Tackling Inequalities Fund
Sport England established the Tacking Inequalities Fund (TIF) after research showed certain groups of people were being disproportionately affected by the corona virus pandemic and it was significantly impacting their ability to be physically active. The fund was created to try and help reduce the negative impact on activity levels in these under-represented groups, with a specific focus on: Lower socio-economic groups, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities, Disabled people and People with long-term health conditions (LTHC).
Trusted Relationships, Collaboration, Place Based Working
Active Partnership in collaboration with Sport England and a range of national partners have played a key role to date to ensure that the TIF is reaching those most in need. Using the trusted relationships they have built up, along with the insight and knowledge through their placed based working, partnerships have been able to connect quickly and effectively with organisations working with those who’s activity levels have been adversely affected.
To date over 1200 community groups have been supported by national partners and have received over £3.8 million.
Working in collaboration has been key, co-producing solutions that can be implemented at speed. A few examples of work across the Active Partnerships are below.
Active Oxfordshire as a trusted partner was able to quickly bring together 8 local charities to develop a targeted place based approach, ensuring that people with the greatest need had access to physical activity opportunities. The TIF has been used to create ‘Active Reach’ a project designed to be run by the community for the community. With a specific focus on supporting people with LTHC, disabilities, older people as well as those affected by homelessness and poverty, young people experiencing disadvantage and people facing mental health difficulties.
The Charites are using a wise range of innovative approaches to reach people and get them active and over the summer holidays have seen Aspire Oxford Gym bus delivering sessions in areas of deprivation to adults, equipment packs have been provided to 30 families, summer schools run and cycling training along with bikes being delivered in targeted areas.
Leicestershire and Rutland Sport worked with non-traditional partners including, Leicester Community Links, the Centre for BAME health and Leicester Aging Together, to ensure that the right individuals are engaged with a specific focus on BAME communities. The project aimed to support people to build their confidence and become active within their communities using healthy at Home Packs.
Wesport have connected with organisations that sit well outside the traditional sport and physical activity landscape and the current situation has enabled positive conversations with them to encourage them to champion the place of physical activity in response to the many challenges people face.
Work with Feeding Bristol and Bristol Food Union has helped develop a project to support young care leavers with physical activity packs. In addition conversations with Bristol Asylum Seek Well-Being Forum helped identify how lockdown was severely affected the refugee and asylum communities. This has led to ‘Walk with Me’ a collaborative poject with the Bridges for Communities and the Syrian resettlement team that partners local volunteers with a refugee or asylum seeker to help provide support to access the outdoors and feeling of belonging in community.
The Covid-19 pandemic is proving particularly tough on vulnerable teenagers so Herts Sport worked GRIT: Growing Resilience in Teens; a unique doctor-led charity, that helps vulnerable teenagers with mental health issues, particularly those with self-harming behaviours, anxiety and stress related conditions as vulnerable teenagers . GRIT helps improve the mental health of teenagers through their unique and innovative non-contact boxing programme alongside professional coaching and mentoring.
Active Sussex worked with local partners to support The Hop 50+ to take their session for people with LTHC online. Since joining the digital sesisons one particpant who was told she wouldnt get better can now reach in cupboards and go up and down stairs which were a struggle before. The sessions also play a vital role in keeping the group having fun and socialising.
Active Humber helped broker relationships to successfully pool skills and resources to provide a fully inclusive environment for the visually impaired people of East Yorkshire ensuring people with sightloss could keep active during lockdown.
Learnings so far
Although the TIF has only been in place a few months some key learnings are already being identified with the partnerships and connections being made proving to have long term benefits. In the coming weeks, a series of learning sessions area taking place between all those involved in the work to unpick individual learning and identify collective learning that will inform how we work together moving forward. Examples of emerging learnings are below.
Active Gloucestershire’s work around the TIF funding has helped forge connections between organisations who often worked in silos. The benefits of new relationships are far exceeding just the investment. This is proving to be of great benefit to young vulnerable people and families and organisations identified through the TIF work.
Active Gloucestershire: Case Study - Summer play 2 Recover
Local Insight informed Active Cornwall’s decision to focus on adults and the workforce supporting people with LTHC within their communities. A steering group, including a range of organisations, helped to identify projects and it has led to this collaborativeway of workiing being replicated in different area of the county.
The ‘Get your Bike Fit’ project in Dorset also has the potential to upscale with the focus on people from LSEG backgrounds, especially BAME, females and older people.
We look forward to sharing more stories about the impact of TIF as the projects develop. Meanwhile if you have any questions or queries about work in individual partnership areas please contact your local Active Partnership whose details can be found here : https://www.activepartnerships.org/active-partnerships