Harnessing Sport for Development: Innovative Funding and Local Partnerships

Harnessing Sport for Development: Innovative Funding and Local Partnerships

Written by Mark Lawrie, CEO

On Wednesday 24 May, I had the pleasure of joining the APPG for Sport committee meeting, chaired by Kim Leadbeater MP, at the House of Commons where I joined colleagues from the sector to discuss the ever-growing evidence of sport’s impact on social outcomes across the UK.

In recent years, some of the delivery funding available to local sport for development organisations has undergone a transformation, thanks to innovative approaches and the recognition of the importance of connecting national policies with community-level, grassroots implementation. StreetGames, a systems partner to Sport England and a founding member of the Sport for Development Coalition, has been pioneering in this field for over 15 years. By working closely with locally trusted organisations (LTOs) in low-income, underserved communities, StreetGames has made a profound impact on the lives of hundreds of thousands of children and young people through sport.

Building Momentum

In our start-up phase back in 2007, StreetGames shared participant data and impactful stories of what works to engage young people from low-income families from 15 locally trusted organisations (LTOs) working in deprived areas. These early efforts laid the foundation for continued growth and success. Today, we collaborate with over 1,500 LTOs, and are the only national sports charity exclusively focused on increasing participation by children and young people from low-income, underserved communities. Throughout our journey to date, our commitment to learning and continuous development of our expertise, developed in close collaboration with LTOs, have allowed us to refine our Doorstep Sport approach and deliver against a range of social outcomes.

The power of sport to effect change is no longer based on hopeful anecdotes. There has been a significant shift towards the more sophisticated measurement of the impact on individuals and the identification of the critical ingredients that lead to success. StreetGames, alongside other organisations in the sport and sport for development sectors such as the Premier League Charitable Fund and Premier Rugby’s Hitz Programme, has played a leading role in this progress. The challenge that follows the distillation of what works in increasing participation by children and young people from low-income backgrounds is then how you replicate and sensitively apply that learning at scale, avoiding a ‘here’s one I made earlier’ approach to diverse local communities.

The Youth Justice Sports Fund

A major milestone for StreetGames was our involvement in a consortium of three national sport for development organisations. In just over six months, we collaborated with the Ministry of Justice to design and deliver a £5 million program known as the Youth Justice Sports Fund. The consortium, led by the Sport for Development Coalition and involving the Alliance of Sport in Criminal Justice, partnered with 220 local delivery organisations primarily serving underserved neighbourhoods. Through this initiative, nearly 8,000 vulnerable young people gained access to regular sports activities and tailored support, such as mentoring and training beyond their immediate surroundings.

Selecting 220 organizations from over 470 applications highlights the growing capability within the sector to deliver targeted interventions. However, challenges remain. Consistent and longer-term funding is crucial, as short-term allocations often strain the capacities of the most effective delivery organisations. Commissioning processes should put a greater focus on building the capacity of local delivery organisations, enabling a more consistent approach to leveraging sport for early intervention and prevention outcomes across criminal justice and other government departments.

Developing the Workforce and Demonstrating Impact

While sports organisations are not a cure-all, ongoing efforts within the sector aim to provide commissioners with confidence in the delivery of impactful programs. The Youth Justice Sports Fund’s emphasis on monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) serves as a replicable model. By providing appropriate support to delivery organisations, near-perfect returns of data and outcome measurements have been achieved, solidifying the evidence for the positive impact of sport.

The evolving understanding of sport’s potential, particularly in the context of sport for development, has paved the way for innovative approaches and partnerships. The Youth Justice Sports Fund is a shining example of sport aligning with government policies to drive positive change. Similar success stories can be found in areas like mental health, education, employability, and community cohesion. The Chiles, Webster, Batson Commission underlined the pivotal role of Local Trusted Organisations (LTOs) in deprived areas transforming lives through sport. By harnessing the power of sport, we can continue to make a profound difference in the lives of individuals and communities.

Play Their Way

Play Their Way

At StreetGames, we’re proud to be a member of the Children’s Coaching Collaborative (CCC), a grassroots movement championing child-first coaching.

According to Sport England’s Active Lives survey (2021-22), only 47% of children who regularly exercise strongly agree that they enjoy taking part in sport and physical activity – a figure that’s still down on pre-pandemic levels (51%) which were already low.

