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Skill Givers given Sport England funding to help local volunteers make a real difference in their community

24 Nov 2017 - 12:57 by michelle.foster

Skill Givers in Manchester and Salford has been given £117,000 National Lottery funding from Sport England to help local volunteers make a positive contribution to their community using sport and activity.

Sport England’s ‘Opportunity Fund’ aims to encourage people to volunteer to help tackle challenges their communities face. Projects are being funded in areas that may experience economic disadvantage, ranging from inner-city areas with high levels of crime and social exclusion, to remote rural areas with few services. Through getting involved, the volunteers will also benefit by developing their own skills and confidence, and experience improved wellbeing.

The Skill Givers project will operate in Manchester and Salford and will link voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) groups who deliver physical/sport activities with local businesses. The project will enable employees within these business to effectively engage with the VCSE groups and donate their valuable skills and experience to help them to grow and prosper.

The project will specifically prioritise the 8 most deprived areas of Manchester and East Salford.

As a result of a three year investment from Sport England an Employer Supported Volunteering (ESV) IT platform will be developed and launched that will make it easier for:

  • People for who time to volunteer is a barrier to beneficially engage in volunteering
  • VCSE physical activity/sport groups to recruit volunteers for backroom (nonsporting) activity where there are often skills gaps
  • VCSE physical activity/sport groups to identify areas of weakness/requiring development and through targeted recruitment bring in people with the skills to address these
  • Businesses to record, measure and evidence their CSR contribution
  • Businesses to improve their employees morale, motivations and skills

The project will be managed and delivered through the partnership of Macc and Salford CVS and will commence in early 2018.

Macc (active in Manchester since 1981) bring expertise in managing Volunteer Centre Manchester and providing capacity building support to VCSE groups. 5901 groups are currently registered with Macc.

Salford CVS (active in Salford since 1973) bring expertise in managing Volunteer Centre Salford and offering capacity building support to Salford’s 1513 VCSE organisations.

Sport England’s Director of Sport, Phil Smith, said:
“When people volunteer in sport and physical activity there is a dual benefit – volunteers help others in their communities get active, as well as benefitting themselves. Volunteering can do wonders for job and career prospects, mental health and making friends.

“That’s why volunteering sits at the heart of Sport England’s new strategy, Towards an active nation. We’re delighted to be helping Skill Givers enable more volunteers to be the catalysts for change in their neighbourhood.

“It’s one of 32 projects in which Sport England is investing over £4 million to support volunteering projects and opportunities between now and 2021. These projects will test various different approaches, with the ultimate aim being a larger number and more diverse volunteers. We are targeting people who are currently less likely to volunteer in sport, such as women, disabled people, people from BAME groups and people on a low income.”

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