The Foundation, on behalf of a group of organisations in Sheffield, went through a competitive process to secure the funding which was open to applications from communities who face some of the greatest inequalities.
Working as part of a consortium with key partners including Yorkshire Sport Foundation, Sheffield Wednesday Community Programme, Sheffield City Council, Sheffield and Hallamshire CFA, Voluntary Action Sheffield, SOAR Community and Saba Wellbeing, the Foundation aims to engage men aged 18-40 who live in Burngreave and Parson Cross to become more active through football.
Through the delivery of recreational and informal football activities, the overall aim of the project is tackle health inequalities through promoting and supporting people to develop healthier behaviours and lifestyles, through improved physical and mental health and wellbeing.
Katie Glossop, Senior Manager at Sheffield United Community Foundation, said: “This project will make a huge difference for the communities of Burngreave and Parson Cross over the next five years.
“We are thrilled to be able to support local people who have been significantly impacted by the recent pandemic, with the aim of improving people’s physical and mental wellbeing through physical activity and football.”
‘Football brings people together’
Tom Hughes, Development Manager (Sheffield) for Yorkshire Sport Foundation, said: “We are delighted to be able to bring this project to Sheffield. We have some brilliant partners on board to help us deliver this project and believe it can help us create a happier, healthier and more connected Sheffield.
“The five-year investment will allow us to work closely with two of our communities for a sustained period of time. Both areas have their own unique assets and strengths and we look forward to working closely with them to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to move more.”
Tim Hollingsworth, CEO of Sport England, said: “There is a reason why football is followed and played by so many the world over. It brings people together and helps build connections in communities. It’s also the sport that is played the most in England and has a reach into places where our research shows activity levels are lower.
“Sport England is proud to be one of the funding partners helping to tackle these inequalities and to support more people from a variety of backgrounds to enjoy playing football and all the benefits that brings.”
Robert Sullivan, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “This grant award to Sheffield United Community Foundation is fantastic news for the local community in Sheffield. Football is a game for everyone – regardless of their background – and it’s only right that people across all walks of life are able to play the nation’s favourite game.
“Over the past 21 years, we have been working with local authorities up and down the country to ensure everyone has access to high quality pitches.
“Thanks to Sport England National Lottery Investment, this new project will help to transform people’s lives by developing Active Through Football in Sheffield, unlocking the many benefits of football for the community.”