DD2266 Active Londoners Fund

Type of decision: 
Director's decision
Code: 
DD2266
Date signed: 
22 August 2018
Decision by: 
Emma Strain, Executive Director, Communities & Intelligence and Monitoring Officer

Executive summary

This decision form seeks approval for expenditure to deliver the Active Londoners Fund.

The Active Londoners Fund is ‘Theme 2’ of the Mayor’s community sport investment programme, the GLA will invest up to £875,000 in grants to increase opportunities for Londoners to take part in sport and physical activity in their local area. It will fund initiatives that cater specifically for inactive Londoners.

The Mayor delegated authority to the Executive Director of Communities and Intelligence to approve the expenditure proposals and delivery approach of Active Londoners under cover of MD2244.

Decision

That the Executive Director of Communities and Intelligence approves:

1. Expenditure of up to £875,000 in 2018/19 and 2019/20 via the Active Londoners Fund comprising:

• Circa £795,000 of grant funding to community sports organisations, to increase the activity levels of Londoners; and
• Circa £80,000 to pay for external services to manage and administer the Active Londoners Fund (on behalf of the GLA)

2. Note administration costs will range from 8 per cent to 9 per cent of the grant pot depending on the number of applications – see paragraph 1.10.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

Sport Unites

Sport Unites is a new, ground-breaking programme which has been developed to enable sport and physical activity initiatives to contribute to the long-term vision of making London the most active and socially integrated city in the world.

Sport Unites will invest up to £5.8m of GLA funding into community sport in London from April 2018 – March 2021 across the three themes:

a) Theme 1 – Sport for Social Integration
b) Theme 2 – Active Londoners
c) Theme 3 – Workforce and Capacity Building

Approval for Sport Unites was granted by the mayor under cover of MD2244. The Mayor also (under cover of the same MD) delegated authority to the Executive Director of Communities and Intelligence to approve the detailed expenditure proposals and delivery approach of individual themes 2 and 3 of the Sport Unites programme via director’s decision form(s).

Active Londoners

Increasing the opportunities for people to take part in sport provides a range of physical and mental health benefits to participants. Being more active is linked to reduced risk of over 20 illnesses, including heart disease and some cancers.

Within London, rates of participation in physical activity vary hugely between different boroughs and locations. London contains some of the most active areas in the UK, such as Richmond-upon-Thames, where only 35 per cent of people do no sport at all. But London also contains some of the most inactive areas, such as Barking and Dagenham, where 66 per cent of people are inactive. Physical inactivity is crucial for good mental and physical health. Public Health England recommends that adults in England should take part in at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity each week, in bouts of ten minutes or more. Across London, fewer than 60 per cent of adults meet these recommendations.

Active Londoners is Theme 2 of Sport Unites and will invest up to £875,000 from April 2018 – March 2021. This investment will be delivered through the Active Londoners Fund which will distribute small and medium-sized grants to organisations to run localised sport and physical activity sessions across London.

The Active Londoners Fund will provide more opportunities for Londoners to take part in sport and physical activity in their local area. It will fund initiatives that cater specifically for inactive Londoners. This will result in improved physical and mental health and improved wellbeing and quality of life of participants, as well as helping to reduce health inequalities across London.

Active Londoners will support a balanced portfolio of organisations, including those with established track records and organisations that are new to community sport. Funded themes within Active Londoners will include:

• Initiatives that provide affordable, local participation opportunities for Londoners in places where demand outstrips supply. Active Londoners will focus on convenience, affordability, and proximity as these are key factors that determine whether or not people exercise regularly.

• Initiatives that specifically target groups of Londoners who aren’t sufficiently active e.g. disabled people, women and girls etc. To maximise returns in terms of health benefits, Active Londoners will fund projects that target a majority of previously inactive participants (at least 51%) and specifically address the barriers they face to being active.

• Initiatives that cater for and support Londoners with mental health difficulties. For the first time, we will designate a portion of our funding to invest in initiatives that use sport to help people deal with, overcome or have a greater understanding of mental health difficulties such as: depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, or issues caused by addiction or substance abuse.

Active Londoners will be distributed through small and medium grants:

• Small Grants are defined as <£5,000. These may take the form of very localised, smaller-scale, short-term projects or pilots that will last up to 12 weeks.

• Medium Grants are defined as between £25,000 - £75,000. These grants will be for larger organisations, where project delivery may be large-scale, longer-terms initiatives that will last up to 12 months, cross borough or pan-London.

Active Londoners will procure an external organisation to manage and administer the Active Londoners Fund (on behalf of the GLA), the services having up to a maximum value of £80,000. The management fee payable will vary depending on the volume of applications received, at a minimum of £75,416 and a maximum of £80,276. Any money saved in this area will be added to the balance of the grant fund. This external organisation will be sourced from a pre-approved GLA framework.

The £875,000 expenditure will be broken down as follows:

• Grant Funding – minimum £795,000. The target is to award 7 medium grants and 74 small grants, but the split of medium vs small grants may change slightly once applications are assessed.

