Overview: Mums’ Team commenced in January 2016 and developed due to the underrepresentation of women within coaching and leading roles in sport. Mums’ Team aims to support mums, focusing on our disadvantaged communities as identified in the Yorkshire Sport Foundation strategy, to become leaders through sport and physical activity sessions, they are supported through this by community mentors. 2017 has seen Mums’ Team increase its reach across South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire engaging new mentors and supporting new volunteers to gain qualifications such as Rounders Activator or Run Leader.
Mums’ Team provides a new approach to how sport and physical activity is delivered to women by using people “like me” to inspire and motivate new activators and leaders. The programme responds to the needs of local mums’ and their communities by providing a support network of community mentors. Mums’ Team works with those that would not traditionally engage in leadership roles and each Mum engaged in the programme can develop at their own rate and direct their own training needs and session delivery.
Effective use of insight: Mums’ Team was developed due to national research indicating that women only account for 30% of the coaching workforce and many women although interested in being active struggle to take part due to a complex range of barriers and prioritising the needs of others particularly family above themselves. Sports Coach UK found that women that do coach tend to be involved due to their children’s involvement in sport. Through local research we found that 69% of those surveyed had no coaching or leadership qualification but that those interested in coaching would most like to organise activities for their families or other mums. As many of the Mums’ surveyed wanted to deliver activities to their friends and other local mums’ the delivery model was created to support this. With community mentors in place to recruit and support Mum volunteers to deliver activities to others in a safe, non-judgemental environment.
Effective Local Leadership: Through links with community partners we have been able to identify community mentors who can inspire others to become involved in the project and generate Mums’ Team activity in areas that traditionally have low participation rates in sport and physical activity for women. Mentors recruit their volunteers locally and co-ordinate their delivery to ensure the maximum impact can be made in their local area. Through the use of social media the mentors and volunteers have created a digital network so they are able to share good practice and ways of recruiting and motivating more volunteers and participants.
Innovation, Impact and Sustainability: Once volunteers are qualified they are supported by their mentor to deliver community based sessions, most qualifications completed are for activities that do not require equipment or facilities. This enables a sustainable model for the programme as volunteers are not reliant on additional funding to sustain their delivery, this allows for funding to be distributed across new volunteers to build the size of Mums’ team. Through the recruitment of the community mentors and their volunteers there is a personal connection that helps to retain the mentors and volunteers in the programme. Mums’ Team has been found to have a snowball effect as more people find out about and want to become involved, this allows the programme to continuously develop and recruit a new workforce.
Impact: In 2017, 30 Mums’ Team mentors have been recruited, trained and supported across South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire.
136 volunteers have been recruited with each of these receiving our specifically developed Active Communities training
40 of these volunteers have also created additional qualifications such as Leadership in Running Fitness or Rounders’ Activator
656 individual sessions have been delivered by the volunteers.
Mums’ team has given socially isolated women the opportunity to meet likeminded women in their community.
Eram, Mums’ Team Volunteer – “Before Mums’ Team I used to sit at home all day alone waiting for school pick up time, Mums’ Team has given me the confidence to go out and talk to people and get active. I love being able to support other people getting more active.”
Carol, Mums’ Team Volunteer – “I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and in denial about my lifestyle, one of my friends mentioned the Mums’ Team sessions so I went along and loved it, such a friendly and supportive atmosphere. I’ve now lost weight, I’m off my diabetes medication and I’ve started leading my own couch to 5k sessions.”