Just shy of £180,000 of National Lottery funding from Sport England’s Tackling Inequalities Fund has been invested in projects across Lincolnshire to support communities and groups to keep active following the covid-19 lockdown.
Active Lincolnshire manage the distribution of the funding in the county, working with partners across the seven districts of Lincolnshire to identify those community focused organisations and projects who are engaging with some of those people hardest hit by Coronavirus.
Many groups have found it harder to be active as a result of Covid-19, including disabled people, those with long-term health conditions, people from lower socio-economic groups, and Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities. The Tackling Inequalities funding was created to support these groups, and help reduce the negative impact on their activity levels created by Covid 19.
Funding has been awarded to organisations in the county who have and will continue to develop and deliver projects to open up more opportunities for people to be physically active. Active Lincolnshire will work alongside these organisations to offer support and guidance and maximise the impact of the projects.
The first round of Projects were:
- Carers First
Stepstember, a county wide step challenge for carers and those they care for. It gave carers the confidence and motivation to get active after many had been isolating for a long period. Alongside the walking challenge carers were provided with information to support them to stay active.
- Children’s Links
A series of weekly virtual outdoor challenges aimed at families from LSEG areas across the county. 250 families were provided with an explorer pack containing numerous small items encouraging exercise and exploring to support the challenges.
Ran a steps challenge to encourage people with learning disabilities to become more active, it gave them achievable goals to increase their fitness levels. One of the participants has started walking with a frame for short distances, rather than using her wheelchair, for the first time in two years since being inspired by the challenge. (Read Amy’s Story here).
- Boston Borough Council, Geoff Moulder Leisure Complex
Funding has allowed Geoff Moulder Leisure complex to produce Bosfit workout videos that build on the work they have done as a result of the covid pandemic and the demand for child friendly physical activity sessions. The videos are engaging 300 individuals including those with disabilities, long-term health conditions, the BAME community and older people.
Three programmes were delivered to integrate physical activity as part of a cultural offer: An outdoors aerial dance project delivered in a Covid safe way; Street games which used the streets of Lincolnshire as a game board to collect items and complete challenges that involve being active; ‘Walk, talk, listen, draw’ exploring our market towns on foot, capturing the history on paper following being active.
- Active Nation
Delivered tailored exercise sessions to care homes in Lincoln. Residents took part in seated exercise, low impact exercise and yoga. They are also delivered sessions targeted at people with conditions that affect their breathing, such as COPD using Shape Master powered exercise equipment. This provided an opportunity for those most at risk from covid-19 to recondition without getting out of breath.
Funding has supported the provision of a weekly Youth Club over the summer holiday period and during the transition back to school. The delivery focused on wellbeing, physical activities and heathy living. They also provided a weekly 5 a-side league for young people
- Green Synergy
Garden Yoga sessions were delivered in a community garden setting, enabling people to get out of their homes, engage in physical activity and integrate socially in their local community.
- Ancaster Day Centre
Walking football sessions for people with learning disabilities, who have been unable to use usual facilities, made accessible through providing equipment to use at local parks and open spaces. The project was supported by two volunteers who were funded to complete their level 1 coaching certificate
- Carres Outreach
A Summer Outreach Sports Club targeted 100 children and young people receiving free school meals who would not be able to access this sporting provision normally. The Sport Club supported transition back into school in September.
- artsNK Dance
Have delivered a dance festival day engaging boys from LSEG areas in dance activities. Interested boys were supported to transition into a boy’s dance crew. artsNK dance also provided two digital dance offers; One engaging disabled people in a series of dance sessions that champion physical activity, creativity, social inclusion, friendship, and teamwork within a safe and supportive environment; the second is a series of pre-recorded classes designed for older adults and those with restricted mobility who have been isolated and inactive during lockdown due to ill health, age and living situation.
- Lincolnshire CVS
Tai Chi and Seated Exercise classes were provided for people with COPD. Following on from the activities participants had the chance to socialise in small groups.
- Tonic Health
Virtual ‘Movement for Memory’ exercise classes produced for dementia patients and their carers. Tonic Health have also created an outdoor activity programme based around engaging the community in open spaces and outdoor equipment at Tonic 44, creating a hub for activity.
- Gainsborough Trinity Foundation
The Access Roses project aimed to create a community hub at Roses Sports Ground. Multiple activity sessions for LSEG groups were delivered targeting 150 older people, disabled people, children and young people and those with a long term health condition. Programmes included yoga sessions, play sessions for children and walking sport sessions.
- Stepping Stone Theatre
Funding supported Stepping Stone Strollers, a weekly walking programme for the mental health support group. The installation of a ‘buddy bench’ provided people with the opportunity to rest half way through the walk and receive 1-2-1 coaching at a safe distance.
- Vital Stepping Stones CIC
A self referral project for people with long term health conditions. This project provided individual support to help increase activity levels and transition participants from home based activities through to community activities.
A countywide approach to training for organisations providing individuals or families with support/services, giving them the skills to increase activity levels in the people they are in contact with.
The second round of Projects set to begin
(depending on lockdown restrictions) are:
- Boston Borough Council
- Lincoln City Foundation
Imps Active (Active Food Banks)
- Mental Health Runner
First Steps Forward
- Active Nation
Active Health- COPD
- Magna Vitae
Still Me- Fit Kids
- Inspire +
Move & Food
- Carres Outreach
Outreach Sports Club
Navaz Sutton, Director of Development at Active Lincolnshire commented:
“We are delighted to be able to distribute funding, through the Tackling Inequalities Fund, to community organisations across Lincolnshire for projects working with some of those hardest hit by Coronavirus. We know remaining active is really important for physical, mental and social wellbeing, but for many groups this has become more challenging as a result of Covid-19. This funding will open up opportunities for people to remain active, providing a real benefit to their health and wellbeing. We look forward to seeing the development of the projects and the impact they have on the people involved.”
Tim Hollingsworth, Sport England’s Chief Executive, said:
“We are proud to be able to provide funding and support to community groups in Lincolnshire through Active Lincolnshire in this difficult period. This funding will help support our valuable community infrastructure that is so important in keeping the nation active and will also provide important connections and reconnections for people whose lives have been affected by COVID-19 and for whom remaining active is so important for their physical, mental and social wellbeing. We know from our research and data that there are existing inequalities between groups when it comes to activity levels and COVID-19 has re-inforced these.
“Thanks to the support of the National Lottery and its players, the Tackling Inequalities Fund will be both crucial and central to ensuring no-one is left behind when it comes to having the opportunity to be active during this period. This builds off the back of our £35m Community Emergency Fund that has already reached and supported over 7,500 community clubs and groups across England.”