Keep the Doors Open

How the cost of living crisis is critically impacting our groups and young people

The UK is facing a cost of living crisis. With prices increasing at an unprecedented rate, all of us will be affected by rising food, electricity and household costs.  

This crisis is already having a severe impact on our young people. Over half a million under-18s are at risk of being priced out of the clubs and community groups they depend on for their physical and mental wellbeing. Many of these groups fear they will have to halt their activities.

Removing access to the benefits of sport and physical activity will only worsen the far-reaching impact on young people’s physical and mental health which increased during the COVID pandemic.

Recent research amongst our community groups revealed that...

80 %
are fearful about the impact of cost of living increases on their young people
expect the crisis will force kids out of participating in activities over the next six months
have already been forced into changes to offset the impact of Cost of Living increases
Almost %
reported a drop in financial support for their vital work in the community

Sported Ambassador
Eric Dier

“Young people desperately need community sports groups. It opens up so many opportunities that they all fully deserve. 

“I am very concerned at what the next few months will bring and the lasting impacts this crisis will leave and I would urge people to do what they can to help keep the doors of these groups open.” 

RABC – Huddersfield

RABC, a boxing club based in Huddersfield, uses sport to help young people open up. They provide classes from children from 3 years old to adults and run initiatives with local prisons and reducing knife crime. The majority of the young people that attend the club come from disadvantaged backgrounds. Many parents now can’t afford to send their children, due to increase in cost of living. For those that can, they often come as a family so that they can spend a few hours in the warmth.

Mark Reynolds who founded the club explains:

“I have been in the local community for over 25 years and I have never seen it as bad as it is now. We are finding it hard to meet the ever-increasing bills there have already been, and will be facing moving forward. We are worried about our future and that of our members too. We get so many troubled families that need our support in so many ways and we’re finding it more difficult to meet their needs. We know that when a young person can’t attend their weekly session this impacts on their health, both physically and mentally. Young people need routine and this is getting broken with the crisis.”

Inch Park Community Sports Club

Inch Park Community Sports Club wants to provide a vibrant space where sport and other activities can take place, catering for all ages and abilities. The Club deliver schools programmes, the government’s Active Schools programme, and youth initiatives to encourage healthy lifestyles. It regularly reaches over 6,000 youths and adults – through playing and coaching in addition to the work of volunteers and parents.

Joe Sneddon, Chair of Inch Park Community Sports Club in Edinburgh, said: 

“We’ve seen an increase in families coming to us for support because they can’t afford to keep sending their kids. Their fees are already subsidised but it’s still too much and we’re seeing more of that. You’ve also got kids dropping out where families don’t want to admit it’s down to finances. We’ve created a fund to offer free places at our core clubs to offset some of that. But we are expecting it to get worse and worse. And even away from sport, we’re now doing even more to look at other ways to help the community such as food banks and a community café that meet the demand from those who are struggling.” 

John Paul II Youth Club

John Paul II Youth Club is a voluntary youth club based in the Ardoyne area of Belfast. The Club was founded 50 years ago and offers varied opportunities and activities for young people aged between 5 and 25 years of age all year round. It also provides young people with the opportunity of participating in a programme of social, cultural and recreational youth service activities including sports activities such as tennis, football and dodgeball. 

Jacqui Maguire, Senior Youth Worker at John Paul II Youth Club said:

“Our youth club is open six a week, until midnight. This helps us keep kids off the streets and the range of activities we offer keeps them focused and engaged. We’re very worried about how the cost of living is impacting families and young people – it’s hitting people everywhere. We charge 50p a night but for some families even that price is too much at the moment. But if the young people don’t come to our club where will they go? It’s easy for them to go down the wrong path. We don’t want to see anyone left behind.”


Apollos ABC

Apollos ABC is based in one of Cardiff’s most deprived areas and most of their members come from very disadvantaged backgrounds. Currently, Apollos is fighting to keep the building as the council wants to sell it off to build a tower block. It is a very difficult time for the club who feel a real sense of responsibility to their members. 

Nicola Wheten, who manages the club said:

“Our Club members come from various backgrounds and for many of them, being a part of this club is about so much more than sport. It’s about being in a space where they feel safe, where they can leave their worries at the door and feel part of our Boxing family. It’s like their second home, although for many it’s actually their only place of belonging.  

“We’re really worried about the cost of living crisis. At the moment, we’re fighting to keep our building, and are in talks with the local Council. The fees we’re facing are exorbitant. But more importantly, we don’t want to let our members and the Community down. Coming here keeps them focused on the good in the world and their own potential to thrive. The cost of living and what that brings could jeopardise all that we as a Club and each member has worked towards.”

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Sported Ambassador Eric Dier

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