Inspiring Grace

Inspiring Grace is a holistic positive community action group in Pendle; delivering a wide range of services including education, sports courses, counselling, mediation, mentoring, children’s playgroups and a food bank.

Local resident and IT professional Rashid was approached by Inspiring Grace in 2012 to help with their IT. Before he knew it, he was running the foodbank and delivering archery training to young people. He now coaches all over the North of England and is a full time member of staff.

Rashid heard about Sported from other local groups and approached North West Regional Manager, Rehana when the organisation was in the process of setting up a wrestling project. Its aim was to engage young males from the Burnley and Pendle area in sports, and through it develop their confidence, discipline and promote the adoption of a healthy lifestyle.

They were looking for support to develop the project with a clear strategy and sports development plan, as well as linking into appropriate partners and potential funders to ensure long term sustainability.

Rehana paired the group with local Sported volunteer Afrasiab Anwar who had a background in Sports Development and network of links across Lancashire.

The relationship worked exceptionally well.

How has having a Sported volunteer mentor helped?

    Afrasaib says that working with Rashid and Inspiring Grace was a real joy. “They were keen to learn. They wanted to put in the work and make it happen, all I had to do was point them in the right direction”.

    As someone with more than ten years of experience in sports development, and with his own community sports club, he really understood where Inspiring Grace were coming from and was able to use his links in the community to put them in front of the right people. He also helped them write a five year plan for the wrestling programme.

    Rashid says that looking back, they have hit every target on their “road map” and says that having mentor support “has had a massive effect on how the organisation works, as we have been able to transfer the lessons from Afrasaib across all of our programmes”.

What's happening now?

Onwards and Upwards

• In less than a year, Inspiring Grace had set up the wrestling project from scratch and offer four sessions a week, with around 60 young people attending regularly.

• They have put two people through the wrestling coaching Level 1 and one person through their Level 2 in order to ensure sustainability of the coaching long-term.

• They have secured more than £13k of funding.

• They are linked in to the Lancashire Sport Partnership (CSP), and are actively involved in this network and linking with relevant NGBs and other partnerships

• Membership continues to grow and they are now looking at support for the young people who want to go and compete in wrestling and archery – while ensuring that those who just want to come along and take part are still catered for.

For more information about Inspiring Grace please visit http://www.inspiringgrace.co.uk/

“Mentor support has had a massively positive effect on how the organisation works”

Rashid, Inspiring Grace