Opening Schools Facilities: How StreetGames and consortium partners are transforming schools into thriving community hubs

At StreetGames’ our primary mission is to increase the opportunities for young people from underserved communities to take part in local sport and physical activities, therefore when the chance arose to be part of a consortium of partners bidding for the Department for Education (DfE) Opening Schools Facilities programme, we were delighted to get involved.  Alongside the Active Partnerships Network, Youth Sport Trust and UK Active, we are supporting schools to open their doors out of school time to deliver sport and physical activities for both the school community and the local community in underserved areas.

In our role as a consortium partner, we deliver on three distinct aspects.  First, we help schools to embed youth voice at the heart of the opening schools facilities programming. Second, we enable schools to think more broadly about the people needed to implement the types of activities, making sure they align with the preferences of the young people. Lastly, we connect schools to our extensive network of locally trusted organisations (LTOs) that provide Doorstep Sport for young people in local community settings, assisting with delivery and engagement with young people.

Over the last few months, we have been working with Active Partnerships to ensure that we provide the right offer of support to enable schools to provide a varied and interesting offer for young people. In Hull, through a school engagement day, we encouraged schools to look at the Five Rights to Doorstep Sport; right place, right style, right cost, right people and right time. We also delivered a youth voice training session for the schools, providing ideas for the school staff on how to engage with students in such a way that the young people have the opportunity to voice their thoughts on how the Five Rights are delivered in the Opening School Facilities programme.

In the upcoming Autumn, we will be conducting extensive youth voice consultation sessions in schools across England. These sessions will empower young people, identified by the schools, to discuss the barriers, motivations, and enablers affecting their participation in sport and physical activities. This feedback will help schools create physical activity offers beyond regular school hours, catering to those who currently cannot access traditional community sports.

Schools are increasingly seen as community hubs and often have extensive facilities; through this fund, we have the opportunity to open up these assets to provide new and exciting sport and physical activity offers which meet the needs of both the school and local community.

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