As members of the CCC, we share a passion to improve children’s experience in sport and physical activity by transforming coaching and putting the needs of the child first so they can play their own way.

We’re here to change the game.

Child-first coaching is an evidence-backed approach which is all about championing every child’s voice, choice and journey in sport and physical activity. This is underpinned by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child: The Right to Play, The Right to Develop, and The Right to be Heard.

Be part of a community of coaches, organisations and people driving the biggest grassroots movement to transform the way we coach children and young people.

Uniting the Movement: Addressing growing inequalities in sport and physical activity among lower socio-economic groups

Uniting the Movement: Addressing growing inequalities in sport and physical activity among lower socio-economic groups

Written by Mark Lawrie, Chief Executive

Sport England’s latest Active Lives survey has provided a glimmer of hope amid the pandemic-induced stagnation. Results from the survey show that activity levels among adults have rebounded to pre-pandemic levels, a positive development. However, the report also reveals that the activity gap between the most affluent and the least affluent demographics has widened, with a significant 20% differential. This finding is a clear indication that persistent barriers continue to hinder adults from lower-socio-economic groups (LSEGs) in their participation in sport and physical activity.

The most recent annual Active Lives survey, conducted between November 2021 and November 2022, tracks physical activity and sport participation in England. The survey found that 63.1% of adults aged 16 and over in England were physically active for at least 150 minutes per week, which is the Chief Medical Officer’s recommended level of activity. This percentage is comparable to pre-pandemic levels and is an improvement on the previous year.

Despite this encouraging news, the survey also found that fewer people from lower socio-economic groups (LSEGs) were  likely to participate in physical activity than those from higher SEGs. In fact, while 72.6% of adults in higher socio-economic groups reported being ‘active’, for those in the lowest socio-economic groups that figure is just 52.7% and for those who are currently unemployed, the figures showed a sharp downward trend with just 45% recorded as  ‘active’. The activity disparity is also clear in relation to the least affluent places, with those in the most deprived areas seeing activity levels remaining stubbornly below the pre-pandemic baseline.

These persistent and growing inequalities are extremely concerning and highlight the need to redouble the focus on supporting and encouraging participation in sport and physical activity among disadvantaged groups.

That’s a vision shared by Sport England and clearly laid out in Uniting the Movement, their 10-year strategy to make sport and physical activity more equal and accessible. Uniting the Movement’s end goal of ‘a nation of more equal, inclusive and connected communities’ feels absolutely the right one, and a goal which only becomes more urgent as inequalities between the top and bottom of society continue to widen. At StreetGames we are and always have been committed to working alongside Sport England and the wider sector to ensure these aims can become reality.

At StreetGames we know that a promising approach to addressing this issue is to support Locally Trusted Organisations (LTOs) that are already doing great work in engaging young people and their families in sport and physical activity. LTOs play a vital role in breaking down the barriers that can prevent people from LSEGs from participating in sport and physical activity. Moreover, local organisations have a unique understanding of the challenges faced by their neighbourhoods and can tailor their programs and initiatives to meet the specific needs of these communities. They can also provide support and encouragement to young people, who may be hesitant to participate in sport and physical activity due to a lack of confidence, inadequate equipment, or other obstacles.

By supporting these embedded, well-connected organisations, we can help ensure that everyone has access to a range of sport and physical activities that can improve their physical and mental health, boost their confidence and self-esteem, and enhance their social skills.

Making sport as accessible as possible, by ensuring every community has activity available close to home, at the right price, delivered in the right way is exactly what we at StreetGames work to provide through Doorstep Sport. Doorstep Sport offers accessible and affordable opportunities for young people to take part in informal sport within their local community through vibrant, varied, fun and sociable sessions. Effective Doorstep Sport delivery has a strong emphasis on youth leadership, offers personal development opportunities and encourages lifelong participation. Delivered in the right way, Doorstep Sport can also be hugely adaptable, and can be modified to achieve a wide range of positive impacts in communities, including combating holiday hunger, preventing youth offending, and supporting young people’s mental health and wellbeing.

