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Sport England aims to develop individuals from all backgrounds with new volunteering strategy

Volunteering in an Active Nation is Sport England’s first ever volunteering strategy which aims to encourage people from all backgrounds to enjoy the benefits of volunteering.

The new strategy, and associated funding opportunities, puts the experience of the volunteer and a drive to increase diversity at the heart of efforts to support volunteers. The strategy aims to increase the number of disabled people, women, black, Asian, minority ethnic and young people aged 10-20 involved in volunteering.

Volunteers who give their time to community sport and physical activity enjoy many of the benefits associated with actually participating in sport and physical activity. Giving your time can reduce stress, build confidence and improve skills. In some cases their experience fulfils all the Government’s outcomes for sport: physical and mental wellbeing, individual development, social and community development and economic development.

From 2017 to 2021 Sport England will work with community organisations, sports clubs, local authorities and volunteer groups to:
invest in improving the volunteer experience
make volunteering more enjoyable and meaningful
inspire and recruit people from more diverse backgrounds
work with new partners as well as existing ones to reach a more diverse audience.

From 2021 to 2025 the focus will expand to involve a larger proportion of the population in engaging and helping out in sport and physical activity. To support these aims in January Sport England is launching two new funding streams:
Opportunity Fund - £3 million for projects that create volunteering opportunities for black, Asian and minority ethnic people, women and disabled people, reaching into communities where there is higher unemployment and crime, lower education and poorer health. At least 50% will be awarded to projects run by partners who are new to Sport England or even new to sport and physical activity.
Potentials Fund - support for volunteering opportunities for young people. Sport England will work with the #iwillcampaign, investing up to £3m in projects which benefit 10 to 20-year-olds and their communities.