What does recovery look like? Enabling a community response to the Covid-19 crisis

A partnership with Sport Inspired, delivery partner of Sport England, gives us a great opportunity to help children and young adults in Tower Hamlets, Redbridge and Merton engage with exercise again... albeit in very different circumstances to before
Published Mon 25 May 2020

For 12 years SportInspired has been working directly with children and young people from the UK’s most deprived communities. Children and young people with this start in life are already three times as likely to experience mental health issues than their more affluent peers. Their chances of obesity are doubled by the age of 11, and unemployment prospects are high.

Covid-19 has struck millions of people who are adjusting to a new “normal”, living in lockdown, concerned for family, friends and themselves. Life is strained, even for those of us with the resource to make the changes comfortable - but for those living in the UK’s most deprived communities, their already challenging circumstances just got propelled into a much bleaker space.

Over the years SportInspired has created a sports-based development programme uniquely underpinned by the power of “fun” and “connection”. They instil the requisite behaviours, skills and beliefs to improve wellbeing and overall life chances of those who need it most.

Our current work in Tower Hamlets, Merton and Redbridge gives us the opportunity to engage directly with children and young adults who are in desperate need of additional support. SportInspired will help us to provide sports-led programmes in four primary schools in each Borough, helping those who need help become more active; a local secondary school will provide 'young leaders', who will in turn be mentored and advised by volunteers from each of our project teams.

What will start as 'festivals of sport' will then be transformed into ongoing legacy programmes delivered by local providers in the months and years to come. In a nutshell, here is what we are trying to do:

  • Raise the activity levels of primary school children in areas in which children have reduced opportunities to be engaged in sports
  • Improve the leadership and employability skills and qualifications of the young people involved
  • Enhance the connection between our employees, project teams and the local communities in which we work.

Sport England have agreed to match fund each of the programmes, meaning that the outreach - and subsequently the potential to reach children - is doubled. Each individual programme will engage 200 primary school children and 25 young adults, who will receive training and support to help them facilitate the delivery of each Festival day.

To find out more about our Community Response programmes, please email community@hadleypg.com. We'd love to hear from you.