Sport England’s Tackling Inequalities Fund (TIF) helps to reduce the negative impact of coronavirus and the widening inequalities in sport and physical activity.
TIF was created with £20 million of National Lottery funding to help reduce the negative impact on activity levels in under-represented groups (such as people on lower incomes and disabled people).
TIF has enabled community groups to continue supporting people to be engaged and active through these challenging times.
“I think for the people I work with, I think COVID absolutely frightened the life out of them … it can be a real struggle to get people over the start line and get them taking part.” Participant in County Durham TIF Evaluation.
For County Durham Sport, this was an opportunity to reach out to groups in the community who we had not engaged with before. We funded a diverse range of community organisations, some who were delivering physical activity for the first time to support local people through the pandemic. We offered bespoke support, guiding organisations through the application process to make it smooth and stress-free.
“I thought it was exceptionally straightforward. I think it’s a characteristic of all good grant applications where the first instance there’s just somebody to talk to, to say, “Hey, we were thinking of doing this, do you think it fits.” And they can help shape that initial application and go from there.” Participant in County Durham TIF Evaluation.
In TIF round 1, nearly £50,000 was allocated to local organisations. Using our knowledge of the local area, we targeted funding toward those in greatest need of support. Just over half of this money was allocated to organisations supporting people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds (communities who had been particularly hard hit by the pandemic and associated lockdowns). We also supported organisations working with disabled people, and people with long term health conditions.
In TIF round 2, we distributed further funds more widely across County Durham – to reach diverse communities far beyond Durham City. Some of the organisations supported this time round worked specifically with women and girls, and with the Gypsy Roma Traveller Community.
Most recently, over £50,000 of TIF 3 funding has been distributed across the county. Again, with a particular emphasis on supporting those communities facing social and economic hardship. The activities funded range from allotments, to museums, to paddle sports!
We also worked with researchers from Durham University to evaluate our TIF work at a joint Network and Learning event and through interviews and focus groups. We heard how TIF funding had allowed local people to adapt to Covid, and even bring new faces to their activities.
“We’ve got some guys that … wouldn’t particularly engage with in-person, but when they’re in their own space and at home, they’ve loved the online. … Then we’ve managed to get quite a few newer groups and groups that we wouldn’t have necessarily worked with.” Participant in County Durham TIF Evaluation.
The diversity of organisations we have been able to support through TIF is astounding. Join us in celebrating the amazing impact of this Sport England funding by sharing your story on social media with the hashtag #TacklingInequalitiesFund.