Inspiring active communities in England: how to apply for funding

18 December 2020
A group of volunteers happy.

We’ve teamed up with Sport England to help distribute grants from their ‘Tackling Inequalities’ fund. The purpose of the fund is to reduce the negative impact of coronavirus and the widening of the inequalities in sport and physical activity through increasing availability of exercise opportunities in local communities within England.

The funding will be targeted to help support people with long-term health conditions, Black, Asian minority ethnic groups and lower socio-economic groups.

We’re excited as there's been some great ideas from organisations to support and encourage local sport and physical activity projects with these audiences.

As well as supporting specific activities to increase availability of exercise opportunities in local communities, this fund will also support organisations and groups facing financial hardship due to the COVID crisis, with a view of enabling delivery of sport and physical activity work in the future.

What's next?

We are working with our successful applicants to offer support, if needed. For example, Making the most of social media promotion, sharing best practice and ways to evaluate these programmes to keep learning and to do more for people with arthritis.

What type of activities will be happening in local areas?

There will be very varied activities happening across England, from cycling, yoga, dance, chair-based activity, badminton to easy ways to keeping moving!

This is not just for people with arthritis but for people with long term health conditions, Black, Asian minority ethnic groups and lower socio-economic groups.

A taster of what’s to come

Here’s a snapshot of the organisations we are working with and what activities will be available.

Sport4Health will be providing a sports-based programme for a neglected and disadvantaged community of isolated foreign students studying locally.

Edmund Kung, Sport4Health’s Executive Director said: “We at Sport4Health are pleased to have funding from Versus Arthritis for our project helping foreign students living in London with their physical health and mental health, as so many are experiencing isolation and stress. As a qualified mental health first aider, I’ve seen first-hand how the pandemic has really affected young people and I thank Versus Arthritis for supporting this initiative to help them.”

Age UK Bradford plan to ‘Keep Bradford Moving’ by facilitating a series of online taster, refresher and developmental sessions focusing on movement, general fitness and social interaction which will be offered to older people across the Bradford District, focusing on those who are isolated and lonely and may have restrictions in place due to Covid-19.

The Afro-Brazilian Arts & Cultural Exchange Institute will offer the martial art capoeira to young people from low-income households, those that are unemployed, from Black or minority ethnic groups, those at risk of social exclusion, or who are not in education, employment and training.

Nicola Brookes, Balance's Community Activities Service Manager said: "The award has meant we will have a side-by-side tandem bike, being delivered in January 2021, which will open up the royal parks to local disabled people with support from our staff. We will also be able to loan non-specialist bikes and equipment to vulnerable people who access our service to explore and exercise."

Here is a full list of the organisations that have been successful in this round of funding: Dorset Mind, Sport4Health, My First 1000 days, Afro-Brazilian Arts & Cultural Exchange Institute, Oval Learning, Halifax Wheelchair Tag Rugby FC, South London Renegades American Football Team, Boury Academy, The Haywood Foundation, Age UK Bradford , The Basement Recovery Project, Balance, PPRN Children and Family Centres, CHAOS Group, Wakefield Trinity Community Trust, Little Giants Volleyball Club, WSHA School, The Soul Shack LDN, B Supreme and Papworth Trust.

Additional support for applicants

If you want any support or you would like to discuss your idea, get in touch.

You can contact either Louise Shaw (Trusts Officer) or Ashleigh Ahlquist (Physical Activity Manager) on


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