Energise Me is thrilled to have awarded £95,000 from Sport England’s Tackling Inequalities Fund so far! As part of our Investing in Communities project, we have been working hard with community groups, voluntary sector organisations, youth clubs, sports clubs, and local authority and health partners (and many more!) to identify where funding is needed in Hampshire and Isle of Wight.
Investing in Communities is about much more than funding, however, and has allowed us to connect with new partners, to offer workforce advice, and to facilitate discussions in new areas. This project is all about relationships, and cross-sector support.
Breakout Get Active Festival 2020!
Like many young people, those supported by Breakout Youth were reporting increased anxiety, feelings of isolation, and reduced physical activity. Many were not leaving the house, through fear of COVID-19, and uncertainty around “lockdown rules.”
With funding from the Energise Me and Sport England Investing in Communities project, and donations from Comedy Club 4 Kids, and The Body Shop Southampton, Breakout Youth have embarked on the Breakout Get Active Festival 2020! The team have worked with young people in groups across Hampshire to talk about how they feel about physical activity, what the barriers are to them getting active, and what sort of activities they want to try. The young people spent two weeks designing, creating, and even budgeting for the Get Active packs.
The Get Active packs include origami paper, breathing exercises, 5 Steps to Wellbeing plans for the young people to complete, and mini rubber ducks! Each young person will have their own festival lanyard, and there will be sessions to talk about mindfulness, stretching, sleep hygiene, sexual health, and to come up with healthy recipes. Each pack also includes a set of juggling balls, and the groups will all learn to juggle together. There will be challenges to see who can take a photo of their duck in the most unusual (but safe!) place they can think of. And a walking scavenger hunt to get the young people out and about. When asked about her hopes for the project, project manager Zoe talked about the importance of helping the group to feel connected, to give them prompts to get active and look after their mental and physical health. She wanted the contents of the box to represent a holistic approach to wellbeing, and the presentation of the boxes to make the young people feel loved and cared for.
Even putting together the Get Active packs was a challenge, with Zoe saying, “I did 7861 steps just packing up the boxes!” Not to mention taking 44 boxes to the local Post Office…
Get Active packs have gone out to the young people, and positive feedback is already rolling in:
‘Hi, I received my box. Please can you pass on my thank you’s to the charity’
‘My box turned up and it's great. I can’t wait to get started. Mr duck (Frank) has been on an adventure already. But I do take some offence. I have a book called how to be an unstoppably amazing comedy genius. But I already am.’
‘The package arrived today (very quick) and I’m taking most of the stuff with me on holiday’
‘The pack is amazing- I love it. You are an amazing team’
‘Thank you so much for the care package! I am so excited to see what we are going to be doing soon’
‘I cannot WAIT to know what is in here!’
The young people have been discussing where to take their rubber ducks, with one planning to take their duck canoeing. Rumour has it that at least one of the ducks already has their own Instagram page.
A big challenge for the Breakout Youth team has been how to engage with all their young people during lockdown, with around 60% joining online sessions. Issues around dysphoria, or complex living situations, or even a lack of digital access means that not all of their young people have been able to join in with Zoom sessions. As the young people begin to return to some face to face sessions, Zoe plans to use origami and juggling to connect the young people who joined in online with those who weren’t able to. The Get Active packs are more than just a lovely gift, they are a shared experience for the young people, a way to feel connected even when they cannot come together, and a way to encourage getting outdoors in a safe and controlled way.
As well as the Get Active packs and online sessions, the Breakout Get Active Festival 2020 will include special messages from sporting stars encouraging the young people to Get Active!
Emma Dovener, Youth Project Manager for Energise Me, says:
It has been a real privilege to connect with new and existing partners through our Investing in Communities project, and to help them access the Tackling Inequalities Fund. From our Pride in Our Workforce research, we know that LGBTQ+ people are significantly less likely than heterosexual people to do enough exercise to maintain good health (Pride Sports, 2016), and that LGBTQ+ people’s general health is worse than that of heterosexual people (National LGBT Survey, 2017).
This is why we reached out to Breakout Youth and encouraged them to apply for funding. We were able to ensure that the LGBTQ+ young people supported by Breakout Youth had a key role in designing the project. This ethos of co-creation was important to us, and to Breakout Youth. We’re really excited to see how the young people get on with their Get Active packs, and to work with Breakout Youth to embed physical activity into more of their sessions and interventions in the future.