Skip to content

Helping community organisations support more people to be active

The new Thriving Communities Programme will ensure there are more opportunities for people to be active, take part in arts and culture activities, receive financial support and be connected to nature.

16th November 2020

by Delia Beck
Lead for social prescribing, Sport England

Last week, a new national programme was launched that’ll help community groups in England support people through the ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

We’re delighted to be involved with new Thriving Communities Programme, and to be working with many different national agencies and regional partners to offer support for community organisations that enable more community activities to take place.

A boy playing basketball

Over the past few months, we’ve seen volunteer-led and community-based organisations rapidly respond to the needs of their community.

From finding new and innovative ways to support people remotely and delivering food parcels, to moving activities online to ensure people had a way to connect and keep active – these organisations and volunteers have been vital in providing critical support and helping people and communities navigate this extraordinary time.

We know the impact sport and physical activity can have on people’s lives – and we also know how critical it is to have a vibrant community sector to provide, deliver and enhance these activities.

This new programme will work with, and through, local groups and organisations to share learning, gain new ideas, access funding and develop partnerships across sectors, to help ensure their continued delivery, beyond coronavirus.

    We know the impact that sport and physical activity can have on people’s lives – and we also know how critical it is to have a vibrant community sector to provide, deliver and enhance these activities.

    As part of our contribution, we’ve invested in seven new regional physical activity posts, hosted through seven trusted local partners.

    These new regional posts will help to facilitate new partnerships, support and grow community activities, and better link the physical activity and sports sector with health and social prescribing.

    We’re very excited to be working with the following host organisations:

    • Exeter City Council (South West)
    • Energise Me (South East)
    • Active Essex (East of England)
    • London Sport (London)
    • Active Partners Trust (Midlands)
    • Rise (North East)
    • Active Lancashire (North West)

    While our host partners are now in the process of recruiting and preparing for the regional physical activity posts to come onboard in December, they’ll also provide a leading role in the Thriving Communities regional multi-agency teams.

    Together, regional hosts and regional physical activity leads will be vital in helping to make connections, broker partnerships and help to accelerate and amplify the great work already being done through community groups to help social prescribing grow and thrive.

    Local communities are the experts in what they need and are therefore best placed to come up with and try out local solutions and responses. Never has it been more important to work together in partnerships to galvanise support and resources – being responsive to what communities are hearing and seeing on the ground.

    Who else is involved?

    We’re delighted to be involved and to work alongside the National Academy for Social Prescribing, NHS Charities Together, Natural England, Arts Council England, the Money and Pensions Service, NHS England and NHS Improvement.

    Sign up to our newsletter

    You can find out exactly how we'll look after your personal data, but rest assured we’ll only use it to make sure you receive our newsletter, to understand how you interact with our newsletter, and to provide administrative information about our newsletter.