British Blind Sport is amongst a consortium of over 120 organisations working in partnership with Sport England to level up access to sport and physical activity across the country.
British Blind Sport (BBS) will receive expertise, support and an investment of £1 million of government and National Lottery funding from Sport England to co-deliver the ambitions of its 10-year Uniting the Movement strategy.
Sport England research shows that some groups are typically less active – like women, people with long-term health conditions, disabled people, people from ethnically diverse communities and lower socio-economic groups. Right now, the opportunities to get involved in sport and activity – and reap the rewards of being active – depend too much on your background, your gender, your bank balance, and your postcode.
BBS is the national disability sports organisation that represents blind and partially sighted people in sport and physical activity. The charity will use the funds to tackle inequalities, level up access and help more blind and partially sighted people get active and play sport. Sport and recreational activities can enhance the lives of people with visual impairments, by improving their health and increasing their social interaction. BBS encourage adults and children to participate in activities at all levels, from grassroots to the Paralympic Games.
Over £550million is being invested in total, with the partners including BBS receiving funding for up to five years. This new funding model from Sport England provides longer-term financial security as organisations recover and reinvent from the Covid-19 pandemic.
All partner organisations were selected by Sport England due to their ability to influence change and improvement at the heart of the system they are a part of - no matter how big or small. This is the first step on a journey to revolutionise Sport England’s approach to long-term partnerships as it seeks to strategically collaborate with innovative organisations to deliver Uniting the Movement and build a nation where everyone can get active.
Tim Hollingsworth, CEO of Sport England, said: “Sport England’s goal is to get everyone active– no matter who they are, where they live, or what their background is. But we know that certain groups – like blind and partially sighted people – are more likely to be inactive. We can only innovate and tackle inequalities effectively by thinking about long-term change; Uniting the Movement is a long-term vision, and our funding approach needs to reflect that. Changes to our funding model will help us achieve our goal, by making it easier for our partners to do what they need to do to level up and deliver.”
Alaina MacGregor, CEO of British Blind Sport, said: ”We are delighted with Sport England's significant investment of government and National Lottery funding to co-deliver its 10-year vision of transforming lives and communities through sport and physical activity. BBS knows that sport serves as a powerful springboard towards greater opportunities, helping people to lead more active and independent lives, which is essential for improved physical health, happiness and wellbeing. Knowing Sport England’s confidence in our organisation to deliver, has been a tremendous boost to the charity, and a testament to the team that work hard to make a visible difference to the lives of all people living with sight loss. BBS will continue to champion sport and physical activity for blind and partially sighted people and use our expertise to deliver inclusive initiatives, so that more blind and partially sighted people can feel the benefits of, and advocate for, an active life."