Energise Me has secured £22,500 from Sport England’s Workforce Innovation fund to explore physical activity and sport from an LGBT perspective. It aims to increase understanding of the needs of LGBT groups and to support and develop the workforce.
In 2016, over 55% of the LGBT population were not active enough to maintain good health.
A review of the government’s national LGBT survey in 2017 revealed that LGBT people’s general health is worse than that of heterosexual people.Individuals identifying as LGBT are more likely to access mental health services and to be inactive.Yet, as a sector, we know very little about their real and perceived barriers to participation in physical activity and sport.
Energise Me’s Pride in Our Workforce project will combine specialist insight and an innovative “Secret Shopper” approach to address this gap in knowledge and explore the role of the workforce in influencing and supporting participation. The team will delve into motivations and barriers to participation and explore challenges faced by coaches and volunteers who identify as LGBT. It will also address the training needs of the wider workforce to ensure individuals feel confident and appropriately skilled to support participants from the LGBT community.
The Secret Shopper initiative has grown out of work completed by a group of young people in Andover who have recently rated their experiences of local arts and cultural venues. Energise Me plans to work with these young people and other LGBT groups to adapt the model for the sports and physical activity sector and ensure the workforce is adequately trained and supported.
El Taylor-Jenks, Project Officer Workforce said:
“We’re excited to be developing an approach that has stemmed from the ideas of local LGBT young people. We hope the specialist insight we’re commissioning will benefit our sector as a whole and we’re grateful that Sport England has given us the opportunity to lead this research. We hope Pride in Our Workforce will lead to more members of the LGBT community participating in physical activity and joining the workforce.”
Pride in Our Workforce was one of 10 projects to receive innovation funding from Sport England in June 2019.
Pride Sport, Sport, Physical Activity and LGBT Report 2016
National Institute of Economic and Social Research 2017 review of the government’s National LGBT survey
Public Health, Everybody Active, Every Day, 2014