Across Greater Manchester (GM) there is a network of people, places and organisations enabling people to live active lives; from sport clubs and community organisations to informal social groups.

They’re the ones on the ground who provide opportunities to participate in competitive or social sport and physical activity. They’re places where many people have taken their formative steps into a lifetime habit of being active.

These places are both sporting and community hubs; the meet-up points for a walk and the brews and loos - the places where friendships are formed.

There are also the organisations on the edge of our communities who support them to thrive; the Community Voluntary Support Organisations, Local Authorities, National Governing Bodies and Charities with capacity and appetite who support our grassroots communities to keep people connected.

They are ready to step in and support the pressing needs of health inequality, funding, facility development, recruitment and development of current and future leaders, whilst also providing advice and guidance on how to create inviting and welcoming places for a wider audience of people to enjoy.

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In GM there are 17,494 voluntary organisations, community groups and social enterprises making a difference in Greater Manchester, 39% of which enable physical activity, sport and leisure in communities (State of the sector, p.27).

We know that no two places are the same, but they have all faced challenges arising from the Covid-19 pandemic, which is why it’s more important than ever to maintain connectivity across the system to help people participate in active lives.

Connectivity is key, as is ensuring that the organisations on the edge of our communities are collaborating and targeting where the need is greatest. This starts with engaging with those communities and community gatekeepers to find out what support is needed to get people active in their communities.

This could look like community wide engagement over a series of issues in a place, or it could look like neighbourhood teams working closely with local people. It could look like people from the health and social care network engaging with sports clubs to tackle gambling harm. Participation looks like many things and the goal is to ensure that the work of our clubs and organisations reaches the communities that need it most.

Resources and support

For clubs, groups and organisations seeking support to engage and connect with their community we've pulled together a variety of links below. The information on each organisation is taken from their website.

Resources to support moving more

A variety of resources to support people to move more in different ways

  • Resources to facilitate walking in your community can be found here. 
  • Resources to support people to move more at work can be found here. 
  • Support for families to keep their young children moving can be found here. 
  • Information and guidance to support older adults can be found here.

Inclusion, Diversity and Accessibility Support

Ensuring opportunities are provided for everyone in our communities to move more is vitally important. There are various resources and organisations to help you learn the best ways to engage people in sport and physical activity opportunities

  • Activity Alliance – The leading voice for disabled people in sport and activity.
  • Autism Training Resources - a series of online training resources and booklets to increase awareness, and understanding of autism and enable frontline staff to better recognise and respond more effectively to the needs of adults with autism.
  • Dance Syndrome - We provide high quality inclusive dance leadership, participation, performance and training opportunities for both learning disabled and non-disabled individuals and our company of dancers. All dance activity is led and informed by people with learning disabilities.
  • Disability Awareness Resources - free resources to help make you or your organisation more accessible and inclusive for your disabled employees and customers.
  • Gendered Intelligence - a registered charity that works to increase understandings of gender diversity and improve the lives of trans people.
  • Guidance for Transgender Inclusion in Domestic Sport - Developed by the Sports Councils’ Equality Group (SCEG), made up of representatives from each of the four Sports Councils in the UK including Sport England, nine resources have been released to support the sector to transgender inclusion.
  • Club Matters LGBT+ Inclusivity Page - Developed with input from Pride Sports and Stonewall, the page helps clubs and groups understand the role they can play in helping to address the  challenges faced by LGBT+ people and what they can do to being more inclusive. 
  • Pride in Our Workforce Resources - A two part resource including an introductory guide, of tips and recommendations, and a set of scenario slides for you to work through on your own or with your team or colleagues.
  • GMCVO Toolkits - Visit GMVCO for a list of toolkits for tackling inequality, engaging with young people and other support, including:  
  • Sporting Equals - They exist to promote ethnic diversity across sport and physical activity by raising awareness, empowering individuals and communities, and supporting policy-makers and delivery bodies.
  • Coaching for All Toolkit: The Coaching For All Toolkit has been designed to support aspiring coaches from ethnically diverse backgrounds with knowledge, information and guidance to develop your role as a coach. It also contains key tips on getting into coaching! 
  • Connecting BAME Social Entrepreneurs: a Greater Manchester (GM) level programme aimed at connecting Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME*) social entrepreneurs to opportunities for development and growth.
  • Greater Manchester BAME Network - Its aim is to provide networking opportunities and better access to knowledge, information and support for Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME*) and refugee VCSE sector organisations across Greater Manchester.
  • Club Matters Inclusion Workshops – Everybody should feel comfortable to take part in sport and physical activity in whatever way works for them, including in a club or group setting. There are workshops to support Creating an Inclusive Culture & Understanding Different Audiences.
  • Working With Underserved Communities - Designed in collaboration with StreetGame, through this free module, you will explore some of the barriers and motivations to engaging with people from 'underserved communities'. You'll take away practical ideas to apply to your setting. The module is 45 minutes long, with resources and links to support your learning.
  • Women in Sport - Their purpose is to give every woman and girl the opportunity to take part in sport and inspire her to do so.
  • Flourish – Ecosystem support for Women - Flourish Together provide an ecosystem of support for women and seek to work with people who share our values, are experts by experience, strong advocates for social change and want to form part of our nurturing environment
  • Women Who Coach Toolkit: Learn from empowering female role models and leading experts and be inspired to take that first step on your rewarding journey.
  • Engaging youth voice - A range of resources to support the engagement of children and young people in the development of physical activity opportunities for them.

