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Mar 03, 22

Access Sport and Nuffield Health form new partnership to tackle health inequalities in Greater Manch

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Sport inclusion charity Access Sport has joined forces with the UK’s largest healthcare charity, Nuffield Health, in an innovative new project to tackle stark health inequalities in Greater Manchester. This ground-breaking project will combine resources and expertise to tackle the unmet needs of 15,000 disadvantaged local young people and their families in the next two years. 

Young people in disadvantaged areas have poorer life chances than their peers. They are facing worse isolation, mental health issues, disability, struggles at school or unemployment. However, sport and physical activity can significantly improve this situation. The partnership between Access Sport and Nuffield Health aims to bring young people into community sport, provide access to Nuffield Health’s Manchester Institute of Health & Performance to experience sporting opportunities, teach children to cycle and inspire the next generation of community leaders.

Compared to England, Manchester has almost double the number of children under 16 living in poverty and a significantly higher percentage of children aged 10 to 11 who have excess weight.  In the UK, around 31% of people aged under 18yrs are categorised as physically inactive. This rises to 42% when considering those living with low resources. Large swathes of the population are missing out on the transformational mental and physical benefits of sport & physical activity. 

The partnership will build upon Access Sport’s award-winning community sport development model whilst utilising Nuffield Health’s world-class facilities, health and fitness experts and educational resources to give more local people, and neighbourhoods, the tools to live a healthier life. 

Helen Rowbotham, the CEO of Access Sport said: “Nuffield Health is a natural partner for Access Sport; at our core we share the same purpose, to create fitter, healthier and stronger communities and by combining our strengths, we will reach many more young people who are currently excluded from community sport. We can’t wait to get started.”

Brendan Street, Head of Charity, from Nuffield Health adds: “We are so excited to partner with Access Sport to improve health inequalities, sporting provision, employability skills, and social mobility in Greater Manchester. We are committed to building a healthier nation, and that starts with delivering meaningful change to individuals and local neighbourhoods. Together with Access Sport, we aim to empower and support the communities we are both part of.”

Paul Lee OBE, Access Sport Trustee and Chair of the Access Sport Greater Manchester Steering Group, said: “This is an extremely important opportunity for Access Sport and Nuffield Health to help even more young people. The bringing together of the experience and expertise of these two organisations - both acknowledged as leaders in their field - will significantly improve the physical and mental wellbeing of young people whose lives have been made significantly more difficult in recent times. This is an ambitious project, and I believe it is truly worthwhile.” 

To deliver on the ambitious goals of the partnership, three new full-time posts will join the Access Sport Manchester team to enhance sporting opportunities, increase participation and engage underrepresented young people in our most underserved communities. The new roles are: East Manchester Development Manager, Young Leaders Academy Manager, Cycling Delivery Lead. To find out more about these roles and how to apply, the job packs can be downloaded here:  https://www.accesssport.org.uk/join-the-team.

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