The previous 12 months have certainly been unique for the project with the impact of COVID-19. The Suffolk Positive Futures project is designed to bring large groups of young people together under one banner and then use the power of sport as a vehicle for change. When lockdown hit back in March this instantly stopped the project in its tracks and removed the essence of the project, so we needed to adapt quickly. This report will be slightly unique in the fact that we will use it to describe the steps we took and the projects we ran over the lockdown period, how we came out of lockdown and then what was being delivered at the end of March 2021.
The total numbers of young people we managed to engage with obviously decreased over this period but hopefully the report still demonstrates the innovative steps taken by the project and the impact that was still able to be had. As a result, the report format has been changed to better illustrate these areas.
The award of crime and disorder reduction grant came with a set of outputs and outcomes to achieve. This first section lists these outputs and whether they have been achieved. Figures include 8 months of being in lockdown where face to face delivery was not possible resulting in attendance figures being severely affected.
- Generate 13,800 attendances to the project by young people: Project achieved 2530 attendances/contacts for the period of April 2020 to March 2021
- Provide opportunities for 1800 young people to engage in the programme: Project worked with 540 individual young people for the period April 2020 to March 2021
- Provide opportunity for 30 young people not in education or excluded from mainstream school to gain a recognised qualification: 25 young people not in education worked towards a recognised qualification in the period April 2020 to March 2021
- Target and deliver to the most deprived areas of the county: 189 activity sessions were delivered from April 2020 to March 2021 – to areas including Ipswich, Lowestoft, Leiston, Haverhill, Newmarket, Mildenhall & Brandon
- Provide 1500 hours of activity for young people, predominantly in the evening: 334 hours of activity were provided during the period April 2020 to March 2021. Figure doesn’t include all the hours the project enabled young people to complete remotely such as the ‘garden sports skills challenges’, the free equipment delivered to enable young people to keep active etc, so there were many hours not recorded where we supported young people to keep active without the running of face to face activity.
- Encourage at least 17 young people to take up volunteer placements with the project and externally sourced placements: 25 young people have taken up volunteering placements during the period April 2020 to March 2021. Predominantly in an informal volunteer role, supporting the head coach with session delivery and young person engagement, plus basic admin roles, mainly as part of their sports leadership qualification.
- Consult and survey 100 young people per year on the impact the project has had on their lives: 74 survey monkey questionnaires complete during the period of April 2020 to March 2021 (results in report).
- Secure an additional £60k of funding to further support young people in Suffolk: An additional £30k was secured during the period April 2020 to March 2021 for activity, some of which was specifically linked to supporting us through the pandemic such as purchase of PPE. All funding already secured for delivery in 2020-21 that couldn’t be delivered was carried forward to be used to deliver these commitments during 2021/22.