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Mind to receive five years of Sport England funding to improve access to sport and physical activity

Tuesday, 10 May 2022 Mind

Mind is one of 120 organisations chosen to work in partnership with Sport England to level-up access to sport and physical activity across the country.

Mind will receive expertise, support and an investment of £1.9m funding over the next five years from Sport England to co-deliver the ambitious 10-year Uniting the Movement strategy.

Sport England research shows that some groups are typically less active, including women, people with long-term health conditions, disabled people, people from racialised communities and people in poverty. Right now, the opportunities to get involved in sport and physical activity – and reap the rewards of being active – depend too much on your background, gender, bank balance and postcode.

Mind believes that sport and physical activity should be used to support people to build resilience, support and enable mental health recovery, and to tackle stigma. It’s important people develop healthy relationships with physical activity, focusing on how it makes you feel rather than how fast or far you can push yourself. It should form part of a wellbeing support package alongside other treatments such as talking therapy and medication.

Mind will:

  • Work collaboratively with partners to support the mental health of people experiencing inequalities, with a focus on young people aged 11+, people from racialised communities (who are both disproportionately impacted by mental health problems and inactivity), and people in poverty.
  • Fight for the mental health of everyone involved in the sport and physical activity ecosystem to ensure people’s lived experiences and evidence shape services and support.
  • Advocate to national and local policy-makers the role of physical activity as an engagement tool in the mental health ecosystem to promote our vision.

Over £550million is being invested in total, with partners, including Mind, receiving funding for up to five years. This new funding model from Sport England provides longer-term financial security as organisations recover and reinvent from the Covid-19 pandemic.

All partner organisations were selected by Sport England due to their ability to influence change at the heart of the system they are a part of, no matter how big or small. This is the first step on a journey to revolutionise Sport England’s approach to long-term partnerships as it seeks to partner and collaborate with innovative organisations to deliver Uniting the Movement and build a nation where everyone can get active.

Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, said: "Over the last seven years the backing of Sport England and the National Lottery have helped us make great strides in supporting more people with mental health problems to be physically active in their communities. We have reached almost 10,000 people through our Get Set to Go programme alone.

"Through our work to establish the Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation and our Sector Support programme, we know how much of an impact we can make by supporting organisations to better understand and support the mental health of their people. To date we’ve worked with over 260,000 employees and volunteers to provide a safe space where everyone can thrive in sport and physical activity.

"This funding will allow us to support organisations to embed mental health in their clubs and organisations long-term, ensuring that mental health is supported equally to physical health and enable us to focus on priority groups including young people (11+), people in poverty, and people from racialised communities. "

Tim Hollingsworth, CEO of Sport England, said: “Sport England’s goal is to get everyone active– no matter who they are, where they live, or what their background is. But we know that certain groups– like young people, people fighting poverty and people from racialised communities have increased mental health need and are more likely to be inactive.

"We can only innovate and tackle inequalities effectively by thinking about long-term change; Uniting the Movement is a long-term vision, and our funding approach needs to reflect that. Changes to our funding model will help us achieve our goal, by making it easier for our partners to do what they need to do to level up and deliver.”

Sports organisations looking to work with Mind see our sport sector pages

If you want to get more active see our Get Active pages

Ways to get involved

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