ICMIF member Simplyhealth (UK), a leading health solutions company has donated more than GBP 140,000 to Sported, a national charity which supports almost 2,700 community sport and youth groups across the UK.
The substantial funding has helped 50 groups in the Sported network affected by the pandemic to continue to provide vital services to those facing disadvantage, enabling 3076 young people to return to positively participate in their group’s activities.
Each group received a GBP 2,000 grant to spend on getting activities back up and running, support to navigate COVID-19 guidelines to ensure they could operate safely and for marketing and communications to help promote their organisation. Remaining funds went towards support services to benefit all the Sported groups.
The funding included donations ‘unlocked’ by each person who downloaded Simplyhealth’s SimplyMe app with a GBP 5 donation to Sported for every new sign up plus a further GBP 5 donation for ‘mood check-ins’ to the app throughout the month of January.
Wendy Cummins, Community Manager at Simplyhealth said: “We are proud to play our part in helping Sported members during this challenging time. We are delighted that our funding positively impacted on groups and participants, allowing them to enjoy a sense of normality and an opportunity to socialise with peers and get back to physical activity”.
Since receiving their Simplyhealth grant:
- Almost 75% of Sported community groups have been able to get back to fully return to ‘in-person’ activity
- Just over 20% are delivering a mix of ‘in-person’ and virtual meetups with less than 5% still unable to return
- Over 70% of the groups are working with young people facing disadvantage
- 45% are working with those with a disability
- Over 70% are working with those experiencing mental health issues
Nicola Walker, CEO at Sported, said, “Due to Simplyhealth’s generous support we have been able to help these extraordinary groups during this difficult time. By supporting essential activities to get back up and running, we have been able to encourage young people to return to positive environments and help protect the future of many of the groups in our network. Simplyhealth’s donation has led to thousands of young people being back amongst friends and engaging in healthy activities. Thank you for allowing that to happen.”
Several of Sported’s members highlighted the importance of the funding on their ability to continue delivery but focused on how important it was for the participants rather than for the sustainability of their group. Many of the group leaders clearly recognised the impact that the pandemic has had on young people’s mental health and the importance of using sport to improve both physical and mental health.
Simplyhealth employees have also volunteered their time to help Sported by signing up to SimplyVolunteer, an internal platform where employees can explore, and apply, for volunteering opportunities across the UK. To date, marketing, design and communications expertise has been provided to support selected Sported groups helping to promote the groups’ activities in their local communities.