DD2324 Sport for Social Integration – Micro Grants

Type of decision: 
Director's decision
Code: 
DD2324
Date signed: 
26 February 2019
Decision by: 
Emma Strain, Interim Executive Director of Communities & Intelligence

Executive summary

This decision form seeks approval for expenditure to deliver the sport for social integration micro grants programme.

The micro grants programme is covered by ‘Theme 1’ of the Mayor’s Community Sport Investment programme and the GLA will invest up to £375,000 in grants to support community organisations who are using sport to increase social integration across London. It will fund initiatives that foster social mixing and/or specifically target socially isolated Londoners.

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

Decision

That the Executive Director of Communities and Intelligence approves expenditure of up to £375,000 in 2019/20 via the sport for social integration micro grants comprising:

1. Estimated £335,000 of grant funding to community organisations who use sport and physical activity to increase social integration in London; and
2. Estimated £40,000 on services required to manage and administer the sport for social integration micro grants on behalf of the GLA.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

Sport Unites

Sport Unites is a multi-million-pound, community sport programme which has been developed by the GLA 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 from April 2018 – March 2021 across three themes: (i) Sport for Social Integration, (ii) Active Londoners, and (iii) Workforce and Capacity Building.

As stated above, theme 1 is Sport for Social Integration. Community sport has a role to play in realising the three facets of the Mayor’s vision for a socially integrated city: equality, participation and relationships. Investment in the Sport for Social Integration theme will support initiatives that use sport to bring Londoners from more than one community, faith or cultural group together, and/or cater specifically for Londoners who feel isolated or lonely. This will contribute to improved social integration, reduce prejudice between communities, and help isolated Londoners feel better connected and supported.

Part of delivering the Sport for Social Integration theme is the micro grant programme outlined in MD2244. These micro-grants will be easy-to-access grants to support small scale grassroots sports projects which contribute to making London a more socially integrated city.

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 and delivery of individual themes of the Sports Unites programme (via a director decision form).

Sport for Social Integration – Micro Grants

Under the Sport for Social Integration theme, the GLA will invest up to £375,000 to fund the micro grants. This investment will be distributed through individual micro grants anticipated to be between the value of £2,000 and £5,000. Should an application show particular promise but request a slightly varied amount, we may choose to vary this figure.

Within MD2244 section 2.2.2.1 it was anticipated that up to 170 small grants up to the value of £2,000 each would be delivered under the Sport for Social Integration theme. The MD2244 was signed off in March 2018 and since then we have consulted on the Mayor’s Sport Strategy. Feedback from this public consultation process suggest that funded projects should go up to a maximum of £5,000. This would also mirror the decision of Sport Unites Active Londoner’s (DD2266) small grants which have also been set up to a maximum of £5,000.

The micro grants form part of the Mayor’s strategy to support and work in partnership with a broad range of organisations varying in size, type, and levels of experience. The micro grants will be aimed specifically at supporting local grassroots providers who typically find it difficult to access other forms of grant funding. This will be reflected in the application process.

The micro grants will fund initiatives which are designed specifically to address the issue of social isolation and/or facilitate social mixing outlined in the Mayor’s Sports Strategy, ‘Sport for all of us’. Funded initiatives will therefore include those which:

• Target and bring together Londoners from different ages, backgrounds, cultures, and religions through sport when they may not otherwise interact. This will contribute to removing prejudices and breaking down barriers between different groups across London; and

• Target socially isolated and lonely Londoners including older people, BAME, communities with language barriers, people on low incomes, disabled people, and newcomers to help them feel better connected in their communities.

The micro grant funding will be aimed at both sport and non-sporting grassroots organisations to encourage combining sport with other activities. This will result in intentionally bringing different interest groups together through a sport or physical activity when they might not have done so otherwise.

The micro grants will be small-scale and short-term projects or pilots which will be delivered within 12 weeks. Again, should an application show particular promise, we may choose to vary this period slightly.

The micro grants application will be open on a rolling basis over the (anticipated) 12-month period between April 2019 until March 2020. Although we intend for the programme to remain open for 12 months, this date may vary depending on available funding. If we have received strong applications in a shorter amount of time, then funding may be utilised in a shorter time frame. Conversely, if at the end of 12 months we have not awarded all funding, we may choose to extend the application period.

To support this rolling programme, we will procure an external organisation to manage and administer the micro grants (on behalf of the GLA), the services costing an estimated £40,000. This external organisation will be sourced from a pre-approved GLA framework.

The £375,000 expenditure will be broken down as follows:

• Grant funding of £335,000 (estimated). Individual grants to be awarded between £2,000 and £5,000.

• Management costs at an estimated £40,000. The end-to-end grant management agreement to include design and build of the application form, targeted promotion, application support, assessment, in delivery grantee support, monitoring and evaluation.

• We anticipate awarding all the grant funding within 12 months.

