Continued support to tackle inequalities with £20m Together Fund

Following the success of the Tackling Inequalities Fund, the new Together Fund will help support community organisations engaging those in our priority audiences to grow and help more people.

A further £20 million of National Lottery funding is being made available to help tackle inequalities in physical activity levels as the nation continues its recovery from the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

Last year, as part of our initial response to the crisis, we launched the £20m Tackling Inequalities Fund (TIF) that focused on lower socio-economic groups, culturally diverse communities, disabled people and those with long-term health conditions.

Now, a further £20m will be spent on helping the same audiences to become active or get more active as TIF becomes the Together Fund.

This money will continue to support community organisations working with our priority audiences, so the organisations have a future to plan for.

The support is designed to enable further recovery and growth up until March 2023 and our director for equality, diversity and inclusion Viveen Taylor, is pleased to see our support for priority audiences maintained.

“Tackling inequalities is at the heart of our Uniting the Movement strategy and it’s critical that this continues to be at the forefront of our minds with the Together Fund,” she said.

“TIF saw us work in a new way, working collaboratively with partners to ensure our funding got to the people who needed it most, those who were most affected by the impact of the pandemic.

“We’ve seen how this approach has been a success so I’m delighted that we’re committing to working together in this way again and targeting those most in need.

“With this new round of funding we hope to see community organisations progress from fighting for survival to growing into thriving groups than can be sustainable and fully engage their own communities in activity and all the benefits that come with it.”

The Together Fund will build on the work of TIF and help community organisations to reach and engage their audience in movement.

It’ll have an increased focus on supporting groups to recover and grow during the funding period, while acknowledging that there are some instances where the priority will still be survival rather than growth.

Like TIF, the Together Fund will not be open for application – instead, we’ll continue to work with our network of 43 Active Partnerships and more than 30 national partners who’ve previously helped us to connect funding to where it’s most needed in their locality.

As such, community organisations wishing to engage in the Together Fund should make contact with their local Active Partnership.

We’ll also continue to identify new national partners that can provide additional reach into specific communities and help us to distribute funding to the people and places that need it most – potential new partners should contact Sport England via email.

The story of TIF so far

TIF was set up in April 2020 with £20m of National Lottery funding that was allocated through Active Partnerships and to more than 30 national partners.

The funding, which is intended to last up until December 2022, was focused on communities hit disproportionately hardest by the pandemic – lower socio-economic groups, culturally diverse communities, disabled people and those with long-term health conditions.

Since its launch, TIF has enabled community groups to continue to exist and engage with their communities, supporting people to be engaged and active.

Following TIF’s first year we, along with all the partners that made the fund a success, collaborated on a report showcasing how it differed from previous Sport England funds.

The report details how we’ve worked, with a shared purpose, built trusting relationships, learned together and developed flexible working.

It also covers what we’ve learned – including the fact that one approach won’t work in all circumstances, that building trust takes time, that digital can help some people not all, and that a little can go a long way.

The full report can be found via the link below, but here we’ve summarised our five top tips to developing strong relationships:

  • Ensure a clear purpose and that all involved are aligned to it
  • Put trust at the heart of everything and create relationships at all levels – it takes time but is vital to successful partnerships
  • Be open, honest and learn together – sharing what works and what doesn’t
  • Be flexible and open minded about how you work
  • It’s not all about money – a little can go a long way and advice and support are important too.

TIF has been built on successful partnerships and Hayley Chapman, inclusion lead at Active Essex, recognised this from the start.

“The difference from previous national funds was Sport England working with key partners who knew their areas best to deliver this,” she said in a blog for us detailing Active Essex’s involvement in TIF.

“For Essex, this was our Active Partnership and we greatly welcomed this approach.”

https://www.sportengland.org/news-and-blogs