Go! London awards more than £2 million to improve young Londoners’ lives through sport and physical activity

  • More than £2 million awarded in principle to 44 sport and physical activity projects in 28 boroughs across the capital
  • First funding announcement from Go! London – a £19.5 million partnership changing the lives of young Londoners through physical activity
  • Go London is funded by the Mayor of London, Sport England and London Marathon Foundation, in partnership with London Sport and London Marathon Events
  • Applications now open for the second round of Foundation grants

Go London, the biggest community sport fund in the capital, has today (11 October) announced more than £2 million has been awarded in principle to 44 sport and physical activity projects that will transform the lives of thousands of young Londoners.

There is an urgent need to invest in London’s grassroots sport and physical activity sector. Less than half of young Londoners are meeting the recommended levels of activity (London Sport’s 2022 Children & Young People Activity Levels Report), and the ongoing cost-of-living crisis continues to negatively affect the physical and mental wellbeing of young people.

Go! London aims to address this critical need, with the first grants of £2 million set to deliver activities across 28 London Boroughs, and support thousands of disadvantaged young Londoners to fulfil their potential by improving their physical and mental wellbeing, safety, employability and connections to their communities.

The projects awarded funding in principle will support a range of children and young people aged four to 24, including those from low-income families, who are not in education, employment or training, with physical or learning disabilities, from ethnically diverse communities and who are experiencing homelessness.

This is the first funding announcement from Go! London, funded by the Mayor of London, Sport England and London Marathon Foundation, in partnership with London Sport and London Marathon Events.

Dr Debbie Weekes-Bernard, Deputy Mayor for Communities and Social Justice, said: “I’m delighted that the Mayor’s investment is supporting Go! London to fund sports projects for young Londoners

across the capital. Sport has the power to unite communities, inspire confidence and positively impact physical and mental wellbeing, and it is crucial that we do all we can to tackle any barriers preventing young people from taking part. By working in collaboration with partners to make sport more accessible, we can build a better, fairer, more equitable city for all Londoners.”

The £2 million funding comprises both Foundation grants and Evolution grants. Foundation grants support groups and organisations to continue delivering their vital work, and includes Hackney Laces Community Club, to empower more girls to play football for years to come, and Carers Lewisham, to improve the physical and mental wellbeing of Young Carers through holiday club activities and monthly support sessions.

Katee Hui, Hackney Laces Founder, said: “Hackney Laces is grateful to be awarded Go! London funding. The grant will support our organisation to scale and to deepen our impact in the lives of girls and women through football.”

Tim Spilsbury, CEO of Carers Lewisham, said: “This funding means we can continue our holiday club activities – giving young carers a break so they can meet friends, gain new skills and have new experiences. We will support their physical wellbeing through a range of activities such as rock climbing, paddleboarding and football, and mental wellbeing by offering them a safe space to speak to our young carers team.”

Evolution grants focus on developing innovative approaches or scaling up existing projects, and include The Change Foundation’s ‘Young Mums Community Active’ project providing free physical activities and mentoring sessions for young mums in Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham, Lambeth and Southwark.

Simon Pullan, The Change Foundation Consultant, said: “Being a young mother who is still trying to figure out life alongside a young human who is heavily dependent on them can be quite overwhelming. Thanks to Go! London funding, young mums will be able to get balance back to their lives, learn self-love again, and it will show them that they are not alone and there are others out there experiencing the same challenges.”

Go! London is a £19.5 million partnership that will support community sport and physical activity initiatives over the next five years. The second round of Foundation grants has opened today for applications of up to £40,000 for a maximum of two years, for organisations trusted by young Londoners to continue delivering impactful work in physical activity and sport. Further Go! London funding opportunities will be announced soon. To find out more and to apply, visit: https://golondon.org.uk/our-funding-pillars/

Catherine Anderson, London Marathon Foundation’s Executive Director, said: “Our vision at the London Marathon Foundation is Inspiring Activity, and we desperately need to create more opportunities for disadvantaged children and young people across London to lead active and healthy lives.

“Through the range of physical activities and support announced today, Go! London funding will have a lasting impact on the physical, mental and social wellbeing of thousands of children and young people across the capital, and this is only the beginning. We look forward to supporting many more organisations through Go! London – continuing their vital work of changing the lives of young Londoners through physical activity.”

Lisa Dodd-Mayne, Executive Director of Place for Sport England, said: “Spanning 28 boroughs of London, this first tranche of funding support from Go! London is hugely welcome news.

“As part of our Uniting the Movement strategy, Sport England is wholly committed to helping more children and young people feel the physical and mental benefits of being active. Working alongside the Mayor of London, the London Marathon Foundation, London Marathon Events, and London Sport, we’re hugely proud of our involvement in Go! London, and look forward to seeing this collaborative partnership help more grassroots organisations as part of the second round of Foundation grant awards.”