VOLUNTARY groups in Dorset who use sport to inspire young people to improve their lives can apply for grants of over £2,000 from a new fund designed to help them bounce back from the pandemic.

Made By Sport, a charity which raises awareness of the power of sport across the UK, has teamed up with Dorset Community Foundation to offer grants of £2,021 to grass roots clubs and groups across the county.

It is hoped the grants will help these clubs to continue to help youngsters to develop their life skills, improve their job prospects or reduce anti-social behaviour and crime.

Grant Robson, Director of Dorset Community Foundation, which is administering the grants on behalf of Made By Sport, said: “The key to the fund is that it supports clubs and organisations intentionally using community sport provision to deliver wider social outcomes, not those which focus on developing and widening opportunities to participate.”

Groups eligible for the fund must be able to demonstrate that Covid-19 has adversely affected them, either operationally or financially and that they need funding to save, resume or adapt their activity.

Priority will be given to groups who are working in disadvantaged communities.

Grants are unrestricted and can be spent on any ongoing costs or items as long as they relate directly to supporting young people.

Examples include staff, kit and equipment, volunteer expenses, monitoring, transport or small capital projects such as changing rooms, resurfacing a play area or IT.

They can also be used towards match funding or leverage for a larger programme.

Mr Robson added: “We are delighted to be working with Made By Sport on this funding because we know that sport is such a powerful tool for encouraging and communicating with young people.”

Made By Sport says that every pound invested in sport and recreation brings a £4.34 return on savings in money spent on crime, truancy and ill health.

“Physically active young people show seven times better levels of teamwork, six times better levels of resilience and five times better communication skills,” said chairman Justin King.

He added: “Physically active children have a 25 per cent decreased risk of anxiety and mild depression is 52 per cent lower in active people.”

To find out more about the application criteria and eligibility, or to apply for funding, go to dorsetcommunityfoundation.org/funds. Discover more about Made By Sport at madebysport.com.