Sported celebrates raising £654,200 in The Times and The Sunday Times Christmas Appeal

By Sported |  1st February 2021

The Times and The Sunday Times Christmas appeal has raised £654,200.68 to help Sported, keep its 2,600 community sports groups afloat by providing the necessary support to help them survive and thrive. 

The groups use sport to help disadvantaged young people build confidence, gain skills and get their lives on track.

Thanks to the generosity of The Times’ and The Sunday Times’ readers, a boost from the Sported Ambassador Eric Dier and matched funding for the first £150,00 from the Rind Foundation and the Black Heart Foundation, the appeal will enable Sported to focus its efforts immediately to help the 600 community groups most at risk by channeling emergency financial support, enabling them to move and sustain their delivery online and providing access and advice for those dealing with young people at risk of mental health issues, poverty and abuse.

In addition, Sported will seek to reach a further 150 new community sports groups (representing around 10,000 young people) who, through Covid, have been seriously impacted in their delivery to young people. 

Appeal funds will ensure that the charity can prioritise those facing particular disadvantage, tackle some of the most pressing issues facing young people now and plan for the longer term, where the focus will be on helping young people and community groups recover from the impact of Covid-19.

“The Times and The Sunday Times Christmas Appeal has been a huge opportunity for Sported to demonstrate the vital work our local volunteers do to help support community sports groups.

Right across the UK these groups use sport to help young people build confidence, gain skills and get their lives on track. We are so thankful to everyone who got behind the appeal and the generosity of the Times readers .

Keeping these groups running and successful is life-changing for many of the young people they support – and even more so in these current times.

-Nicola Walker, Sported Chief Executive

Elizabeth Ferris, founder and chair of Dundee Dragons said: “It’s no exaggeration to say that becoming a Dragon has been life-changing for some of our members. I can think of multiple players who openly testify of the benefits the club brings to not only their physical but mental health. Having the support of Sported has been huge for us. Gaining access to expertise in areas like business planning and strategic decision making has been such a help. These are topics that are vital to the growth and sustainability of a charity like ours, but they’re not light reading! So, when Sported advised they could pair us with industry experts to help navigate those areas of charity governance, we were over the moon.”

Sebastian Glazer, Managing Director at the Vulcan Centre said: “I’m really proud of what we’re achieving here at Vulcan. It’s really an honour for me to see how sport is helping these young people change for the better and I’m in awe every day of the dedication they show. Having the backing of Sported has been incredible. As a small organisation, you’re often on your own so being part of the Sported network has been of huge support. Thanks to Sported’s advice and support we’ve become quite successful at attracting funding, which will help continue to grow as a centre and support even more young people.”

Scott Lonsdale, club secretary and long-standing committee member at Northern Ireland Cross Community Angling said: “It was amazing to have Rory Best visit us recently – it’s not every day a rugby legend drops in when you’re fishing! The young people he met were so excited to meet him and it was an honour to share with him the work we’re doing here and how Sported has been of huge support to us. We simply couldn’t manage without Sported and are grateful for everything they do to help us provide young people and our local community with positive development opportunities.”

Mike Crofts, CEO of 3Pillars Project said: “We are honoured to be have been chosen as an example of sport’s crucial transformative power for this year’s Christmas appeal. Sport can build powerful trust-based relationships with some of our country’s most vulnerable young people. Many of the young men we work with know that they have made a mistake, they seek positive opportunities to make amends and to change their lives for the better. We support them to make their aspirations a reality.

Thanks to the support from the generous donors of The Times and The Sunday Times Christmas appeal, we’ll be able to support thousands of young people throughout 2021 and into the future.

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