Sport England is investing in 26 pioneering projects to help people on low incomes become more active, such as lone parents, the homeless, ethnic minorities and refugees. Each project has been awarded up to £10,000 each from the Tackling Inactivity and Economic Disadvantage (TIED) fund.
One such project is The Booth Centre Sports programme in Manchester, which has been awarded funding to offer free sports sessions to rough sleepers, the homeless or people who have experienced homelessness. Another is Newham Community Renewal Programme, which will hold fitness sessions for women from ethnic minorities who don’t currently exercise and are either not working or are in low paid jobs.
Sport England is also providing funding to MenActiveOpen in Fleetwood, Lancashire, a 12-week health and fitness programme for men who want to lose weight, increase fitness or improve their lifestyles. Harry, 70, says, “I hadn’t been in a gym since school and at the start I found it quite hard. But I began to enjoy it. So much so, I have now joined my local YMCA for a session on another day.” He adds, “When you retire, you still have an active mind, and it needs to be stimulated on a regular basis and believe me, walking football and a session at the gym does this.” Harry lost one stone in weight during the 12-week programme but also cited “the mental help it has given me”.
Sport England states that a third of people on low incomes are inactive, performing less than 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a week. Opening the TIED fund is enabling Sport England to support community projects that are working to “help people feel healthier, happier, more confident and able to cope with life’s pressures.”