We’ll be using a social impact bond for the first time to harness the power of sport to enhance the life chances of disadvantaged young people.
The Chances Programme, co-developed by Substance, us, the Life Chances Fund and Big Issue Invest, will support more than 6,000 people aged 8-17 across 21 locations in the UK over the next three years.
Investment in the project comes in the form of £1.25 million from the Big Issue Invest’s Outcomes Investment Fund and our own social impact bond (SIB).
The money will be used to create new opportunities to empower young people to get active and re-engage with education and skills provision – with the focus being on young people from lower socio-economic backgrounds and those with an offending record and/or low school attendance.
The Chances Programme is currently delivered in Doncaster, Bristol and Devon, and during March and April will be rolled out to 18 more local authority areas in the UK.
“Whilst it's been hard for our children and young people to be active over the past year, this is an exciting project using physical activity to build happier and more productive lives and we are really proud to be a part of it,” said our chief executive, Tim Hollingsworth.
“The Social Impact Bond model used for this project embodies the values of collaboration and innovation that we wish to live by in our new strategy, and this new model represents an excellent opportunity to diversify and develop our investment approach."
This will be the first time we’ve used a SIB – a commissioning tool enabling organisations to deliver outcomes contracts and make funding for services conditional on achieving results – and with more than 20 commissioners involved, it makes it the largest number of commissioners engaged in a SIB in the world.
The bond will help Substance – a research and technology company specialising in sport and physical activity and community regeneration – to work with its network of 16 local organisations based in youth and community facilities where young people meet.
The social impact bond model used for this project embodies the values of collaboration and innovation that we wish to live by in our new strategy
Chief executive, Sport England
The organisations use sessions focusing on sport and physical activity – including martial arts, dance and expeditions – to help encourage young people to re-engage with education and skills training.
Research from the Alliance of Sport in Criminal Justice shows one in five young people reporting involvement in crime and antisocial behaviour, with around 75,000 new entrants into the youth justice system every year.
StreetGames figures also suggest that young people from lower socio-economic backgrounds are around 50% less likely to take part in regular sport, volunteer, compete, be coached or hold club memberships than those from high income households.
That’s why opportunities like The Chances Programme can have such a impact on participants such as Aqsa Asif.
“The time on Chances really helped me figure out my next steps in life,” he said. “It got me into a really good headspace where I felt healthier, happier and the feeling I actually had something to contribute. It got me back on track with college.”
And for Substance chief executive Dr Tim Crabbe, the programme is an opportunity to make a real difference in people’s lives.
“Substance is excited to have developed a model that delivers outcomes with tangible value rather than just opportunities to get involved,” he said. “It is based on insight and learning about what works from its evaluation of hundreds of community-based physical activity programmes.”
Organisations involved in the programme
Substance uses a network of 16 organisations to deliver the programme in the youth and community facilities where young people meet.Read more
- Arsenal in the Community (London)
- Aston Villa Foundation (Midlands)
- EnergizeSTW – Shropshire (West Midlands)
- Exeter City Community Trust (South West)
- Flying Futures – Doncaster (North)
- Foundation of Light – Sunderland (North East)
- Leyton Orient Trust (London)
- Middlesbrough Football Club Foundation (North East)
- Newcastle United Foundation (North East)
- Oxfordshire Youth (South East)
- Palace for Life Foundation (London)
- Positive Youth Foundation – Coventry (West Midlands)
- Saints Foundation (Southampton) (South East England)
- Watford Community Sports and Education Trust (East of England)
- Wigan Athletic Community Trust (North West)
- Youth Moves – Bristol (South West)