Sport England has announced that it is investing £4.4m of funding, given to it by the National Lottery, in recruiting volunteers across the country.
It forms part of an overall investment in volunteering by Sport England of up to £30m by 2021. The public body will use the funding to build on the 6.7 million people who already volunteer to support sport and physical activity by reaching groups that are currently unrepresented, such as people from disadvantaged communities and women, and supporting more young people who want to make a difference.
Sport England is using the money to fund 32 projects that will use the power of volunteering, sport and activity to transform lives. It said that the ultimate aim is to make "volunteering in sport and physical activity more diverse and to enable more people and communities to experience the benefits of being active".
The projects will be funded by two funds, the Opportunity Fund and the Potentials Fund. The Opportunity Fund is focused on people aged 20 and over from economically disadvantaged communities, while the Potentials Fund targets children and young people aged 10 to 20 who “want to do something to benefit their community, through social action”.
Tracey Crouch, minister for civil society and sport, said: “Volunteers make such a difference to grassroots sport. Without them it would simply not happen. This National Lottery funding will encourage young people to get involved in sports volunteering, having a hugely positive impact on their lives, the lives of others and benefitting their local community."
Phil Smith, director of sport at Sport England, said: “When people volunteer in sport and physical activity there is a dual benefit – volunteers help others in their communities get active, as well as benefitting themselves. Volunteering and taking part in social action can do wonders for job and career prospects, mental health and making friends.
“That’s why volunteering sits at the heart of Sport England’s new strategy, Towards an active nation. We’re delighted to be helping these 32 projects to enable more volunteers to be the catalysts for change in their neighbourhood.”
The full list of organisations to receive this funding can be seen here.