Active Essex has helped secure over £650,000 of lottery money for grassroots community sport clubs and organisations across Essex who needed financial assistance because of the Covid-19 crisis.

The money was secured from an Emergency fund operated by Sport England and provides a lifeline to ensure we do not lose sports, fitness, and physical activity organisations that are so important to their local communities. The organisations provided with lottery grants cover all areas of Essex, and many different sports.

Cllr Ray Gooding, Cabinet Member for Education from Essex County Council said: “Active Essex has worked at terrific pace in partnership with Sport England to ensure our grassroots sports infrastructure is not lost forever because of the cash problems brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. I am delighted that Active Essex have helped to secure over £650,000 of lottery money for Essex.”

The Community Emergency Fund helped over 180 grassroots sports clubs and organisations, including Active Life in Southend who needed funds to help pay office and utility fees, whilst charity Barrow Farm Riding Disability Association secured emergency cash to look after their ponies until their disabled riders return. Another beneficiary was Wormingford Wanders junior football club who secured a grant to cover pitch fees.

Jason Fergus, Head of Active Essex said: “It has been great to see the team pull together to help support Essex sports clubs and organisations get the money they need to help them through this difficult time. It was clear how much these grants were needed and how relatively small sums could make such a huge difference to individual clubs and organisations. The support and funding has been a life-line for many and it is ultimately about helping sport and physical activity grow and thrive at a grassroots level.”

The Active Essex team provided support and guidance about the funds through a series of workshops, webinars, and over 100 individual consultations. If sport clubs and organisations still require support and advice, Active Essex has a dedicated page on its website providing the latest information about funding opportunities, opening up after Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, and online skills and knowledge support.