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Emergency funding boost for local grassroots sport

8th July 2020
Posted by Johnny Jenkins

Active Essex has helped secure over £650,000 of lottery money for grassroots community sport clubs and organisations across Essex who needed financial assistance because of the Covid-19 crisis.

The money was secured from an emergency fund operated by Sport England and provides a lifeline to ensure Essex does not lose sports, fitness, and physical activity organisations that are so important to their local communities. The organisations provided with lottery grants cover all areas of Essex, and many different sports.

Cllr Ray Gooding, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said:

“Active Essex has worked at terrific pace in partnership with Sport England to ensure our grassroots sports infrastructure is not lost forever because of the cash problems brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. I am delighted that Active Essex have helped to secure over £650,000 of lottery money for Essex.”

The Community Emergency Fund helped over 180 grassroots sports clubs and organisations. These include Active Life in Southend who needed funds to help pay office and utility fees, whilst Barrow Farm Riding Disability Association charity secured emergency cash to look after their ponies until their disabled riders return. Another beneficiary was Wormingford Wanderers junior football club who secured a grant to cover pitch fees.

Jason Fergus, Director of Active Essex, said:

“It has been great to see the team pull together to help support Essex sports clubs and organisations get the money they need to help them through this difficult time. It was clear how much these grants were needed and how relatively small sums could make such a huge difference to individual clubs and organisations. The support and funding has been a life-line for many and it is ultimately about helping sport and physical activity grow and thrive at a grassroots level.”

The Active Essex team provided support and guidance about the funds through a series of workshops, webinars, and over 100 individual consultations. If sport clubs and organisations still require support and advice, Active Essex has a dedicated page on its website providing the latest information about funding opportunities, opening up after Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, and online skills and knowledge support.

Mark Gordon, Head of Academy at FC Redwing, which has been supported by the project, said:

“Due to the pandemic, FC Redwing was unable to run our biggest fundraising event of the year, our annual tournament.  The loss of this vital revenue would have put the club in serious financial trouble which would mean that community focused initiatives such as our free academy for 4 to 5 year olds and our Girls academy would be in danger. However, now that we have been awarded this grant by Sport England our future is now secure and so is our ability to provide kids all across the borough the opportunity to be active, have fun and fall in love with the beautiful game.”

Photo by Sandro Schuh on Unsplash