Activity equipment packs helping disadvantaged families feel the benefit of moving more

Here at Leap we’re working with our partners to coordinate the distribution of 800 ‘Boredom Buster’ activity equipment packs to disadvantaged children across the county to help get them moving. Working with a variety of local partners the packs will be provided free of charge to young people who will benefit most.

Boredom Buster Pack containing sports equipment

Children are among those hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic and many have had limited or no access to sport or physical activity opportunities during lockdown, in turn negatively affecting their physical and mental health.

A survey commissioned by Sport England has been using regular surveys to track activity levels during lockdown. The research shows that only 19% were meeting the Chief Medical Officer’s guidelines and doing an hour of activity each day.

Additionally, the Childwise’s omnibus survey highlighted that lockdown has resulted in familiar inequalities with parents / carers reporting that children from less affluent families are more likely to have done no physical activity (13%) compared to those from more affluent backgrounds (6%).

The ‘Boredom Buster’ equipment packs include items such as foam balls, bean bags, hula hoops, paddle bats and a frizbee and will be accompanied by a set of activity cards, giving fun, easy to try ideas on how to use the equipment to get active.

Sue Imbriano, Chair of the Leap Board commented,

“The outbreak of Coronavirus (Covid-19) has been an experience shared by all but impacting us very differently. We know the pandemic has resulted in significant numbers of young people missing out on PE and doing less physical activity.”

“We also know that children from deprived backgrounds are doing even less activity. By providing simple, easy to use equipment and fun activity ideas, the Boredom Buster packs remove at least one barrier for the young people of Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes to be active over the Summer holidays. Support from our partners has been vital in enabling us to distribute 800 of these packs to disadvantaged young people.”

Muhsin Raquib, Leap team member helps pack the bags

Muhsin Raquib, Leap team member helps pack the bags

Leap has been joined in funding the packs by partner organisations the Clare Foundation, Latimer Hope Trust, the Rothschild Foundation and the Milton Keynes European City of Sport (ECoS) programme. The support of these partners has enabled 400 packs to be distributed across Milton Keynes and a further 400 across wider Buckinghamshire.

Mike Clare Founder and Chairman, The Clare Foundation added,

“It is terrific that we are working together and are able to collaborate with our key partners in the County to promote greater opportunities for young people in Buckinghamshire to be physically active over the Summer season; The Trustees and I are delighted that this partnership between ourselves, Heart of Bucks, Latimer Hope Trust and the Rothschild Foundation has helped Leap support a key number of families who have been impacted by the Coronavirus.”

 

In Milton Keynes the packs have been put together and distributed by MK Council and MK College and are now being distributed through the network of family centres and support workers who are helping to identify the young people who will benefit most.

Vicki Clarke, Sports Development Manager at MK Council commented:

“One of the main aims of the European City of Sport programme is to create stronger connections between partners; to engage new audiences, and collectively create a positive impact on people’s lives, through physical activity. The Boredom Busters Activity Pack project is a shining example of how organisations coming together to support one another can make positive things happen quickly, efficiently and accurately. Thank you to Leap, MK College and our various MK Council teams for your support.”

Leap team member Wendy Couzin, packing boxes ready for distribution.

Leap team member Wendy Couzin, packing boxes ready for distribution.

South of the county, local charity Restore Hope have supported the project by putting the packs together and helping distribute through their community connections, alongside Buckinghamshire Council who as in Milton Keynes will be facilitating the distribution of packs through the family centres.

For more information contact Rhiannon Smith rhsmith@leapwithus.org.uk