Organisations across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough are celebrating after being awarded £325,000 of National Lottery funding from Sport England to help low income families get active with their children.
Four out of five primary school children do not get the recommended amount of daily exercise of 60 minutes a day, and are missing out on the benefits it brings. Children from low income families are most likely to do very little physical activity.
Active Families is a project run by Cambridgeshire County Council in partnership with Peterborough City Council, Fenland District Council, Cambridge City Council, Living Sports and Vivacity Culture and Leisure.
It is one of the first projects to receive investment from a £40 million National Lottery funding pot that Sport England has dedicated to helping families get active together because parents and close family members can have a big impact on children’s experiences.
The fund is a key part of Sport England’s focus on helping young people have an enjoyable experience of sport and physical activity so they develop a positive attitude towards being active at an early age and continue being active in later life.
Active Families will first focus on Peterborough, Fenland and Cambridge City, to deliver free and fun physical activities for children and families most in need. Free school term drop-in sessions, holiday roadshows and virtual activities such as a free treasure hunt app will be available at the school gate, community centres and nearby greenspaces.
Children and their carers will be encouraged to maintain their participation with a reward scheme. An online directory of free family play and physical activity opportunities will also be developed to help those families stay active.
Councillor Diane Lamb, Peterborough City Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health, said: "This is fantastic news and I'm sure that the project is going to make a positive difference across Peterborough. We are committed to creating healthy communities and fully support any initiative aimed at helping children to get more active.”
Peterborough MP Fiona Onasanya said: “The Lottery funding of £325,000 from Sport England for low income families is a welcome investment to help those families get active with their children.
“I sincerely hope that this investment will have a beneficial impact for those 4 out of 5 primary school children who do not get the recommended daily exercise of 60 minutes a day. Active Families’ focus on Peterborough is welcomed as they play and indeed are a key part in delivering free and fun physical activities”.
Jon Marsden, Vivacity's Director of Sport and Healthy Living, said: "Vivacity is delighted to be working with our partners to help the children and families of Peterborough become more active. With dedicated resource, we're looking forward to strengthening and elevating our core offering, to help give our children the best possible start in life."
Sport England's Director of Children and Young People Jayne Molyneux said: “It’s not right that four in five children don’t get enough exercise and are missing out on the health benefits it brings. Just by seeing their parents being active, children can be inspired to do the same, and if they have an enjoyable experience they’re far more likely to continue as an adult.
“Parents have many demands on their time, and often lack the confidence to get active with their children. That’s why Sport England is working hard to make getting active with your children an easy choice.”