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Volunteers to Get Active Outdoors

Three awards are being made from our Opportunity Fund, using nature to encourage volunteers to get active.

The great outdoors is being used to help people get physically active thanks to an investment of more than £430,000 from our Opportunity Fund.

Three projects are each receiving more than £140,000 of National Lottery funds to help them provide volunteer programmes.

Set up in December 2016, the Opportunity Fund was part of our volunteering strategy and is aimed at people aged 20 and above who are from economically disadvantaged communities.

A total of £3 million was allocated to this and our Potentials Fund, with the first recipients announced a year ago.

These three new projects will each use nature and wildlife to encourage people to be more physically active.

The Cheshire Wildlife Trust’s ‘Go Wild, Get Fit’ programme will see volunteers given the opportunity to take part in a range of conservation activities, while Kent Wildlife Trust’s ‘Down to Earth’ initiative is focused on women aged 20-45 and aims to create a pool of volunteer leaders.

The final programme, ‘Flourish in Nature’ from EDP Drug and Alcohol Services in the south west, will engage and support people in recovery from substance abuse to become volunteer activity leaders and our executive director of sport, Phil Smith, is well aware of the positive impact volunteering can have on an individual.

“When people volunteer in sport and physical activity there’s a dual benefit – volunteers help others in their communities to get active, as well as benefitting themselves,” he said.

“Volunteering can do wonders for job and career prospects, mental health and making friends. 

“That’s why volunteering sits at the heart of our strategy, Towards an Active Nation.

“We’re delighted to be helping these projects enable more volunteers to be the catalysts for change in their neighbourhood.”

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