23 Oct 2023

Active Birmingham and Compass Support

Active Birmingham is a fund that aims to tackle inactivity in local communities and engage underrepresented groups, such as people on lower incomes and disabled people.

The project is dedicated to upgrading physical activity facilities and levelling up access to community sport, as well as boosting community connections and activity levels.  Compass Support received funding through the Children and Young People arm of Active Birmingham, and the resulting project work started in May 2023. Click here for more information on Compass Support’s work in the community.

We asked Compass Support about the impact of the Active Birmingham project, the Commonwealth Games Legacy and their plans for the future.

How has the Active Birmingham project supported your community?

The Active Birmingham project has allowed Compass Support to provide during and after school sport sessions for the children of Castle Vale at the local secondary school through the help of delivery from Foundations4thefuture. It has also helped provide the youth group of Castle Vale with the opportunity to try a new sport they may have never had the chance to try before the project. For example, this has been through the sport fun day we were able to put on where there were taster sessions for different sport activities, such as Taekwondo and Dance fit sessions. It has also helped identify the gaps within different local groups and organisations to link them together and support one another, helping to build a community connection for the benefit of the young people and families on Castle Vale. We were also able to connect with Access Sport to link with Castle Vale Stadium and The Community Environmental Trust to provide disability inclusion training to allow for groups to be more inclusive for everyone. They were also able to attend a networking session of ours and speak to local groups and organisation for potential support.

What does CW legacy look like to you and your organisation?

The Commonwealth legacy to our organisation has helped bring more physical activities and inspiration to the young people and families of Castle Vale. It has helped to inspire those who had never participated in a sport before to go out and find out more about how they can get involved and be active. This leads to more movement throughout the estate but also connect families together and bond through the joy of learning a new sport together as it is not just children but also adults who have joined new groups to keep active. With this being said, the people who have taken up a new sport or activities have then gone on to inspire their friends and other members of their families to take up a new sport too, creating a welcoming and active community for those who had never been active before.

Do you have any key data or figures around the project: i.e. number of providers, young people involved?

Through the Active Birmingham project, we have been able to connect with 11 different providers and organisations that have been able to identify gaps. We have been able to link them together to create a community network of support for the Castle Vale Area to help bridge the gaps identified and provide more sport for the children.

Is there a key highlight or impact that has taken place during the Active Birmingham project?

A key highlight would be during the sport fun day we put on at The Sanctuary. We had The Active Wellbeing Society attend the day from the connection we had made through Sport Birmingham, and it allowed for people on Castle Vale to bring their bikes to the fun day and get them serviced and fixed for free. This meant people had ridden their bikes to the fun day, being healthier and more active and then stayed and took part in the different sport activities we had provided which was great to see. Another highlight would be the children from the Compass Support Youth group enjoying the kayaking and bell boating sessions with the Community Environmental Trust and expressing they wanted to do it again which allowed us to book more sessions for the upcoming half term.

How do you plan to keep your youth provider network going post 2023?

We plan to keep our youth provider network more active post 2023 by inviting the groups and organisations we have linked and connected with to our monthly networking sessions Compass Support held at our community hub. We will also interact and support the network on social media by promoting and sharing any activities they may be providing so that the other groups can still see what is happening. This will also allow for the people of Castle Vale to be aware of the groups and what is available so that the connections are not broke and we are still supporting one another.