low-cost activities within their local area. Free hot meals will also be provided at the sessions.

Expected number of families: 252

Award: £302,230

Family Lives

The programme: Referral via Early Help/Troubled Families/Health, Family Lives starts by working alongside families, acknowledging their priorities, rather than imposing outcomes. Time is invested in building relationships, exploring feelings and frustrations, helping develop genuine motivation for change. Co-production is key to the project, working with each family to learn what works for them. 

Expected number of families: 540

Award: £367,624


The project: Working with Leisure Trusts, Gingerbread will undertake in-depth consultation and co-development work with the trusts to create new offers, pricing and cases for action, as well as research with single parents regarding the barriers to participation to inform the offers created. A microsite will be created from the main Gingerbread website for the programme and schedule for the year ahead. This will lead to the launch of the offer and a wider marketing campaign. Take up will be measured and audience reach with continued surveys and case studies being undertaken with participating families. 

Expected number of families: 200

Award: £389,503

Grandparents Plus

The project: It will work with kinship carers and their children living in the target areas in South Tees. Kinship carers are older, poorer and in worse health than any other group raising children. The project will support families through one-to-one support, personalised activity plans and group peer support. Low cost or free activities will be developed with support from partners.

Expected number of families: 315

Award: £383,194

National Literacy Trust

The project: ‘Storienteering’ will target inactive families with children aged 5-11 years old living in Burslem, Moorcroft and Tunstall, which are amongst some of the most deprived areas of Stoke-on-Trent. ‘Storienteering’ is a programme of story led, self-guided adventure trails written and developed by well-known children’s’ authors. Families will follow a set of clues using a gamebook and will unlock prizes when challenges are complete. The story packs will also contain stickers and posters that display health messages. The project will be supported by large scale community engagement events to build enthusiasm and recruit further families.

The project will also partner with StreetGames, who will oversee all community engagement, volunteering and events. There will also be a leadership programme for up to 100 parents to develop as new leaders, to grow the programme beyond the initial delivery period. 

Expected number of families: 1,000

Award: £492,852

Sanctuary Housing Association

The project: Through ‘What’s Your Game?’, Sanctuary will work with families living in and around Sanctuary Housing in Torbay, East Cambridgeshire, Sheffield and Hull. Underpinned by principles of community organising, and Asset Based Community Development (ABCD). Community Facilitators will bring families and volunteers together following door-knocking and engagement activities. This will enable families to participate in activities, understand the benefits of play, leading to increased levels of activity and positivity. Out target audience will be families with children aged between 5-10 years old living in areas where we have concentrations of housing. 

Expected number of families: 640

Award: £277,580

Women in Sport

The project: It will focus on fathers and daughters being active together. The delivery method used will be a replication of the DADEE programme (Dads and Daughters Exercising and Empowered). This method was developed and piloted by the University of Newcastle (Australia).

After the 11 week course, fathers and daughters will self-sustain their physical activity levels by using the knowledge and skills learnt to continue being active at home and in their local environments.

Award: £104,349 for the first year, with a possible further £383,917

Workers' Educational Association

The project: ‘Families Get Active’ is a family learning programme that enables families to develop the confidence, resilience and skills to become more physically active together. The aim is to create a non-threatening and engaging environment where families will be encouraged to think differently, to make decisions together and provide children with the opportunity to shape how they and their families are active and how they sustain this.

Expected number of families: 200

The award: £375,077


The project: It will create a simple message and opportunities that resonate with families about physical activity being fun, family time together rather than about achieving specific activity targets. “Play On” will provide the tools and motivation to influence positive behaviour change, disseminate congruent positive messages and open access and information about local opportunities and places where activity can take place.

Award: £185,942 for the first year, with a possible further £322,119