New Sport England funding – Families

There are nearly seven million children aged between five and 15 in England, and around a third of people in England live in a household with at least one child aged 5-15.

Sport England want everyone in England regardless of age, background or level of ability to feel able to engage in sport and physical activity – and they need a sport sector that welcomes everyone, meets their needs, treats them as individuals and values them as customers.

Why are families important?

Insight tells Sport England that families, and in particular, parents and caregivers, play a key role in shaping a child’s attitudes and behaviours. This is also true for physical activity and sport. They can:

  • Provide support and encouragement – but they can also add pressure
  • Share their own sport and physical activity passions – but they can also share their fears
  • Facilitate access to various opportunities to be active – but they can also limit options
  • Model active behaviour by taking part with children – but can also model sedentary behaviour.

The investment is designed to support families on low incomes to allow their children to have positive experiences, and develop competence and confidence in their ability to be physically active.

What is the purpose of this fund?

Underpinning the investment is the need to ensure experiences are fun, enjoyable and or deliver value to children and their wider family.

Successful applicants will encourage families to plan and take decisions together, with children involved in shaping how they and their families are active.

Funding should support families taking part together.

This work will also ensure that Sport England meet the outcomes set out in the Government’s strategy Sporting Future Open in a new window as projects won’t just be about increasing physical activity. This work will support the ambitions outlined in the Department of Health’s Childhood Obesity Plan Open in a new window and ensure that keeping children active becomes a shared responsibility for parents, carers and schools.

Apply to the Families Fund:

Learn more about the focus and timescales of the first round of the Children and Families Fund.


Sport England are investing up to £40 million into projects which offer new opportunities for families with children to get active and play sport together.

Up to £10 million has been allocated for the first round of our Families Fund, which will open on 19th May 2017.

Future rounds will follow over the next three years and more information on submission dates will be available in due course.

The Focus:

For this investment, Sport England are looking to make a difference to families with children aged 5-15, with a focus on low income families and families living in areas of high deprivation.

They are also looking to target families where their children are not active for at least 60 minutes each day.

Sport England will look to invest in and work with organisations, both sporting and non-sporting, who understand children and families and have a proven track record of working with them.

Potential examples include housing associations, family-focused charities, parent support organisations and outdoor activity providers.

The anticipated size of funding for projects from our Families Fund will be from £50,000 up to £500,000 for the right project.


A series of workshops are being held across England over the coming month.

The dates and venues of these workshops are listed below:

  • Tuesday 18 April (1pm – 4pm) – London
  • Thursday 20 April (1pm – 4pm) – Loughborough
  • Thursday 27 April (10am – 1pm) – Manchester
  • Friday 28 April (10am – 1pm) – London

Please email if you would like to discuss this further.

Sign up to one of our workshops

Sport England would encourage any organisation thinking of applying for investment for this first round to attend one of the workshops.

The workshops will ensure that any potential applicants get the latest insight into the families that Sport England are most keen to engage, the types of projects they are keen to support and further details about the process for submitting an application.

In this first phase, Sport England are ideally looking to work with organisations that have specific experience of working with families – not necessarily in a sports setting.  Places are limited to two people per organisation.

If you are unable to attend a workshop, Sport England plan to film the last workshop and make it available to watch online.

Application process:

Following the series of workshops throughout April , the application process will open.

Submission of an expression of interest form will open on the 19th May 2017 and close on the 14th July 2017 at 3pm.

There will be the opportunity for organisations to attend further workshops and apply for funding in future rounds over the next four years. Later workshops and submission dates will be shared on the Sport England website in due course.


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