Initiatives like Sport England’s Together Fund are a great contribution to this work. StreetGames are using this fund to support community organisations to provide attractive, varied and vibrant sporting offers for the young people in the underserved communities in which they work. Examples of this in action are how we’ve supported the East African Association based in South London to provide new activity sessions, facilitate trips, and offer wrap-around support for young people facing issues linked to housing and immigration, and our work with Salford Community Leisure who organise a range of activities, including the Salford Summer Festival, to promote sports opportunities in underprivileged areas. In this final phase of the fund, StreetGames have supported over 100 community organisations to deliver life-enhancing Doorstep Sport to young people in their local area.

But we also need to tackle the feeling that exists for too many young people that playing sport or being part of major sporting events is for other people and beyond their reach. For many young people living in underserved communities, major sporting events can feel a million miles away – geographically and culturally. That’s why StreetGames launched our Inspiration campaign last year to open up access to major sporting events for young people, create brilliant volunteering opportunities and give young people the chance to broaden their horizons and set their sights higher. With 24,000 young people from 725 communities engaged in last year’s campaign, we know the appetite is there – what is too often missing is the means.

While the overall bounce back to pre-pandemic activity levels is a positive development, it is concerning to see the activity gap between the most affluent and least affluent demographics widen. To address this disparity, we need to focus on supporting local community organisations that are already doing great work engaging young people and their families in sports and physical activities. By doing so, we can help create a more equitable and inclusive environment in which everyone has the opportunity to enjoy the many benefits of sport and physical activity.

Sports Leadership Academy

Sports Leadership Academy

We are delighted to share that applications are now open for a new and exciting sports and employability programme – the Sports Leadership Academy.

The one-year programme is being managed by London Youth and supported by StreetGames and League Leaders, in partnership with the Mayor of London (MoL) and London’s Violence Reduction Unit (VRU).

The Sports Leadership Academy will increase the skills, knowledge, confidence and aspirations of 100 young people aged 14-24 who live in some of London’s most underserved communities. It will be delivered through a series of bespoke training opportunities, practical work experiences and Sports Industry Insight Sessions.

Central to the Sports Leadership Academy will be the formation of a Youth Academy Board, made up of 20 of the 100 young people, ensuring the programme is created by young people, for young people. Youth voice and the lived experiences of young people will be the key driver behind the curriculum.

The aims of the programme are to:

  • Identify and engage underserved young people who desire to enter the sport workforce
  • Provide exciting, fun and positive development opportunities to inspire and ensure the next generation of the sports workforce are more work ready and have greater knowledge and understanding of opportunities in the sector
  • Work with partners, youth organisations and young people to better understand underserved young people’s journeys, including barriers and the key pillars of support and training required
  • Allow youth voice to play a key role in programme design and development, ensuring the programme is created for young people, by young people

How to Apply

Let us help you develop your young people to become more work ready. From your organisation, we need one committed young person to be part of our Youth Academy Board, and four others to be part of the opportunity.

Applications are now open and the deadline to apply for this opportunity is Monday 15th May, at 5pm. We are especially keen to hear from organisations in: Bexley, Brent, Croydon, Enfield, Hackney, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Lambeth, Lewisham and Redbridge.

To find out more about the programme, access the Application Guidance Document and submit an application, please visit the dedicated programme page on London Youth’s website.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Marco (Employability Manager) or Radhika (Programmes Officer) at sports@londonyouth.org.

International Day of Sport for Development and Peace 2023 & #OpenGoal

International Day of Sport for Development and Peace 2023 & #OpenGoal

StreetGames are marking the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP) this April 6th by supporting the first anniversary of the #OpenGoal campaign.

#OpenGoal has been shaped by StreetGames and fellow members of the Sport for Development Coalition to showcase how sport and physical activity can contribute to building a fairer, more equitable and sustainable future. In particular, it focuses on how the 400-plus members of the Coalition specifically support a series of positive health and societal outcomes such as reducing crime and anti-social behaviour, and building stronger communities and social cohesion.

IDSDP takes place each year on April 6th and, according to the United Nations, presents “an opportunity to recognise the positive role sport and physical activity play in communities and in people’s lives across the globe” – a theme that resonates particularly strongly in 2023 because of the cost-of-living crisis which has followed the Covid-19 pandemic, and continued conflict and displacement around the globe.

First and foremost, #OpenGoal will see the Coalition call on UK Government to ringfence funding committed for jobs, health and tackling crime towards targeted sport-based interventions that can save public money and generate multiple returns on investment, from improving the physical and mental health of individuals facing disadvantage and discrimination, to increasing educational attainment and the ability to secure employment.

