Bridging the Gap is an action research project run by Sported and funded by Sport England examining how to connect communities in areas that are ranked in the bottom 20% of Areas of Indices of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) to agencies that are working within the sports sector.
The ultimate aim is to improve the quality and range of sports-related opportunities being accessed by young people living in these areas. The project is also enabling us to provide direct support to a number of community clubs and groups.
One deliverable from this project will be a “Framework of Good Practice”, through which we aim to distil and share the principles and approaches that grassroots sport for development clubs and groups use to work successfully in deprived neighbourhoods. The other deliverable: a “Blueprint for Engagement” will be a “how to” guide for larger agencies wanting to work more effectively in bottom 20% areas.
Phase one of the project is already complete. We conducted in-depth interviews with 30 Sported members (including yourselves) and 10 larger agencies, and are using the data to produce a first draft of the Blueprint. At the beginning of July we are meeting with 15 agencies (including Sport England, National Governing Bodies, funders, County Sports Partnerships and member organisations) to develop the Blueprint further and start looking at practical steps.