Active Partnerships will work directly to improve the health and wellbeing of almost 600 young people who are either homeless or at risk of homelessness after being awarded a major new grant from the London Marathon Charitable Trust.
The £600,000 grant for the ‘Young People Forward’ project was made possible by a donation of £600,000 from Virgin Money, the title sponsor of the London Marathon.
The funding will be distributed by Active Partnerships to seven delivery partners in Northern England and Scotland, providing physical activity sessions in 11 areas: Merseyside, Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Humber, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, Tyne & Wear, Northumberland, Edinburgh, West Lothian and Glasgow.
According to data from the Office of National Statistics, about 25% of all applications for help with homelessness, or being accepted for a housing duty come from people aged 25 or below. In the areas targeted by this project, the Centrepoint Youth Homelessness Databank reports there were 13,406 homeless young people in the North-West in 2018/2019, 9,453 in Yorkshire and the Humber, 4,967 in the North East and 6,996 in Scotland.
The chairman of Active Partnerships, Doug Patterson, said: “Active Partnerships is delighted to be part of this exciting and important project that will use sport and physical activity as a catalyst to support homeless young people to face the challenges in their life.
“We are very grateful for the backing of Virgin Money and the London Marathon Charitable Trust and look forward to collaborating on this truly inspirational project, that we hope will pave the way for similar approaches in other parts of the UK.”
Chairman of the London Marathon Charitable Trust, Sir Rodney Walker, added: “The Trust is committed to supporting projects that challenge the inequality of access to physical activity so that everyone has the opportunity to be active, supporting their health and wellbeing.
“The pandemic has exposed and exacerbated the inequalities faced by many vulnerable people, and the Young People Forward project will use the power of physical activity to improve the lives of many young people facing homelessness.”
The grant has been awarded through the Trust’s Strategic Partnership Grants programme, which supports impactful projects across the UK that will inspire activity and challenge the inequality of access to physical activity for underrepresented and disadvantaged groups.