Connected Communities
Sported and Place-Based Working

By Sported |  2 July 2024

Over the last three years Sported has been working in numerous communities trialing place based and thematic approaches to supporting community groups and clubs.

Our Connected Communities model aims to bring people together to help identify barriers and challenges facing young people, and to find solutions helping young people to be more physically active. 

We know that if young people are more active, they are likely to be happier and healthier, with reduced feelings of isolation, and improved mental and physical health. They are also less likely to be in involved in anti-social behaviour, improving their hopes and aspirations for the future.

Why?

We know that times are tougher than ever for community groups and sports clubs supporting young people. The ongoing effects of Covid, the Cost of Living Crisis, the ever more competitive funding environment, the challenge of finding and retaining volunteers, and the fact that many young people are struggling with their mental health – are all factors making survival, and delivery of activities increasingly difficult for grassroots organisations.

Our Connected Communities work aims to bring people together from different sectors to address key challenges, connecting wider partners in a place, or on a topic, and working together on specific agreed challenges. Some examples of our work:

Our Connected Communities work has taken two routes:

We have led Connected Communities projects in Hartlepool, the Isle of Wight, London (X London Boroughs), and Rhyl. We’ve taken a partnership approach connecting with partners and stakeholders in the area, agreeing the priorities to address, that are holding young people back and reducing the likelihood of them taking part in sports or physical activity

We have brought together Sported members and system partners with a interest in a number of themes; Social Prescribing, Rural Isolation, Black Leaders In Sport Network, and Community Safety. We want to identify good practice in these topic areas and share information.

Places

Themes:

This network began in November 2021 to establish a working group of Black leaders of Sported member groups and wider.  Work in this area was challenging as it was difficult to identify a priority area to address.  Information sharing, supporting each other with topical issues and wellbeing has been an important focus of the group.  The work has been seen as: a place for others to contact/gather information, interested in black leaders in sport at all levels, seeks to hold organisations accountable, give BL a voice at all levels, aims to effect change.

Work to increase our understanding and definition of the topic.  Identification of key external stakeholders, current work /gaps & challenges in this area nationally.  Desk research carried out to identify most rurally isolated areas.  Surveys sent out key areas of need identified as Funding, lack of Volunteers, and Transport .  Virtual sessions convened for further discussion with Sported members around challenges and good practice. Summary report being produced, findings to be shared with Sported members and considered in future project work.

Work to increase our understanding and definition of the topic.  Identification of key external stakeholders, current work /gaps & challenges in this area, nationally.  Desk research has been completed and virtual learning sessions were convened in Spring 24. Report of fundings and best practice to be produced and circulated

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