Editor: A city of incredible volunteers - but let’s level up the funding

Levelling up is a phrase which I have become rather weary of and it certainly isn’t something which has led to much action.

Thursday, 19th August 2021, 6:55 am
LevelUP Active Sports Camp.

There is nothing wrong with those two words in particular, it has just been transformed into something which is very easy to say and just as easy not to do.

We all know Sheffield suffers because of an uneven, national playing field but there is a microcosm of the same thing within our city boundaries.

That is just as clear as the national picture if you bother to look, although there are many Sheffielders who never really venture outside of their own rather confined neighbourhood. Many never even get as far as the city centre – but that is another story – let alone right across to the other side.

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Yet there is incredible work going on in each and every area working from the grassroots up.

You’ll read about the Level Up scheme over the page and it is one of many extraordinary organisations run by people who are determined to improve the lives of children in this city – and nothing can stop them.

I mean, it would clearly be considerably easier for them if those who had the power to distribute funds did so more fairly but that hasn’t happened so, as well as giving up their own time, they’ve put in the money to make it happen.

Yes, I know – it is quite incredible and they are not alone.

I get so frustrated when funding bodies demand over complicated forms and are clearly targeted at those who are experts in bidding for cash, rather than experts at transforming lives and making a difference.

These community groups are utterly invaluable but they get no recognition, other than from the families who couldn’t do without them.

But it isn’t a problem which is difficult to solve. We need those with the money to understand that if they want that cash to help Sheffield, they need to get off their backsides and talk to the people making a difference. Waiting for beautifully written funding applications isn’t helping anyone – but those who carry on regardless without a single penny from that pot really are so let’s get behind them.

The money is there but it doesn’t reach the right people … the blame lies at the top and the action is at the bottom.