• Management Costs – maximum £80,000. End-to-end grant management costs include design and build of application form, delivery of workshops marketing, assessment, monitoring and evaluation.

• We anticipate the split of grant distribution and management costs being in the region of £370,000 in 18/19 and £505,000 in 19/20, but as a final decision will not be made until applications are assessed, this may change if we award a different balance of small vs medium grants.

Objectives and expected outcomes

Aim of the Active Londoners Fund:

To improve the physical and mental health of Londoners and contribute to the Mayor’s ambition of making London the most socially integrated and active city and undisputed sporting capital of the world

Objectives of the Active Londoners Fund

• To provide more affordable, local participation opportunities for Londoners in places where demand outstrips supply.
• To improve the physical activity levels of Londoners, targeting specific demographic groups that are most likely to be inactive, for example, those on low incomes, women and girls, elderly people, and people with disabilities.
• To improve Londoner’s mental health and wellbeing through sport, and broaden their understanding of mental health difficulties such as: depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, or substance abuse.
• To encourage long-term behavioural change and incorporate regular physical activity as a key part of their daily routine (regular physical activity is defined as 30 minutes’ activity at least twice in the last 28 days).

Outputs of the Active Londoners Fund

• There will be a minimum of 81 grants awarded to sports and community organisations to deliver sports and physical activity session across London. Each project will engage a minimum of 51% inactive participants. Inactive is defined as a person who, over the course of a week, does not achieve a total of 30 moderate intensity equivalent (MIE) minutes of physical activity.

- Small Grant recipients will be required to deliver a minimum of 10 hours of physical activity to participants.
- Medium Grant recipients will be required to deliver a minimum of 50 hours of physical activity to participants.

• Using knowledge, learnings and insights from previous work, the anticipated number of beneficiaries is 20,000.

• Host a minimum of 2 application workshops to offer support to applicants and increase the quality of applications and project design.

• Host a minimum of 1 learning event to assess the success and challenges of the fund in terms of delivery and the funding process.

• There will be a minimum of 162 monitoring reports to assess the success of every funded project. Each project will be required to submit an interim monitoring report whilst sessions are running and then a detailed final report upon completion of the project. These monitoring reports will track the outcomes detailed below, from a baseline and then a post project perspective.

• The Active Londoners Fund will generate content that can be used for marketing and communication purposes e.g. case studies, pictures, flyers, logos etc that will be used to further promote the Mayor’s community sport programme, Sport Unites.

Outcomes of the Active Londoners Fund

• Increased number of opportunities for Londoners to take part in sport and physical activity in their local area.
• Increased activity levels amongst those who are not currently active in London and sustained behaviour change towards a more active lifestyle.
• Improved mental health and wellbeing of Londoners, including improved focussing in particular on those who are inactive.
• Reduced health inequalities across London.

Equality comments

Equal opportunities are enshrined with the Sport Unites programme and by extension, the Active Londoners Fund. The Active Londoners Fund will provide all Londoners with opportunities to access sport and physical activities.

The Active Londoners Fund is open to all, regardless of race, disability, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion or belief, pregnancy and maternity and gender reassignment. Some programmes will specifically target those with protected characteristics, but our programmes also work with those who do not share it, and will foster good relations between persons who share relevant protected characteristics and persons who do not share it.

The GLA Sports Team has consulted stakeholders and partners to ensure that as many Londoners as possible, including those with protected characteristics, have been considered in the planning of the Sport Unites programme and the Active Londoners Fund and that they will have the chance to be involved in some way, be that through participating, training, project delivery or volunteering.

The GLA commissioned a report assessing the impact of the 2017 World Para Athletics Championships and IAAF World Championships. The report has been analysed against this project’s requirements and a relevant lesson learned is the engagement of non-sporting organisations which has been implemented into this programme. This helps to encourage persons who share a relevant protected characteristic to participate in such activities in which participation by such persons is disproportionately low.

The Active Londoners Fund will advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a protected characteristic. This fund has been specifically designed to invest in initiatives that support Londoners with mental health difficulties by using sport to help people deal with, overcome or have a greater understanding of mental health difficulties such as: depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, or substance abuse.

The Active Londoners Fund will encourage those who have high levels of inactivity such as disabled people, older people and women to be more active by providing affordable, local participation opportunities, which have been tailored to their needs.

The Active Londoners Fund grant application requires a statement about the organisation’s approach to equality and/or the submission of the organisation’s equality policies. Funding recipients will be required to outline how projects will provide community benefit. This includes information on the intended beneficiaries (including relevant details such as ages, geographic area of residence, ethnicity).

Other considerations

Key risks and issues:

 

 

Risk

Response

Probability

Impact

RAG

1

Insufficient number of applications submitted

The GLA Sports Team will work closely with a range of partners to market and advertise the fund in order to reach a wide variety of organisations. Previous GLA funding rounds launched earlier in the programme have proved that there is high demand for funding and have all been significantly oversubscribed so it is not anticipated that application numbers will be low.

