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Looking forward to tackling more inequalities

In this blog, Anna Denham Get Yourself Active Programme Manager discusses the road ahead for the Tackling Inequalities Fund team.

We’re celebrating all things Tackling Inequalities (TIF) fund alongside our partners and friends across the UK this week. For the second of two pieces on our involvement in the project Anna Denham Get Yourself Active Programme Manager discusses the road ahead.

The first fourteen months of Get Yourself Active’s delivery of the Tackling Inequalities Fund (TIF) from Sport England has been a steep yet incredibly rewarding learning curve.

You’ll no doubt have read the article from my colleague Elliot, where he described how we’ve worked with brilliant projects up and down the country. He touched on the wide variety of work we’ve done, and the number of projects we’ve supported.

We know that getting active provides people much more than a way of keeping fit and healthy. It’s also about communities and friendships, routine and having something to focus on. It’s about the whole person and the community that they are a part of. That’s why we know that continuing to deliver the Tackling Inequalities Fund is just as important now, as we emerge from the pandemic, as it was when we were in the thick of it.

A quote from Nick at Active Cornwall speaking about TIF. He states "it has meant we can offer support to the most vulnerable in our communities, who would otherwise remain isolated"

What’s next?

Sport England recognises the importance of people and communities in tackling inequalities in sport and physical activity. It’s even one of the five big issues in the organisation’s new ten-year strategy.

As such it is enabling some of its TIF delivery partners, such as Get Yourself Active, to support the local community organisations that are the bedrock of sport and physical activity for people who often have the least access to it, including Disabled people and people with long-term health conditions. Therefore, in addition to continuing to administer funds to groups that apply to us, over the coming months, we are now able to deliver a “resilience building” offer to the organisations we currently support.

Resilience means different things to different organisations, and we have asked our “TIF Partner Organisations” what they want, how and when.

Community focus

Over the past few weeks, we have set up a new Small & Micro-Community Organisations online group, for the smaller community-based groups that we support. They met just last month to discuss issues that they are currently experiencing and the discussion focused on how we can all support each other. The session was well-received, and we hope to hold a further get together later in the year.

We’ve also recently held an online grant-writing workshop, delivered by an experienced trainer, to support groups to be more successful with their future grant applications. And we’re looking into delivering workshops that will support staff at Disabled People’s Organisations with their mental health and wellbeing as we transition to a “new normal”.

We also have outcomes-based design workshops on the horizon, where our partners will be guided, by experts, to develop a Theory of Change. We will soon also create a “TIF Hub” on our website, where we’ll store resources and guidelines relevant to organisations supporting Disabled people to keep physically active.

The resources won’t necessarily be about physical activity, but about finance models, good governance and looking at evaluation. Whilst we want to continue administering funds, and organisations are likely to need short-terming funding over the coming months, we want to support them with longer-term thinking and planning, equipping them with whatever resources they feel they need to sustain their activity offers.

Street Katz Theatre and Film using their Tackling Inequalities Fund award to run a series of online dance & drama sessions via Zoom to help their users become more active

Exciting future

This is an exciting time for us in the Get Yourself Active team. We’re not only seeing the rewards of everyone’s efforts as the feedback forms come in, but we are in a unique and privileged position to ask organisations how we can support them to make physical activity for Disabled people a lifelong choice and not just a “one-hit wonder”.

I can’t wait to discover what projects will come our way over the coming year, the partnerships and friendships we’ll make, the learning we’ll gather and the difference this fund will make.

We are keen to continue our focus on groups underrepresented in Disabled people’s sport & physical activity. If you work with or are an organisation in the BAME community, women and girls, and/or from lower socioeconomic groups to become more active we would especially like to hear from you. if you’re interested or know of anyone that may be interested in applying, please let us know at Tel: 0203 687 0771