A good example of this is the £5million Youth Justice Sport Fund created by the Ministry of Justice in November 2022, and co-ordinated by StreetGames and the Alliance of Sport in Criminal Justice on behalf of the Coalition. More than 200 community-based organisations have received funding through the MoJ initiative, offering a range of exciting activities from BMX to boxing.

Mark Lawrie, CEO of StreetGames, said: “At StreetGames, we know that sport is about far more than physical fitness and that often those who would most benefit from sport do not have the opportunity to play. Our research shows that for young people at risk of becoming involved in crime, effectively delivered Doorstep Sport can have a transformational impact on their lives – developing skills, connecting them with diverse, trusted role models, and providing a safe space and sense of belonging. Ongoing engagement in sport and volunteering can support young people onto positive pathways and help to keep them and their communities safe.”

#OpenGoal will see the Coalition work across multiple sectors, for example by working with partners to secure more private sector and corporate investment into targeted programmes tackling the social issues faced by young people in disadvantaged communities across the UK.

Finally, #OpenGoal will champion sport’s role in tackling inequalities and building a fairer society through national and local media, helping to amplify the business case for scaled investment in targeted sport and physical activity-based interventions.

To find out more, follow @SFDCoalition #OpenGoal on Twitter or visit https://www.sportfordevelopmentcoalition.org/open-goal-framework

Up to £57m investment received for schools to open their sports facilities to support communities to be more active

Up to £57m investment received for schools to open their sports facilities to support communities to be more active

As part of their work to support the nation to move more, Active Partnerships in collaboration with national partners StreetGames, ukactive and the Youth Sport Trust, have been awarded up to £57m from the Department for Education, to help schools to open their sports facilities outside of the school day in areas where it is needed the most.

The three-year Opening School Facilities investment will be allocated by all 43 Active Partnerships across England, working locally to identify the areas of greatest need. Locations will be targeted where health and social inequalities exist, enabling better access to physical activity opportunities for those who find it more challenging to be active.

As well as supporting schools to provide more out of school opportunities for their school children and community users, priority will be given to projects encouraging women and girls to be more active, those that help disadvantaged and culturally diverse communities, and those supporting special educational needs, disabilities or long term health conditions.

Andy Taylor, Chief Executive for Active Partnerships National Team said: “We are delighted that schools across England will receive a share of this new three year investment to help them open up their sporting facilities outside of the normal school day.  Our network of 43 Active Partnerships will support schools to develop and deliver their plans, working together to identify those local communities facing the greatest inequalities and help give them access to more varied opportunities to be physically active.  We aim to engage with 1350 schools throughout the funding programme.

“As well as using the funding in this way to achieve the biggest impact possible, it is imperative that the investment creates sustainable physical activity programmes to continue to support communities to move more for their health and wellbeing for many years to come. We will be helping schools to create the right environment where those projects can continue, giving more people the chance to be and remain active.”

Schools can use this funding to purchase equipment to deliver new or additional clubs, to train employees to obtain qualifications to deliver new or additional activities and to pay for activity deliverers to run the clubs. They can also use funding to open their school swimming pools for pupils, focusing on providing valuable swimming and water safety lessons during and outside of the school day.

Active Partnerships, StreetGames, ukactive, and the Youth Sport Trust will work together to ensure the objectives of the programme are exceeded through collaboration and co-design. The shared goal of creating more positive experiences of physical activity for school and community users whilst focusing on those who need the most support will ensure we are narrowing inequalities which exist within our communities.

In the recent Active Lives Children and Young People survey (covering 2021/22 academic year) from Sport England, it was revealed that children and young people’s activity levels overall have recovered to pre-pandemic levels, with 47% of children meeting the Chief Medical Officers’ guidelines of taking part in an average of 60 minutes or more of sport and physical activity a day.  There are rises in both the numbers getting active outside school hours and during school hours which highlights how hard schools worked to get sport and activity back in a safe and positive way after Covid-19.

However, those from low affluence families are still less likely to be active than those from high affluence (42% compared to 52%) and children and young people going to school in the most deprived places in the country have not seen activity recover to pre-pandemic levels. There are signs that certain interventions can make a big difference, such as schemes to promote physical activity locally, working with a range of partners.  The Opening School Facilities funding will adopt these learnings to deliver localised activity across England where it is needed the most.

