Active Suffolk have distributed almost £150,000 worth of Sport England funding to charities and organisations across the county, to support those who are most affected by health inequalities.
The Together Fund formerly known as the Tackling Inequalities Fund was set up by Sport England in April 2020 as part of their support package to help the sport and physical activity sector through the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis. As the Active Partnership for the county, Active Suffolk have played a pivotal role in identifying and distributing the Sport England funding to local organisations who work with individuals who would have been at greater risk of being less active, or who were most disadvantaged by the effects of the pandemic.
Gareth Davies, Director at Active Suffolk said:
Active Suffolk is proud to have played a pivotal role in the Tackling Inequalities Fund project, where we have worked hard to ensure that Sport England funding has been distributed to those areas of most need within Suffolk.
Health inequalities have been further exacerbated due to the impact of the global pandemic within Suffolk and all other regions of the country and supporting local projects that work to tackle these has been a very rewarding task.
We have now supported 41 local organisations to access this fund to date, including ActivLives, Ipswich Boxing Club, Karibu and Avenues East to name a few, where their projects have helped to support those most in need."
The health inequalities identified by Sport England included those living with long term conditions and disabilities, those from minority ethnic backgrounds and people living in lower socio-economic areas.
Riding for Disabled in Woodbridge are amongst the many organisations who have already benefitted from this fund. Just under £4,000 of funding allowed them to put on adapted covid secure riding sessions for their clients who are living with disabilities and long term health conditions such as downs syndrome, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, and Parkinson's.
The West Suffolk Community Cardiac Rehabilitation Team were also successful in their bid, enabling them to design and deliver a highly effective home-based remote programme for patients who had experienced a cardiac event during the pandemic. The success of this project resulted in the team being recognised by a national forum and being shortlisted for an Active Suffolk award at the end of 2021.
P.H.O.E.B.E, an Ipswich based organisation who work to support women, girls, and their families from ethnically diverse backgrounds, were also successful in their bid to Sport England during the second phase of the funding roll out. The organisation, based on Tower Street in Ipswich secured just over £4,000 which allowed them to deliver football sessions for the families they work with, whilst also upskilling volunteers to coach sessions beyond the funded period.
Mollin Delve, Director of P.H.O.E.B.E said:
Many of the mothers we support were really struggling during the pandemic. Every day was a struggle, however with this funding we were able to offer them the opportunity to bring their families together, to play football, be active and get out of the house.
It has allowed local families to connect and form a bond during these times which has given them a greater appreciation of sport and physical activity."
Andrew Crowe, Development Officer Insight and Evaluation from Active Suffolk said:
We know that inequalities are widening both locally and nationally due to the pandemic, but the benefit of this fund is that it enables organisations to recover and grow.
The money has made a massive difference to many of the organisations we have already supported, and as a result it has allowed individuals living in areas where opportunities may be sparse to be more active and access important services.
We are currently soliciting bids for phase four of this project and look forward to continuing to support local organisations and address inequalities in Suffolk."
Further details about the Together Fund visit www.sportengland.org/how-we-can-help/our-funds/together-fund