1

3

A

2

Poor quality of applications submitted

To ensure a good quality of application, a minimum of 2 workshops will be organised to support organisations in the design of their projects and alignment to the fund. We will work with partners with relevant expertise to deliver these workshops. There will also be a dedicated helpline and email support for organisations who are unable to attend the workshops or would like extra information

1

3

A

3

Outcomes of the grant programme are not achieved

Application process designed in order to assess fit with criteria. Mid-project report enables early flagging of issues. Varied portfolio of projects mean that risk is spread. Since innovation is desired then some failure of activity is expected and accepted

1

2

G

4

Project Slippage

Timescales for mobilisation of this funding in 2018 are tight. A robust mobilisation/delivery plan has been established to ensure timescales are adhered to. Regular scrutiny of the plan will take place to minimise project slippage

3

1

G

5

Fraudulent applications are submitted

Due diligence requirements are set with the grant management delivery partner and monitoring and evaluation will highlight underperformance and if issues are arising

1

2

G

 

 

Link to Mayoral strategies and priorities

 

The Active Londoners Fund will contribute towards:

 

  • Providing Londoners with opportunities to participate, improve health and reduce inequalities by taking part in sport and physical activity

 

  • Reducing childhood obesity and the gap between the boroughs with highest and lowest rates of childhood obesity by providing young Londoners with opportunities to participate in sport and physical activity

 

  • Ensuring that all Londoners share in a city with the best mental health in the world, supporting the Thrive LDN initiative

 

  • Encouraging more Londoners to get involved in volunteering for, and connecting with, others in their community

 

This decision also supports the Mayor’s manifesto commitment of “Rebuilding our Olympic Legacy, turning around the failure of the last four years, promoting and supporting sport for more people of all ages”

 

The development of the Active Londoners Fund and Sport Unites programme has been informed by what we have learned from The Mayor’s Sport Legacy Programme (MSLP) which ran from 2009 to 2018. This was a key part of London’s commitment to create a sporting legacy for the city from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The primary aims were to secure a sustained increase in participation in sport and reduce inactivity across London.

 

The most recent independent evaluation of the MSLP completed by Ecorys in 2016 found that:

 

  • The MSLP had made an important contribution to London’s position in 2016 as the most physically active region in England, from being the second-worst region in 2009;
  • Funding from City Hall was crucial in enabling participation projects to go ahead – i.e. without GLA investment many of these initiatives wouldn’t have taken place at all;
  • The programme played a key role in providing opportunities that wouldn’t otherwise have been available for people to participate regularly (defined as participants attending a session once a week, for at least nine weeks, over any 12-week period);
  • Funded projects had a strong influence on levels of regular sports participation amongst those who took part (as measured by changes in levels of participation in physical activity after considering the availability of alternative options and displacements from other facilities);
  • The programme contributed to positive social outcomes. For example, investment in facilities helped to create a stronger sense of community pride and cohesion in local areas and both facilities and participation projects helped to improve the life satisfaction and self-confidence of those who participated regularly and/or used the facilities funded by the programme;
  • The ‘FreeSport’ small grants scheme helped hundreds of small organisations extend the scope of their activity and was often a stepping stone for organisations to access other funding by giving them the confidence and credibility to apply for it; and
  • The programme contributed to and influenced wider national strategic priorities for community sport. Specifically, it was influential in changing central Government’s focus to an approach that targeted inactive people rather than just simply focusing on levels of participation.

 

Ongoing consultation with GLA policy teams and the community sport sector in London. This has included workshops, an advisory group meeting and bilateral meetings with a range of individuals and organisations. To date, input from stakeholders falls under seven broad themes. These are:

 

  • The opportunities and challenges inherent in ambitions for community sport in London;
  • Collaboration
  • The language we use and how we communicate
  • The need to take account of intersectionality
  • The importance of getting buy-in from sector and community leadership
  • The importance of long-term commitment
  • The need to support funded organisations in a more hands on way than we have done in the past

 

We will continue to work with GLA teams and key stakeholders to ensure continuous develop of the Active Londoners Fund and the Sport Unites programme

Financial comments

The expenditure of £875,000 comprises of, £795,000 in grant funding to community sports organisations, and £80,000 in external services costs for management and administration of the fund.

 

Costs will be incurred over two financial years and will be funded from the Sport Unites programme budget within Team London and Sport Unit for the two years. full breakdown of costs below:

           

 

2018-19

2019-20

Grant Funding

£340,000

£455,000

External Services Costs

£30,000

£50,000

Total

£370,000

£505,000

 

All grant funding will be subject to satisfactory due diligence of the successful organisations, and will be governed by way of a funding agreement, with all payments made on successful completion of agreed milestones.     

Activity table

Activity

Timeline

Programme Scoping, Design and build of application form

September 2018

Applications Open

January 2018

Eligibility and Assessment

March 2019

Delivery begins

May 2019

Final monitoring reports submitted

May 2020