The £71,520 award has been given to the Inclusive Sports Academy Community Interest Company who will provide activity sessions for children and young people with learning disabilities, alongside their parents and carers.
The free activity sessions will be delivered over two years across three community settings and will support participants to improve their physical health and fitness as well as their mental wellbeing. The sessions will be designed to encourage children and young people to develop their confidence and improve self-esteem, as well as improving community cohesion, giving opportunities for children and parents to mix with others in their local community. There will also be volunteering and training opportunities for young people so that they can gain experience and skills in leadership which they can use to be able to assist in the delivery of future sessions.
The award has come from one of two Funds, CEF and BLEF, with a combined total of £40million available to local communities and businesses that are demonstrably disrupted by the construction of Britain’s new high speed railway between London and the West Midlands. The funding of this project and two others this month has meant that the total awarded to date from the HS2 funds has now reached over £8million with awards made to 133 projects.
Since 2017, when the HS2 Community and Business funds were launched, 34 projects in the West Midlands have been successful in their funding applications and have shared nearly £1.6million. Projects have ranged from community facilities upgrades to programmes to support people with training and accessing jobs. The Meridan ARK project received just under £30,000 earlier this year to create and improve wildlife spaces in Meridan Park and work with local children to teach them about wildlife and sustainability.
Speaking about the new award, Cathy Elliott, Independent Chair of the HS2 funds said:
“The evidence about the benefits of sport and physical activity, to both physical and mental wellbeing, are well known and it is fantastic that this project has been funded and will help provide these benefits to children and young people with learning disabilities.
“The Funds are available to support local communities and businesses that are disrupted by the construction of HS2 such as here in North Solihull, and I encourage other organisations near to the line of route to apply and gain the tangible benefits of these Funds.”
Andy Warmington, Director of the Inclusive Sports CIC said:
"We are delighted to have received the grant from HS2. It will provide us with a fantastic platform to be able to offer opportunities to children, young people and their families living in the Chelmsley Wood area to be able to access Physical Activity provision on a regular basis and will be extremely beneficial in breaking down previous barriers they have faced to participating in physical. Furthermore, the grant will allow us to spend time upskilling volunteers and coaches to becoming more inclusive in their approach and will allow families to be given the necessary knowledge and guidance to access Physical Activity provision."
As construction of HS2 gets underway, applications for the funds are still being welcomed. The Funds for Phase One, independently administered by community charity Groundwork UK, support urban and rural, community, environmental and business projects.
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