In January 2023 Active Humber, as part of the Active Partnership network, was awarded 3 years worth of funding to support schools in the areas of highest need across the Humber, to open up their facilities for their own pupils after school and for the wider community. The aim of the programme is to allow children and young people and the wider community greater access to more opportunities to be physically active. There is also an emphasis on swimming, focusing on developing more opportunities for swimming and water safety lessons both during and outside of the school day for pupils at schools with swimming pools and for pupils at other local schools.
The Department for Education funding is specifically targeting young people on free school meals, females, ethnically diverse communities and young people with special educational needs with an overarching target of those living in the areas of highest deprivation.
14 schools were supported in Year 1 of the funding, and these were:
- In Hull – Marvell College, Sirius Academy North, Sirius Academy West, Kelvin Hall School, Boulevard Academy and Archbishop Sentamu
- In the East Riding – Bridlington School and Withernsea High School
- In North East Lincolnshire – Oasis Academy Immingham, Oasis Academy Wintringham and Sevenhills Academy
- In North Lincolnshire – St Lawrence Academy, Althorpe & Keadby Primary School and Baysgarth School
Funding supported holiday time activity during February half term, new boxing club in Barton upon Humber dedicated to young people and the development of a wide range of different opportunities for young people at Sevenhills Academy which provides alternate provision for young people in North East Lincolnshire.
Nicola Massingham, Head of Development at Active Humber said:
“The Opening Schools Facilities programme is a real opportunity in the Humber – not only to provide specific investment into schools to support pupils and the wider community who need the greatest support to be physically active, but it also has presented opportunities to align with other investment for children and young people such as the Holiday Activity Fund, School Games, and other localised funding to have a greater impact on supporting young people and communities in the area of greatest need across the Humber.”
February Half Term Activity at Sirius Academy North
Through the Holiday Activity & Food programme managed by Hull City Council there has been a successful programme of activity and food at Sirius Academy North during Easter, Summer and Christmas school holiday periods run by North Hull Sports Network, however the funding only covers these specific holiday periods and there is no funding available for the half term periods. There was a clear need for something similar during non-funded HAF periods. In February half term two days of multi sports delivery took place including dance, cheerleading, futsal and football for young people in the HU6 postcode.
162 young people attended over the 2 days with 50% of the young people being eligible for free school meals.
Over the 2 days the young people were consulted around a regular after school / evening doorstep sport club which would provide young people with a weekly sports/physical activity club and a hot meal. As a result, a new club has been set up for Thursdays running 3.30pm-4.30pm as an after school led sports session, 4.30pm-5pm – a hot meal and then an additional evening doorstep sport club sport & physical activity session run by the community provider North Hull Sports Network.
Baysgarth School Boxing Club
Young people in Barton Upon Humber have had to travel over recent years to access boxing opportunities as there has been no local provision. Recently a club was set up in neighboring Winterton, however for those who rely on public transport even this wasn’t accessible.
Through the North Lincolnshire Youth Justice Service, some boxing sessions were trialed at Baysgarth Sports Village specifically targeting those young people undertaking antisocial behaviour in the area, and as a result of their success with engaging young people in the Barton area Baysgarth School and the Sports Village were keen to establish regular sessions. The Opening Schools Facilities programme has provided them with the perfect opportunity to establish the Baysgarth Boxing Club with sessions delivered by Paul Bassindale.
Since the club started after Easter 2023 18 young people have signed up, there is still a focus on working with those young people involved in antisocial behaviour in the community, and the projects works with several partners including the North Lincs Early Intervention Coordinator, Youth Justice service and Local Policing team (including regular visits from officers and PCSOs). There is also a counsellor from 'With Me In Mind' who is attending sessions to support the mental health of the young people.
Years 2 and 3 will see a minimum of 13 additional schools be supported through the Opening Schools Facilities funding, alongside continuing to support those 14 schools funded in Year to provide sustainable opportunities for their pupils and their wider community to access physical activity and swimming opportunities
The funding allocated to Sevenhills Academy through Active Humber has allowed young people with additional Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) needs to participate in a range of activities that had previously not been accessible or possible for them.
The volume and variety of new equipment coupled with the use of a friendly, familiar environment has supported the increase of engagement and participation for a number of young people, particularly those who have previously been reluctant to engage in physical activity.
Indoor break and lunch time clubs of Gymnastics, Table Tennis, Netball and reaction/SEMH games had not been on offer at Sevenhills Academy due to lack of appropriate equipment. This project and opportunity has provided genuine excitement and a 'buzz' around the site with young people (and staff) wanting to be active and engage in physical activity. Additional benefits such as 'increased productivity' and a 'calmer environment' have been noted by staff whilst 'soft skill' development such as communication skills and social interaction have been evident. We look forward to the constant adaptation and enhanced offer that the project has allowed with inclusive games (such as Boccia, Table Cricket and New Age Kurling) and UV sports the focus for the coming weeks in supporting Sevenhills Academy in encouraging young people to pursue physical activity as a lifelong choice through a varied and engaging offer.