New Government youth fund to open doors to voluntary community sport and recreation organisations

Following the announcement that the Government is to invest £80m in to a Youth Investment Fund, Policy Adviser, Hannah Dobbin, looks at how sport and recreation organisations can look to tap in to funding of this kind and what they need to prove to do so.

This week, the Prime Minister announced a new Youth Investment Fund of £80 million to help give people in disadvantaged communities the best start in life. Local voluntary groups are being encouraged to bid for a share of the funding and we recognise this as a strong opportunity for local community sport and recreation organisations.

At a time when organisations in the sport and recreation sector are being asked to consider how to diversify funding sources, the Youth Investment Fund is an example of how demonstrating the social value of sport can lead to further investment from Government.

The fund will be delivered by Government and the Big Lottery Fund with the aim of opening up opportunities for young people to get involved in their local community. The projects will help young people to ‘gain new experiences, to support their personal development, build character and to help them succeed’.

We know, through our report Uncovering the social value of sport, the social impact sport and recreation can play. The Government has already identified sport and recreation activities as a way to achieve the social objectives of the Youth Investment Fund. This is why we want to encourage community sport and recreation organisations to be proactive and recognise the opportunity the Fund could present.

We know that up and down the country, community sport and recreation organisations are already making a difference to young people in disadvantaged communities so this is a great opportunity for local clubs to partner together and share skills for a common cause.

The funds will be divided, with £40 million designated to the new Youth Investment Fund and a further £40 million providing continued support for Step Up to Serve’s #iwill youth social action campaign. The sustained funding of the #iwill campaign is another opportunity for sports clubs and organisations to tap in to the social action movement and help develop a new generation of skilled volunteers.

If you have not heard of the #iwill campaign, you can read our CEO’s blog about why we made a pledge and what we hope to achieve here.

In order to secure funding organisations need to showcase a clear understanding of the objective and impact a programme or initiative can have on their target audience. How to evidence the impact and benefits can often be difficult, however, we are running a workshop next week with the Housing Associations’ Charitable Trust (HACT), to demonstrate a leading approach used in the housing industry to demonstrate social value and how this can be applied to your organisation. You can find more details here

We always try to keep our eyes open for new streams or resources for funding so that we can keep our members up to date. Keep reading our newsletter and follow us on Twitter @sportrectweets for the latest news.

You can also find out more about topics such as insight and measuring impact, which are key to funding applications, in our member briefings.