Dads and daughters benefit from new funding

A project which focuses on getting dads and daughters active together is one of nine beneficiaries in the latest round of funding from Sport England’s 'Families Fund'.

Women in Sport will partner with the Fatherhood Institute, Fulham Football Club and the EFL Trust to replicate the DADEE programme (Dads and Daughters Exercising and Empowered), which was developed and piloted by the University of Newcastle in Australia.

During the 11-week course, fathers and father-figures are encouraged to play a greater role in supporting their daughters, aged between five and 11, to develop physical confidence and competence.

Professor Philip Morgan, from the University of Newcastle, said: “By harnessing the unique relationship between fathers and daughters, our programme has been shown to significantly improve the physical activity levels of families in Australia.

“It is very exciting to be involved in the world-first adaptation of the programme and to examine the impact on families in the UK.”


Ruth Holdaway, CEO Women in Sport, highlighted the importance of increasing “fathers’ confidence and ability to act as role models in relation to their daughter’s participation in sport and physical activity”. Read more here.

Another of the programmes to receive the National Lottery funding this week is 'Grandparents Plus' which will work with kinship carers and their children living in South Tees.

Kinship carers are older, poorer and in worse health than any other group raising children, and the project will support families through one-to-one support, personalised activity plans and group peer support.

Dr Lucy Peake, Chief Executive of Grandparents Plus, said: “We’ve been working with kinship carers across Teesside for a number of years, and we’re constantly amazed by their incredible commitment to the children in their care.

“One thing they have told us they struggle with is how to maintain an active lifestyle, which is why we’re so pleased and grateful to National Lottery players and our partners at Teesside University and Middlesbrough Football Club Foundation for making this project possible.” Read more here.


In Stoke, the National Literacy Trust’s 'Storienteering' project will target inactive families with children aged five to 11 years old living in Burslem, Moorcroft and Tunstall.

‘Storienteering’ is a programme of story led, self-guided adventure trails written and developed by well-known children’s authors. With support from StreetGames, families will follow a set of clues using a gamebook and will unlock prizes when challenges are complete. The story packs will also contain stickers and posters that display health messages.

Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust, said: "Our experience shows that combining sport and literacy can be a brilliant way of engaging children and young people. Getting active and sharing stories gives families the chance to spend quality time together, and can have an important impact on health, happiness and success in life."

Sanctuary Housing Association will work with over 600 families in Sheffield, Hull, Ely, Paignton and Torquay on their initiative 'What’s Your Game?'


The programme will support families to design activities for themselves and their communities. This will predominantly include five to 10-year-old children, to help them explore how activities and games can be built into everyday life for everyone to enjoy.

Marie-Claire Wattison, Sanctuary’s Head of Community Investment, said: “The housing sector can play a key role in mobilising physical activities for people perceived to be ‘hard to reach’, through existing community partnerships and relations with tenants, helping to make a positive impact on people’s lives.”

ukactive will work with EdComs, Places for People Homes, Liverpool John Moores University, and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) on a project in Hull called 'Play On' which aims to encourage families to enjoy time spent together whilst being active.

A statement from the coalition said: “Our new programme aims to make family activity the beating heart of Hull again. By combining our expertise and knowledge of family health, physical activity and community engagement, we can make sure families have more ways to be active together in their area. New, fun activities can help to make people happier and healthier, build relationships, and breathe new life into community facilities, parks and open spaces.”

The remaining fundees include Family Action which will run a 12-week ‘Active Families Together’ scheme; Family Lives which co-produces projects with families referred by Early Help/Troubled Families/Health teams; ‘Gingerbread’, the charity for single-parent families, will work with Leisure Trusts to design new offers and increase sustained participation; and the Workers’ Educational Association, whose project ‘Families Get Active’ is a family learning programme that enables families to develop the confidence, resilience and skills to become more physically active together.

Pic credit: University of Newcastle (Australia).