Access Sport is a charity meeting the urgent need to improve children and young people’s health and wellbeing, working solely with young people in deprived communities and with a strong emphasis on young disabled people. 


We are working to combat shocking levels of exclusion, hardship and poor health faced by millions in the UK today. For example:
 

  • Health – the UK has the highest level of childhood obesity in Europe with one in five children obese by the time they leave primary school[i]. Just 15% of girls aged 11-15 and 22% of boys achieve the government recommended guidelines of an hour of moderate exercise each day[ii].

  • Exclusion – disabled people are four times more likely to be out of work than non-disabled people[iii] and only 18% of disabled people regularly engage in sport despite 70% wanting to[iv]. A 2017 UN inquiry concluded that the UK was not ensuring the UN Convention on Disabled People’s Rights.

  • Hardship – more than half of all children in the UK’s poorest areas are now growing up in poverty[v] and poverty is also experienced by nearly half of all families in which there is a disabled person[vi]


Sport is an incredibly powerful way to combat these issues and to transform the lives not only of deprived young people but also their families and surrounding communities. And yet, despite this, our most deprived communities are very often those most lacking in accessible sporting facilities.


We believe every child should have access to the developmental and health benefits of sport and every community should have a thriving, inclusive and sustainable sporting offer.

To achieve this:

We develop community sports clubs, equipping local people to provide transformational development opportunities for children and young people, irrespective of their background or ability.

We build, equip and up-skill local sports clubs and turn them into thriving local facilities, connected into other local partners such as schools, disabled people’s organisations and other local charities – all working together to deliver real change and opportunity for local young people.

We train and support volunteer sports coaches and club leaders in a range of vital skills such as establishing new sessions to attract more deprived and disabled young people, building personal development pathways for participants towards education or employment and building the financial sustainability of the club so it can grow and serve more local young people for years to come. 

We are the only charity in the UK today focussed entirely on doing this and we have developed a unique model that is measurable, cost-effective and replicable. This club development model has been recognised with a number of awards, including most recently Best Sports Charity, Community or CSR initiative at the 2017 Sports Business Awards.



During the 2017-18 year we gave 7,184 disadvantaged and disabled young people access to the health, wellbeing and developmental benefits of community sport. 

We achieved this impact on young people through capacity building 144 community sports clubs situated mainly in the most deprived communities of London, Manchester, Bristol and Oxford. 

In the process we trained 323 skilled local coaches and volunteers; and through upskilling 329 young people on personal development courses we supported them to contribute positively in their communities whilst at the same time improving their life and employability prospects. 

Impact studies conducted with our university partners showed that 81% of our beneficiaries reported higher levels of confidence, 71% identified improvements in self-respect, communication, social skills and resilience, 60% recorded an increase in feelings of happiness and 76% will continue to do more sport than they did before. 

29% of our beneficiaries were disabled young people, 32% were seriously inactive (doing less than 30 minutes of physical exercise per week), 40% were girls and young women, and 51% were Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic (BAME). 

Our work continues to win praise from a range of stakeholders including parents, police, teachers, youth workers and disability organisations.


We are a multi-sport charity so we will work with any club in any sport to provide a compelling and fresh sporting opportunity to local young people in that particular community. This also gives us insight into how some activities can be built into national frameworks, such as our growing BMX Legacy Programme and our Ignite disability inclusion work and its key projects such as Flyerz Hockey.

 

If you could pack exercise into a magic pill, it would be a pharmaceutical blockbuster
- Simon Stevens, chief executive, NHS England




[i] NHS data

[ii] International Congress on Physical Activity and Public Health 2016

[iii] Joseph Rowntree Foundation

[iv] Active People Survey 2016

[v] End Child Poverty coalition 2018

[vi] Joseph Rowntree Foundation 2017