Tackling Inequalities Fund: Active Reach

Launching Active Reach

Active Oxfordshire is delighted to be able to grant £100,000 of Sport England funding to local charities working in target areas of high deprivation, including Blackbird Leys and parts of Banbury and Abingdon. This funding boost will reach people in the greatest need, helping them to get active and protect their health, well-being and life chances as we recover from the COVID-19 crisis.

The funding comes from Sport England's Tackling Inequalities Fund and was awarded to Active Oxfordshire to distribute to local charity partners. The first phase is focused on Greater Leys and will involve Oxfordshire charities Access Sport, Age UK Oxfordshire, Aspire Oxford, KEEN, Oxford Hub, Oxfordshire Mind, OXSRAD and Oxfordshire Youth. The charities will use this funding to launch "Active Reach", a new project designed to be run by the community, for the community.

A place based approach

Launching in July 2020, the project will first target the Greater Leys area of Oxford, with the intention to then expand to other areas of need, focusing on the top ten wards of highest deprivation. Active Reach will focus on supporting people with long term health conditions, people with disabilities who are at increased risk of inactivity, older people, those affected by homelessness and poverty, young people experiencing severe disadvantage and people facing mental health difficulties.

The charities will use a wide range of innovative approaches to reach people and help them to get active, including Aspire Oxford's Gym Bus, local volunteer networks, bike libraries, sports holiday schemes, virtual walks, young leaders' training programmes and specialist physical activity resources.

Stronger together - the power of community

Paul Brivio, Chief Executive of Active Oxfordshire, says:

"It's more vital than ever that we can keep our community active, healthy and connected during these challenging times. But we also know that the inequality gap is set to widen even further as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, and we need to make sure that the most vulnerable people in Oxfordshire aren't forgotten.

We've seen first-hand during the crisis how powerful communities are when they come together. By working with our charity partners who can reach those most in need, we can make sure that everyone in Oxfordshire has the same opportunities to increase their activity levels, health and well-being, at a time when it's needed more than ever before."

Here's what two of our partners say about being part of Active Reach:

Oxfordshire Mind: 'We are delighted to have received funding from Sport England for the Active Reach project, which aims to support the residents of Oxfordshire to keep physically active during the current pandemic. Physical activity can have huge benefits for our mental health, as well as our physical health, and so projects like this are vital. We are excited to be working with local partners to bring exciting new opportunities to residents across the county.'

Annie Sillence, Oxfordshire Mind

Oxford Hub: "Active Reach is a great place-based investment in the Community Impact Zone. We are excited about supporting the coordination of this programme to make physical activity more accessible to everyone in the community. We will also be building on our usual work with children, young people and families to make sure they can be involved in leading the active provision in the community." Sara Fernandez, Oxford Hub

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