Over £2.5million of investment from Sport England over the next five years has been confirmed

Over £2.5million of investment from Sport England over the next five years has been confirmed

Posted: Tue, 10 May 2022 07:00

Over £2.5million of investment from Sport England over the next five years has been confirmed

Active Suffolk is amongst a group of over 120 organisations working in partnership with Sport England to level up access to sport and physical activity across the country.

Active Suffolk will receive expertise, support and an investment of over £2.5 Million (over 5 years) of government and National Lottery funding from Sport England to co-deliver the ambitious of its 10-year Uniting the Movement strategy.

Sport England research shows that some groups are typically less active – like women, people with long-term health conditions, disabled people, people from ethnically diverse communities and lower socio-economic groups. Right now, the opportunities to get involved in sport and activity – and reap the rewards of being active – depend too much on your background, your gender, your bank balance and your postcode.

Tackling these inequalities and supporting the physical activity sector to deliver an offer that is accessible to all is at the heart of Active Suffolk's purpose. Sport England's investment will deliver the capacity to allow Active Suffolk to continue to strengthen their successful partnerships and collaborations with local government and delivery organisations to support the creation of a diverse physical activity and health & wellbeing offer, that supports their vision of increasing physical activity levels across Suffolk.

As part of Active Suffolk's further commitment to Sport England, the organisation plans to pro-actively develop its insight, marketing and communications working collaboratively with a wide range of partners. Listening to the voices of the local communities to ensure more inclusive opportunities are available for all, developing understanding of the needs of those communities to tackle the inequalities that exist, and which have widened during the pandemic. In addition, Active Suffolk stand by their commitment to work across the system to develop a highly skilled and diverse workforce equipped to meet the physical activity needs of Suffolk communities.

Additionally, the Sport England investment will allow Active Suffolk to continue to expand and strengthen collaborative working with the health and social care sector in Suffolk to ensure people living with long term health conditions are supported to be physically active. Results from the Active Wellbeing Service demonstrates the clear link between physical activity, improved health and wellbeing and the power it has to tackle inequalities and unite communities and Active Suffolk will use the investment to extend their social prescribing network which plays a pivotal role in helping to promote the positive impact of physical activity.

The investment will also allow Active Suffolk to continue to deliver the School Games, providing a county wide offer, led by pupil voice, and allowing the events to positively impact on more, different young people to maximise the breadth of opportunity for those in need.

Gareth Davies, Director of Active Suffolk said:

"Active Suffolk wants to enable and facilitate more opportunities for more people to become more active, more often. We want everyone to understand the physical and mental health benefits that can be achieved through regular physical activity and sport and ensure that there is in equal opportunity for all regardless of their location or needs. We want to support an ecosystem that understands barriers to participation and works collaboratively to remove them."

Over £550million is being invested across the country in total, and this new funding model from Sport England provides longer-term financial security as organisations recover and reinvent from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tim Hollingsworth, CEO of Sport England, said:

"Sport England's goal is to get everyone active– no matter who they are, where they live, or what their background is. But we know that certain groups – like Suffolk's growing over-65s community and disabled community – are more likely to be inactive. We can only innovate and tackle inequalities effectively by thinking about long-term change; Uniting the Movement is a long-term vision, and our funding approach needs to reflect that. Changes to our funding model will help us achieve our goal, by making it easier for our partners to do what they need to do to level up and deliver."

All partner organisations were selected by Sport England due to their ability to influence change and improvement at the heart of the system they are a part of no matter how big or small. This is the first step on a journey to revolutionise Sport England's approach to long-term partnerships as it seeks to partner and collaborate with innovative organisations to deliver Uniting the Movement and build a nation where everyone can get active.

Gareth Davies went on to say:

"Our vision is Improved health and wellbeing across Suffolk by inspiring everyone to be more active. To be truly effective in doing this we need to ensure that opportunities to take part in physical activities are levelled up. As such, we are delighted to have secured this ongoing investment from Sport England that will allow us to continue to support the entire Physical Activity and Health & Wellbeing ecosystem within Suffolk. Supporting Sport England's Uniting the Movement strategy is essential to tackling health inequalities within the county, and Active Suffolk will continue to work hard with the Local Authorities and partners to ensure that those communities and individuals most in need have a parity of opportunity to increase their physical activity levels and improve both their physical and mental health."

Tags: Active Partnership, Investment, Physical Activity, Sport England, Uniting the Movement