StreetGames launches this year’s Inspiration campaign, bringing unforgettable sporting experiences to underserved communities

StreetGames launches this year’s Inspiration campaign, bringing unforgettable sporting experiences to underserved communities

This weekend, 30 young people from Girls United in South London got to witness the Women’s League Cup Final at Selhurst Park, marking the start of a series of unforgettable experiences that the Inspiration campaign promises to bring in 2023. 

Following the massive success of last year’s campaign, which connected over 24,000 young people and 725 community organisations to major sporting events such as the Commonwealth Games and the Rugby League World Cup, this year’s campaign is set to take things even further by creating even more access to major sporting events, opening doors to experiences that will stay with young people from underserved communities for a lifetime. 

The Inspiration campaign isn’t just about providing unforgettable sporting experiences for young people – it’s also about creating real change. StreetGames aims to leverage its expertise, knowledge, and connections to influence mainstream sports providers to better meet the needs of young people from low-income communities. 

By collaborating with National Governing Bodies (NGBs) that share its commitment to creating a lasting impact, StreetGames aims to identify those with the potential to make the greatest impact on young people. Together, we will work to develop a strategic approach that ensures all young people have equal opportunities to access and enjoy sports, regardless of their background. 

The campaign will also provide young people with volunteer opportunities to support their local communities. To make sure that these volunteering opportunities are maximised, StreetGames will provide training and development support to community organisations in the StreetGames network.  

Mark Lawrie, CEO of StreetGames said: “We were blown away by the success of the #Inspiration2022 campaign, which saw first-hand how connecting young people with major sporting events can have a ripple effect, inspiring them to get more involved in sport and physical activity. With the Inspiration campaign in 2023, we want to build on this success and create even more opportunities for young people to get involved.” 

“We know that volunteering can be a hugely rewarding experience for young people, and can help them to develop skills and confidence. By linking up young people with key people within NGBs and event organising committees, we can create more opportunities for them to make a real difference in their local communities.” 

Abigail Ingram, London Manager at Girls United said: “The Inspiration campaign is truly life-changing for the young people we work with. By providing opportunities to attend major sporting events like the Women’s League Cup final, we are giving them memories that will last a lifetime. But it’s more than just the thrill of the game – attending these events is an experience that shapes their development in countless ways. From navigating public transport to witnessing the inspiring players in action, it’s a journey that opens doors and broadens horizons.” 

How #Inspiration2022 made an impact in Welsh communities


Bringing major sporting events to the grassroots: How #Inspiration2022 made an impact in Welsh communities

Written by Gareth Winmill, Head of Doorstep Sport and Network Engagement, Wales

The #Inspiration2022 campaign brought incredible opportunities to communities all over the country – and in Wales, it made a particularly powerful impact. With a focus on bringing the excitement of major sporting events to the grassroots level, the campaign distributed multi-sport kit bags to community organisations in the StreetGames network throughout the region.

Over 30 kit bags were handed out, with each bag filled with a variety of sporting equipment such as basketballs, dodgeballs, rugby balls, netballs, tennis rackets, relay batons, skipping ropes, and table tennis sets – and they proved to be an instant hit with both existing and new Doorstep Sport clubs.

According to a survey conducted among participating community organisations, the kit bags made a significant difference in their ability to deliver quality sports sessions. 72% of those who received a kit bag reported that it allowed them to deliver more sessions, while 61% said it helped them reach new locations and more young people. Even more importantly, 83% of respondents reported that they were still using the equipment at their sessions. The kit bags helped them offer a wider variety of sports, games, and activities, leading to increased engagement among the youth in the community.

It was also brilliant to see the impact of the campaign going beyond regular Doorstep Sport sessions. The equipment was used at a range of events and locations, including festivals, educational settings, and even a hotel. In Newport, the kit bags helped reduce anti-social behaviour by providing a new diversionary sports project for at-risk young people, who became active participants and developed a new interest in the sports and activities on offer. The success of the kit bags also enabled young people to take the lead in developing their own games and activities. In Crumlin, for example, a group of boys created their own version of rugby using the kit bag’s balls and crash mats, with the coaches stepping back and letting them take control.