Local Support:

Local councils and leisure trusts

Local councils and leisure trusts will have different support offers for sport and activity

Local voluntary support organisations

Local voluntary support organisations can help with development, volunteering, funding, policy, insight and influence

Sport Specific Support

Different sports will require different types of support to engage with their local communities. There are a range of organisations who can support with this.

  • National Governing Bodies will be able to provide support – for a full list, see here
  • Visit Club Matters for Support with a range of things including welfare and safeguarding; future planning; facility development; volunteering; financial management; governance and more.
  • Sported - Helping community groups survive, to help young people thrive
  • UK Coaching Coach Learning Framework - made up of nine themes that can be used as a framework to help all levels of coaches learn how to deliver great coaching experiences for all, regardless of the sport or physical activity that you coach in.
  • The Black Swimming Association - People of African, Caribbean and Asian heritage have historically been precluded from aquatics. The barriers communities face are often entrenched and complex, which has resulted in a lack of education in water safety and drowning prevention. The BSA aims to challenge the negative stigmas, narratives and relationships that people from African, Caribbean and Asian communities have with the water.

Support for Volunteering

There are many organisations, both locally and nationally that can support with volunteering.  The voluntary support organisations listed above can support your local needs but for other resources, try Visiting NCVO’s Website. NCVO champion the voluntary sector by connecting, representing and supporting voluntary organisations like clubs, community groups and charities. 

  • Sport and Recreation Volunteering Portal - join their network and promote your volunteer opportunities 
  • Reach Volunteering Portal - Reach Volunteering is the leading skills-based volunteering charity and the UK’s single biggest source of trustees for the voluntary sector. 
  • Vinspired Volunteer Portal - a UK-wide youth volunteering programme that provides young people aged 14-30 with access to thousands of opportunities with non-profit organisations and charities so that they can broaden their experience and make a positive difference by taking action to help others.
  • Sport England's Volunteering Research Webpage - The latest research and insights into sport and activity volunteering. Including reports into: diversity and inclusion, active lives data, the benefits of volunteering, motivations of volunteers, club volunteering,  major events, innovations, and coaching. 
  • Get Out Get Active Volunteer Management Toolkit - Everyone should have the ability to access volunteering opportunities. Created in partnership with Volunteering Matters, the information in the Get Out Get Active (GOGA) Volunteer Management Toolkit provides organisations with a step-by-step guide to building an inclusive volunteer programme. 
  • England Football Volunteering Webpage - If you're a football club, visit England Football for bespoke training and volunteering support.

Support for Safeguarding and Mental Health

The local organisations listed above can support your safeguarding needs, but for further support and resources, try visiting:

Volunteers and Coaches play a key role in supporting communities to improve their mental health and many of them report being underprepared, lack sufficient confidence and skills to act, and require additional training to support the mental health. Take a look at the offers below to tackle some of these challanges:

  • Head to the Local Support Tab above and connect with your local VCSE organisation, local authority or leisure team to find out use the support and networks are in your area
  • Mind's Mental health awareness for sport and physical activity + eLearning - this online course will give you the knowledge, skills and confidence to better understand and support people living with mental health problems, and create a positive environment that ensures they enjoy the benefits of being active and keep coming back for more.
  • Moving for Mental Health Report from Mind and Sport for Development Coalition Report - Produced to help inform Government policy and promote the benefits of community-based physical activity for everyone and to support and inspire public bodies, funders, commissioners and policy makers as well as community-based programme providers aiming to enhance the impact of movement for mental health.
  • Mind Mental Health and Physical Activity Toolkit - to increase the number of sport, physical activity and mental health providers who are equipped with the knowledge and skills to support and engage people experiencing mental health problems in physical activity.
  • Duty to Care Toolkit and Digital Badge - This toolkit will equip coaches with the knowledge and skills to provide great coaching experiences to others, as well as support coaches to begin to better look after themselves.