Dover District Council

The Inspire project was launched by Dover District Council in February 2016 and since then 400 young people have been referred onto the scheme.

Referral partners refer young people, aged 5-18, who are experiencing challenges in their lives and who would benefit from undertaking a new activity. The majority of the Inspire participants choose to become involved in sport, but other activities are also offered.

Partners include schools, Community Safety Unit, the Police, Social Housing Providers, KCC, Children’s Centres, Family Support, Up on the Downs and Turning Point. There is also a network of 37 registered activity providers.

The Inspire Fund financially assists the young person into starting an activity, with the referral partner providing them with support to continue the activity beyond the initial funding. Efforts are made to select an activity which the young person will be able to afford to continue and which is easily accessible for them.

Local clubs are used in preference over one-off large providers. This supports the local clubs and in several cases has enabled new sessions to be started, and for sessions to be provided in new locations.

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East Kent Mencap

Fitstart is a free club for adults with learning disabilities in Ramsgate which runs for two hours once a week. The first hour focuses on healthy living, including diet, smoking cessation and managing medical conditions. During the second hour the group does a range of exercises.

All activities are tailored to the specific abilities and needs of each participant, using simple language, a gentle pace and lots of encouragement. The club is led by a professional trainer from motiv8 sports, with the support of staff from East Kent Mencap.

Participants can measure their resting heart rate, weight and blood pressure each week to monitor the impact on their health. As the group gains confidence, the exercises can become more challenging and they can try new activities, heading out to varied venues and spaces around Ramsgate where possible.

Since the Club began in April 2016, 28 people with learning disabilities have taken part, aged 18 to 60, with an average of 12 people attending each week.

The Fitstart Club provides a welcoming environment, amongst their peers, where people with learning disabilities can progress at their own pace, support each other and gain the confidence to take control of their health and fitness.

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Hawkinge Hurricanes

Hawkinge Hurricanes is an all-inclusive, all-ability adult running club supporting positive mental wellbeing.

Based in Shepway, the club’s motto is ‘Fun, Fit & Friendly’ and they provide a relaxed and social activity in their local community. They support two disabled athletes and boast a Mental Health Ambassador who frequently arranges ‘run & talk’ sessions.

The club was formed in February 2016 with a vision to offer a pressure-free, fun environment for beginner runners. They have created great community links, including with Shepway Sports Trust, the local primary school (where they offer free coaching) and the Cardiomyopathy charity.

In April of 2017 they achieved Clubmark status, Sport England’s universally acknowledged cross-sport accreditation scheme for community sports clubs. Accredited clubs are recognised as a safe, rewarding and fulfilling place for participants of all ages, providing the right environment to ensure the welfare of members and encourage everyone to enjoy sport.

The project has a growing membership base, as well as great feedback from its recent club survey, and continues to introduce and support beginner runners with its winning formula.

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Sevenoaks Dance Fitness

The project was formed in 2014 as part of a Sevenoaks District Council initiative, after they obtained Sport England Funding to “inspire people to become active”. The chair yoga project is the only one of the twelve invested in that is still running, and has subsequently expanded.

Research is undertaken on interest, venue availability and resources, before introducing classes in a new area. Local accessible classes in smaller sized parishes mean older adults are able to walk to the venue if they wish and car sharing is also encouraged.

The classes provide a social opportunity with many physical and psychological benefits and regularly receive positive testimonials. All participants are also invited to attend organised social events to meet others and socialise.

The organiser has worked with a range of partners, including Sevenoaks town and district councils, primary and secondary schools, Leonard Cheshire Disability Charity, West Kingsdown Wives Club and Breast Cancer Care. She is also a Dementia Friends Champion and is hoping to develop a chair yoga class for those with dementia and their carers that can attend in the local communities.

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Golding Vision

Golding Homes is one of the largest housing associations in Kent and since 2010 has been supported by Golding Vision in developing sustainable communities. In 2015 Golding Vision were interested to see how sport could be used as a tool to combat the anti-social behaviour experienced by some of their residents and act as a diversionary activity for those at risk of offending.

The four largest stock areas in Maidstone, Shepway, Park Wood, Marden and Tovil, were highlighted and at the start of 2016 a 10-week trial programme was introduced, offering six sports across four locations.

After the success of this trial, the investment and length of programme was doubled for summer 2016. Working with a range of partners, including sports providers and the YMCA, the project was expanded to offer a total of 13 different sports over a period of 20 weeks across the same four housing stock areas.

The 20-week programme saw 2,184 visits from 504 participants aged 3 to 19 and an average number of 12 people attending each session. A social benefit of £513,047 was calculated (using HACT tool which included reduction in anti-social behaviour) and the project model has subsequently been rolled out by other housing associations in Kent.

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