Inspiration2022 has been an incredible success, delivering a wealth of opportunities to communities all over the UK. The kit bags distributed in Wales made a significant difference by enabling quality sports sessions, increasing engagement, providing new opportunities for young people to develop their interests and skills – and achieving the campaign’s aim of bringing the excitement of major sporting events to everyone, regardless of age or location.

Reflecting on our journey: How StreetGames smashed through the £20m barrier to support underserved communities


Reflecting on our journey: How StreetGames smashed through the £20m barrier to support underserved communities

Written by Matthew Pilkington, Director of Fundraising and Communications

StreetGames is celebrating a landmark milestone in the support it provides to local organisations as we smashed through the £20m barrier raised for local delivery in late 2022. The figure now stands at £23.8m raised with and for Locally Trusted Organisations (LTOs) to implement Doorstep Sport in underserved communities since 2018.

It’s a fantastic achievement in its own right, and one we’re very proud of. But more than that, it’s a vindication of StreetGames’ approach to sustainability and our work helping LTOs to build for the long term.

Back in 2017, through our work with the national network of LTOs, StreetGames had identified a gap in the support that LTOs could access. These organisations, so vital to the well-being of their neighbourhoods and delivering diverse outcomes for communities and young people, were not accessing the full range of funding opportunities available to them. This barrier to funding was holding LTOs back from fulfilling their full potential.

So in July 2018, with support from Sport England, StreetGames put in place a regional infrastructure across England which included specialist sustainability support. The idea was that these regional Sustainability Leads would work with LTOs to identify, access and secure funding wherever it was available. This would be supplementary to the fundraising and partnership work that StreetGames was already doing at a local and national level. It is fair to say that there was no certainty that the model would work and we are grateful that Sport England and, later, Sport Wales too, were willing to go on the journey with us as we navigated the landscape with the goal of connecting LTOs to as much resource as possible to continue their work.

Reaching the £20m landmark is therefore a huge achievement and one that we at StreetGames are immensely proud of.

All of the £23.8m raised over the last five and a half years has paid for Doorstep Sport on the ground for young people with little or no disposable income, living in the most underserved communities. The young people that Doorstep Sport activates are often the same young people that are furthest away from the traditional sports sector, even at the grassroots level. Nearly 70% of participants in Doorstep Sport don’t access any other sport outside of the school or college curriculum.

While this gives us a moment to celebrate, it also gives us a moment to reflect on some of what we have learned on the journey. Our top three lessons from this approach:

1. Some of the detail that lies beneath the headline number is really interesting and informative. Over 90% of the funding that has been accessed has come from ‘non-sport’ sources: funding and resources that were not initially earmarked to be spent on sport. In many ways this is a vital part of the success story; it shows that a whole range of funders are recognising the value of sport, particularly Doorstep Sport, in helping them reach the right audience and achieve outcomes across areas as diverse as mental health and wellbeing, youth empowerment and skills development, crime prevention and community safety and community cohesion. The recognition of sport by diverse funders as a meaningful and impactful route to reaching and engaging young people is to be celebrated.

Whilst this is a success for the role of sport across the wide spectrum of policy outcomes it also raises a question. Is the world of sport and sports funders doing enough to to recognise and support a vital part of its own infrastructure? Many LTOs work with some of the least active groups of young people to build their sporting know-how and confidence and are a vital part of developing sporting habits for the future. Many of those young people will go on to access the more traditional sports sector, others will go on to support future generations through sport in their neighbourhoods. Sport as a sector can do far more to value and support the sporting foundations that LTOs are building; often they are the only people in their communities who are doing it. The recent Chiles Webster Batson Commission found much the same.

2. It has become a sector truism that training and the development of fundraising expertise is what organisations like LTOs need. If they can just learn to fill in the forms better and compete more effectively with the small organisations in the next borough then they’d be alright. The reality is that the people running LTOs are some of the best, most skilled fundraisers around. The environment within which they operate dictates that they have to be and many would not exist to do their vital work if they hadn’t developed these skills. Training and skills development forms part of the picture but LTOs can often be inundated with offers of training of varying quality and relevance.

