Active Lancashire wins funding to help people on a low income become active

A pioneering project by Active Lancashire to help local people on a low income become more active and healthier has won backing from Sport England. The charity has been awarded £9,950 funding as part of Sport England’s strategy to improve people’s health and mental wellbeing through sport and activity in Shadsworth, Blackburn with Darwen.

Sport England is funding a wide range of projects around the country, using varying approaches to help people to feel healthier, happier, more confident and able to cope with life’s pressures, or more connected to their families and communities. Sport England research 1 shows that a third of people on low incomes are inactive,
meaning they do less than 30 minutes of exercise that gets them slightly out of breath each week. And inactivity in people on a low income is twice that of people on a high income.

The new project in Shadsworth will follows on from the successful Challenge Through Sport Initiative (CSI) project that has been running in other areas of the county that aims to appeal to inactive local people who choose not to attend the local leisure centre or community clubs.

CSI engages people who are in recovery from substance misuse and other mental health issues in activities. In the last 30 months it has successfully engaged over 2400 people who were inactive, across Lancashire. CSI delivers a range of physical activities and for some it has been their first opportunity to try badminton, football, dance, gym sessions, archery, swimming and climbing. All activities are offered for free which also encourages
and allows them to involve their families.

CSI also provides wider opportunities such as peer support and sign-posting to other services; social networking: volunteering opportunities and training and attracts people through its less formal setting. This has led to improved levels of wellbeing reported by participants.

Active Lancashire Chief Executive Adrian Leather said: “The success of this pilot project will open up doors for many people who have their own health & wellbeing problems and it will empower them to be responsible for their own community club.”

Sport England Executive Director, Mike Diaper, said: “Active Lancashire Partnership has a strong track record of working with their local community and we’re very excited by how their project could make such a positive difference to people’s lives.

“We know that people on a low income can face many pressures that make it difficult for them to be as active as they would like to be. So we’re working with community- focused organisations across the country to find ways to help people fit physical activity into their lives in ways that work for them.

“The lessons we learn from this local project will really help to shape our work with similar groups across the country.”

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