Grantham sports charity goes above and beyond to promote physical and mental well-being in children
A Grantham sports-based charity continued to adapt to serve local schools and promote physical and mental well-being in young people.
Inspire+ won in the Business Innovation category at the Grantham Journal Business Awards this year.
Despite the difficulties of the pandemic, the team at Inspire+ excelled in delivering virtual lessons that championed good mental and physical health.
The charity also introduced Move and Food clubs to Grantham, which provided provisions during the school holidays for children from deprived backgrounds to receive a fresh, hot, healthy meal each day and an activity club to attend.
Chris Graves, operations manager at Inspire+ explained what winning the award meant to the team and outlined the changes made by the charity over the last year.
How did it feel to win the award after another difficult year?
A fantastic feeling to receive recognition from business professionals. As a charity, we of course have to run as a business, but first and foremost ensure we support our schools and the local community. Everyone adapted during the Covid pandemic, so to receive recognition of our innovation from business experts is very special.
Why do you think you stood out to the judges?
Every finalist at the business awards was a worthy winner and very hard to separate. Hopefully, the fact our innovations have developed the services we offer and we continue to do so post-Covid.
Tell us a bit about what you guys do?
Everything we do is first and foremost to benefit the lives of young people. We deliver apprenticeship programmes for young people considering a career in school teaching or sports coaching. We have a fantastic ‘army’ of 400 secondary school volunteers who help to run primary festivals and support local events.
We provided services to schools supporting the health, physical activity and wellbeing of young people and school staff. We also run community clubs, including free ‘move & food’ clubs in the half-terms for children from deprived backgrounds to allow them to attend a daily club fun of fun and games with a freshly prepared, hot meal each day.
What changes have you made over the last year?
We have been able to turn all our services virtual when required by either government requirements or at schools requests.
This has allowed schools, children and families to continue to access our programmes supporting their health and wellbeing. New digital ways of working have allowed an increase in capacity without the quality of our provision being lost.
What achievements/projects have you had over the last year?
The launch of our move & food project to support vulnerable families in the school holidays. These are now running in Grantham, Stamford, Spalding and Long Sutton.
We have 98 apprentices on programme, based in schools, supporting the implementation of their schools PE curriculum. Last year’s Mini Olympics was the 2nd virtual event and saw all year groups in our schools taking part. Over 60 watch hours of the challenge videos took place as everyone got involved.
After keeping in touch with our sports leadership academy during lockdown to support their own wellbeing, we were able to relaunch in September to a new cohort of year 9 & year 10 students.
What are your plans for the coming year?
To expand our community move & food clubs to provide the free of charge service to as many families as possible across our area. To expand the apprenticeships on offer to include a Level 2, Level 3 and Level 4 qualification along with an active wrap around care qualification to support staff delivering out of hours childcare.
How have your staff/team risen to the challenges?
The Inspire+ team have been fantastic. When guidelines were changed or requirements from schools, no matter how last minute, they stepped up to ensure the needs were met for the benefit of young people. We do not have an IT expert on the team but everybody stepped out of their comfort zones to deliver virtually and make the sessions as fun and as interactive as possible.
Of course the work we do with our schools could not be realised without the support and dedication of the school staff to allow their children to access the initiatives and get the highest impact out of them.