The Active Essex Foundation has secured grants from the National Lottery Community Fund and the Essex Local Delivery Pilot totalling £500,000 to establish the Foundation as the lead organisation in Essex for sport, youth crime and violence.
Set up in 2016, the Active Essex Foundation is a charity which uses physical activity and sport to engage and support the most inactive communities, and tackle the inequalities that exist across Essex, Southend and Thurrock. Currently, over 64,000 children and young people are living in poverty throughout our county and anti-social behaviour is by far the highest rated youth crime across Essex.
The Foundation has developed an amazing network of over 100 locally trusted organisations who are experienced in supporting people from underserved communities. These organisations work closely with the Foundation to use sport and physical activity to improve lives and strengthen communities.
The Active Essex Foundation will use the new funding to deliver a first-of-its-kind project in Essex. It will bring together the criminal justice system and the community sport system to ensure physical activity is used in a quality assured way, to prevent young people from becoming engaged in youth crime and violence. The Foundation will initially work with the Police, Violence and Vulnerability Unit, Youth Offending Teams and 21 community sport organisations to help deliver the project.
The project will begin by focusing on areas with high youth crime and violence including Basildon, Canvey Island, Chelmsford, Clacton, Colchester, Harlow, Southend and Thurrock.
Louise Voyce, Active Essex Relationship Manager added; “This funding will allow us to lead a ground-breaking three-year project that will bring together a network of locally-trusted organisations, to ensure that sport is used in a quality assured way to prevent youth crime and youth violence across the county.”
Jenni Anderson, Chair of Active Essex Foundation added; “This is a significant development for the Active Essex Foundation and will enable us to further support children who are most at-risk in local communities. This is an exciting collaborative project which will use physical activity to create positive futures for hundreds of young people in Essex.”
Titled ‘Essex sport and youth crime prevention’, the project will make a difference to our vulnerable young people and effectively divert them away from youth crime and youth violence through working with organisations who use physical activity as an effective tool. The Foundation hopes that this funding will strive to provide proven blueprints and approaches to improve the lives of vulnerable young people, which can be replicated at scale across Essex.