Ashford BME Association exists to empower the BME (Black, Minority Ethnic) communities in Ashford, its surrounding areas, and other parts of the UK, to encourage community cohesion, promote equality, cultural diversity as well as social community inclusion.  The association works across a range of educational settings from early years to universities to educate, empower and support communities and individuals to become resilient and live healthy lives.


The Tackling Inequalities Fund was used to:

  • Create an outside space for exercise at the centre
  • Buy physical activity equipment for the centre
  • Engage with young people and staff from the centre
  • Engage with families especially Syrian refugee families who relocated to Ashford
  • Offer virtual activity sessions online
  • Work in partnership with a personal trainer
  • Work in partnership with One You Kent NHS Health Improvement team, Ashford Borough Council and Kent County Council.

The aims of the project were:

  • To promote good physical health and exercise.
  • To promote and improve emotional and mental wellbeing through physical exercise.
  • To keep vulnerable young people engaged physically during the Covid lockdown.


  • The young people from the centre were grateful as they had an opportunity to take part in activities to improve their physical health, mental health and emotional wellbeing.
  • Families in the community appreciated the fitness packs that were distributed, and they were able to increase their physical activity whilst at home.
  • The online sessions were a positive outcome as people were able to engage when they were free and could always go back to repeat a workout that they might have missed.

Challenges & Learnings

The project did not face any challenges and was able to go ahead as planned.

The Association will continue to engage with the community online and visit the young people face to face as this works well for them due to the language barrier.  Their ability to manage health and safety whilst using the activity equipment will continue to be monitored.

Activity sessions at the centre will continue on a weekly basis. The Association plans to arrange events in the local park for families and young people to help promote the benefits of physical activity and mental health.