• The management fee payable may vary depending on the volume of applications received and grants awarded, therefore the balance of management fee to grant funding may change slightly. Any money saved on management fees will be distributed as grant funding.

• The grant administrator will be procured using an existing GLA framework, following GLA procurement guidelines.

Objectives and expected outcomes

The aim of the Sport for Social Integration Micro Grants is to provide funding to grassroots community organisations to deliver sport and physical activities which increase social integration and contribute to the Mayor’s ambition of making London the most active and socially integrated city in the world.

Objectives of the micro grants:

• Award grants of between £2,000 and £5,000 to grassroots community initiatives which use sport and physical activity to bring together Londoners from different backgrounds, cultures, and faiths, as well target socially isolated Londoners. Projects should show how they have been able to break down barriers between different groups.

• To simplify the application process to make it more accessible for grassroot community organisations to apply for funding. The priority is to connect with ‘hard to reach’ groups outside of the traditional sporting organisations.

• To promote the Mayor of London’s vision of using sport and physical activity to bring Londoners together and bridge divisions in communities.

Expected outputs of the micro grants:

• Approximately 120 grants awarded between £2,000 and £5,000 to sport and community organisations to deliver sport and physical activities across London.
• Funding delivered to up approximately 120 groups, including ‘hard to reach’ groups outside of the traditional sporting organisations. This figure may be smaller as groups are allowed to apply more than once within the project period.
• Delivery of approximately 120 small-scale/short-term/pilot projects.

Role of the grant delivery partner;

• Provide application support for applicants and in-delivery support to all successful recipients of grant funding by phone and email.
• Host at least 1 learning event to assess the success and challenges of the fund in terms of the pilot rolling application process and delivery.
• Every funded project to complete and monitoring and evaluation report to assess the success of each project. These reports will assess the outcomes below.
• Generate content that can be used for marketing and communication i.e. case studies, pictures that can be used to promote the Mayor’s community Sport Unites programme and its successes.

Expected outcomes of the micro grants:

• Increased number of opportunities for Londoners to take part in sport and physical activity in their local area.
• Increased opportunities to regularly bring people together from different backgrounds, cultures, and faiths to reduce prejudice and increase trust between people and communities.
• Reduced isolation and loneliness amongst Londoners.

Equality comments

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

These grants are 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 Micro Grants Funding 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.

This fund has been specifically designed to invest in initiatives that use sport to bring Londoners from more than one community, faith or cultural group together, and/or cater specifically for Londoners who feel isolated or lonely and will therefore foster good relations between persons who share relevant protected characteristics and persons who do not share it.

The grant application for this fund 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 to reach a wide variety of audiences. The GLA will also work closely with the external services company to broaden the reach and help target non-sporting community organisations.

1

3

A

2

Poor quality of applications submitted

To ensure good quality applications a dedicated help line and email will be setup to support organisations. A range of supporting material will be created to make the application and criteria clear and understandable.

1

2

G

3

Outcomes of the grant programme not achieved

The application process will be designed to fit with the criteria. A 6-month report of projects will enable early flagging of issues. As this is moving away from participation levels to social outcomes, failures and learnings are anticipated and expected.

1

2

G

4

Project slippage

Timescales for mobilisation of this funding for 2019 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.

2

1

G

5

Fraudulent applications

Applications will be checked for commonalities. Due diligence (financial and organisational) will be performed. Projects will be monitored. The grant administrator is well practiced in application checks and projected monitoring.

1

2

G

 

Link to Mayoral strategies and priorities

 

This decision is linked directly to the ‘Sport for Social Integration’ theme of the Mayor’s community sports programme, Sport Unites (MD2244) and the Mayor’s sport strategy – ‘Sport for all of us’. This strand is directly related to the Mayor’s ambition to use the power of sport to improve social integration in London. Small grants form part of the Mayor’s commitment to support all levels of the diverse eco-system outlined in the sports strategy. This investment will provide funding specifically aimed at grassroots community organisations to deliver sport and physical activities to facilitate social mixing and address social isolation issues specific to their area and community.

The micro grants will contribute to:

 

  • Bringing together Londoners from different ages, backgrounds, cultures, and religions through sport when they may not otherwise interact to reduce prejudice and break down barriers; and

 

  • Reducing social isolation and loneliness by targeting at risk Londoners and provide them with a sense of community and belonging. 

 

​​​​​​​Sport Unites will signal a shift away from focusing primarily on funding participation-centric initiatives, towards using sport to deliver social outcomes.  

Financial comments

Approval is sought for expenditure of up to £375,000 on grant funding to community sports organisations (£335,000), and external services for the management and administration of the fund (£40,000).

The total cost will be funded from the 2019-20 Sport Unites Programme budget within the Team London and Sport Unit.

Activity table

Activity

Timeline

Procurement of contract

March 2019

Project build and pre-promotion

March 2019

Applications open

April 2019

Delivery start date

June 2019

Delivery end date

July 2020

Final monitoring reports submitted

October 2020


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