VOLUNTARY groups which use sport to inspire young people can apply for grants from a new fund, designed to help them bounce back from the pandemic.

Made By Sport, a charity which raises awareness of the power of sport across the UK, has teamed up with Wiltshire Community Foundation to offer grants of £2,021 to clubs across the county who help youngsters to develop their life skills, improve job prospects or reduce anti-social behaviour.

“The key to the fund is that it supports clubs and organisations intentionally using community sport provision to deliver wider social outcomes, not those which focus on developing and widening opportunities to participate,” said Fiona Oliver, joint chief executive of Wiltshire Community Foundation, which is administering the grants on behalf of Made By Sport.

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Groups eligible for the fund will be able to demonstrate that Covid-19 has adversely affected them, either operationally or financially and that they need funding to save, resume or adapt their activity. Priority will be given to groups who are working in disadvantaged communities.

Grants are unrestricted and can be spent on staff, kit and equipment, volunteer expenses, monitoring, transport or small capital projects such as changing rooms, resurfacing a play area or IT. They can also be used towards match funding or leverage for a larger programme.

Mrs Oliver said: “We are proud to be working with Made By Sport on this funding because we know that sport is such a powerful tool for encouraging and communicating with young people.”

Made By Sport says that every £1 invested in sport and recreation brings a £4.34 return on savings in money spent on crime, truancy and ill health.

“Physically active young people show seven times better levels of teamwork, six times better levels of resilience and five times better communication skills,” said chairman Justin King.

“Physically active children have a 25 per cent decreased risk of anxiety and mild depression is 52 per cent lower in active people.”

To find out more go to wiltshirecf.org.uk/grant-and-support.