Building Stronger Communities Fund Awards First Beneficiaries

Image: Boots & Beards.

Alongside our partners Ring, whose mission is to make neighbourhoods safer, we are delighted to annouce the beneficiaries of their first funds to support families and youth across the UK to help create stronger spaces for communities.

Marking the International Day for Sport for Development and Peace, Ring's collaboration with Made by Sport has created a community-driven fund to further support the charity's initiatives and programs, and extend this impact to local youth groups, sports clubs, and community centres with a number of clubs already benefiting in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

In conjunction with Sported, Street Games and Laureus, the first grants have been awarded to organisations who are using sport as a powerful intervention to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing our communities.

Research commissioned by Made by Sport show that over 70% of the public agree that sport can build stronger communities through: offering physical, rather than virtual ways to meet (80%), offsetting isolation (76%), providing role models for young people (75%), offering opportunities for marginalised young people (68%), building trust and encouraging integration (74%) and challenging stereotypes (61%). 

Despite the good it can do, over 45% of parents say there are barriers to their children engaging in sport including access (52% said there are not enough sports clubs in their area) and opportunity (46% said sport was too expensive, 38% said it was too time consuming). 

Dave Ward, Managing Director of Ring, Europe and International, said: “We’re thrilled to support Made by Sport’s mission, with the aim to positively impact neighbourhoods, helping to create safer communities up and down the UK. We look forward to learning from the beneficiaries as they continue their critical work to foster safe, strong and engaged local communities who are looking out for each other in challenging times.”

Club beneficiaries include: Glasgow-based Boots and Beards, which offers walking and badminton to engage people from diverse ethnic minority community in physical activities; Peace Players in Belfast which uses basketball for conflict resolution and leadership training for young people in traditionally opposed communities; and AHOY Centre in London which provides weekly watersports activities and a safe space for young people to learn life and leadership skills to build self-confidence and trust in others. 

Zain Sehgal from Boots and Beards, praised the impact that the funding has had; He said: “The Building Stronger Community fund has allowed us to keep our doors opened for a community who have been hit hardest with the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“Specifically, the grant will help with much needed resources that are required for an organisation like us who are all about health and wellbeing through the means of physical activity. On behalf of our entire community group, our sincere thanks to Ring and Sported for making this possible.”

The Building Stronger Communities Fund is building awareness around the good work sport can do in providing role models, offsetting isolation, bridging divides and improving access skill building for young people through the support it will give clubs across the UK via its grants.

The situation for young people in the UK is concerning, with 5.2 million (50%) expected to be living in poverty in 2022 and 83% admitting that their mental health has been affected by the pandemic.

Made by Sport’s research has also confirmed that the average Social Return on Investment (SROI) for sport for good is £6 for every £1 spent, compared to £4 for every £1 spent on sports participation. 

Made by Sport’s latest findings come on the same day that Sport for Development Coalition launches its ‘Open Goal’ campaign to showcase how its network supports positive health and societal outcomes such as reducing crime and anti-social behaviour and building stronger communities and social cohesion in the wake of Covid-19.

Sophie Mason, CEO of Made By Sport said: “Community lies at the heart of society and stronger communities make for a more equitable and sustainable society. The work we are undertaking with Ring has shown once again how important sport for good initiatives are for society at large and a further reminder to business that investment in grassroots initiatives are vital if we are to thrive in these increasingly challenging times.”

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An evening with Made by Sport at Westminster