What LTOs really need is time and capacity, and that is often the role our sustainability team plays, providing the extra capacity needed to scope opportunities, identify where they might connect to the work of LTOs and then putting pen to paper alongside these organisations to get an application over the line. Where StreetGames have not been able to provide this support, there is often nowhere else LTOs can access it. Demand for support outstrips supply, the demands on the time of LTOs outstrips their capacity.

The sustainability support model works, StreetGames committed to an increase in capacity in 2021 but there is still so much more that we can do. Sustainability support doesn’t always have to be provided by StreetGames but LTOs need to be able to access it from somewhere that understands the context within which they are working.

3. Locally Trusted Organisations, by their very definition, are trusted by the communities in which they operate to make positive change happen. Their leaders and volunteers are the local role-models that young people can look up to and emulate. They offer local young people somewhere to go, something to do and someone to trust. They understand what is needed and what works in their neighbourhoods.

Many of these organisations are piecing together their existence by piling up programmes of delivery, living hand-to-mouth on desperately needed funding that so often comes with multiple targets and delivery expectations.

A relaxation in the funding restrictions that governs the lives of LTOs would aid their sustainability no end and demonstrate that they are as trusted by the funders that support them as they are by the communities they support. Funding that enables LTOs to meet their core running and staff costs as well as delivering within their community feels like the holy grail for many operating in this environment. More funders should consider working with LTOs in this way.

With so many young people still left without access to sport and physical activity in their neighbourhoods, the role of LTOs has never been more important. StreetGames will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with these vital organisations to help secure their future, and the future of the young people they support day in and day out. Our sustainability approach shows that with the right tools, great community organisations can build the skills and capacity they need to thrive, but there is still more to do on the part of funders to make it easier to get funds to the places they are needed most.

StreetGames sustainability support raises £23.8m for young people in underserved communities

StreetGames sustainability support raises £23.8m for young people in underserved communities

Our latest fundraising stats show that our unique sustainability support infrastructure has secured over £23.8 million in England since 2018 to support sport and physical activity in underserved communities across the country.

Of the £23.8m raised, 90% has come from non-sporting sources, demonstrating a growing appreciation from funders for the way StreetGames applies sport to support wider social outcomes, from improved mental health and wellbeing to tackling crime and anti-social behaviour.

Our Regional Sustainability Leads, funded by Sport England, work alongside local community organisations to raise vital funds for sport and physical activity. The money, raised from a wide variety of local, regional and national organisations, will support local delivery that increases physical activity levels and gives young people a chance to grow their confidence and life skills, have fun, and live healthier, safer and more successful lives.

Currently, less than a quarter of young people in the lowest economic brackets meet national guidelines for daily activity, with the cost and availability of sports and activity provision being major barriers.

StreetGames’ network of 1,600 Locally Trusted Organisations fulfil a fundamental need in communities across the country and are delivering programmes to improve young lives through sport where that opportunity would not otherwise exist, giving access to positive role models, volunteering opportunities and fun activities.

Mark Lawrie, CEO of StreetGames, said:

“I’m proud of StreetGames’ record of supporting sports and physical activity in some of the most underserved communities in the UK, working hand in hand with local partners to bring real change, offering free opportunities, delivered by those that young people trust at the right time, in the right place, and in the right style to suit the needs of young participants.

Our innovative sustainability approach has helped us raise an incredible £23.8 million since 2018 to support community sport. We’ve done so in a way that delivers incredible value for money, raising £10 for every £1 invested. Every pound donated to StreetGames has a big return in the communities that need help the most.

The community organisations we work with are a vital part of the sporting infrastructure – but the sport sector doesn’t pay to keep these sports organisations going. That’s why we work with them to raise funds from non-sport sources, delivering programmes that tackle a whole host of social issues through the power of sport.

These grassroots organisations are the lifeblood of their communities and we’re committed to helping them continue the work they do to change young people’s lives for the better.”

A Project Leader at Empower U, one of the community organisations in the StreetGames network, said:

“The support that we have received from StreetGames has really helped us to think in a more business-like way. We are starting to plan our income generation cycle and think wider than just bids and applications to get money for our work.”

As well as direct fundraising, StreetGames also provides full training for community organisations to equip them with the skills needed to improve their own fundraising efforts, including guidance on how to apply for grants and other funds. Organisations can learn more about StreetGames’ sustainability training by visiting: www.streetgames.org/sustainability-training-programme

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