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Investment into employability opportunities for young people

Along with the National Lottery Community Fund, we're funding the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee to provide youth social action opportunities in the West Midlands.

17th March 2022

Young people in the West Midlands will get access to new volunteering and employability boosting opportunities as we contribute £250,000 of a £1 million National Lottery investment into Gen22.

A legacy project run by the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee, Gen 22 will create 1,000 new opportunities for local young people to gain life skills from Games-related activities.

The other £750,000 is coming from the National Lottery’s Community Fund (NLCF)  and together the investment will enable young people facing barriers such as a lack of confidence, having care or parental responsibilities, or a criminal record, to contribute 30,000 hours of social action towards the Games.

A Street Games volunteer instructs a boy how to use a treadmill

Jenny Betteridge, our strategic lead for volunteering, believes this investment is another example of support for the five big issues identified in our Uniting the Movement strategy.

“Positive experiences for children and young people are at the heart of Sport England’s work,” she said.

“That’s why we’re delighted to be supporting Gen22 – for those young people who wouldn’t normally get a chance to be involved in a world-class event like the Commonwealth Games. 

“The legacy of life skills for young people – such as the confidence gained from volunteering to help their community to get active – is one of the most important parts of B2022.

“It will help us to build stronger and more connected communities, as well as investing in the skills of our future generation.”

Our investment in Gen22 will see them working with six West Midlands Active Partnerships to focus in on sport and physical activity related youth social action volunteering that delivers on Gen22’s ambitions.

"The legacy of life skills for young people – such as the confidence gained from volunteering to help their community to get active – is one of the most important parts of B2022."

Jenny Betteridge

Strategic lead for volunteering, Sport England

While the NLCF funding will support four ‘flagship providers’ – The Canal and River Trust, StreetGames, Groundwork and Positive Youth Foundation – to enable young people in designing and delivering youth social action projects in one of Gen22’s four focus sectors of mental health and wellbeing, physical activity, sustainability and creativity.

And Bethan Simpson, Gen22 programme lead at Birmingham 2022, is delighted to see both Sport England and NLCF invest in the young people of the West Midlands.

“I’m particularly happy to launch our search for social action ideas from young people across the West Midlands and to see these become a reality,” she said.

“We hope that National Lottery players will be excited to see the impact they will make to the lives of our participants and their communities, and we’re really grateful for their contribution.”

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