Starting Life Well Fund

Starting Life Well Fund

The Starting Life Well Fund is a programme funded by Sport England to support community sports clubs and non-sporting community organisations to deliver sport and physical activity sessions to young people.

This fund will be available to organisations to provide regular physical activity opportunities for inactive young people in a fun and accessible way, based on individual and community needs. Alongside this, these projects will also tackle wider social outcomes such as opportunities for people living with disabilities and diverse communities as well as access to employment, reducing mental illness, social isolation, and criminality.

All young people aged 5-18 can benefit from the fund but strong applications contributing to opportunities in areas of deprivation will take priority.

There are three different funds to apply for;

Small Fund- up to £750 to support sports and physical activity programmes needing short-term support

Medium Fund- up to £4,000 to support new, long term programmes in the community

Large Fund- up to £10,000 to support larger scale programmes or multiple programmes across Berkshire. This fund is only open to pan-Berkshire organisations.

If you are enthusiastic about getting Berkshire's young people active, then please complete the Expression of Interest Form linked below.

If you have any questions or would like to speak to one of the Children and Young People's team then please email:

Facts and Figures

Over the last 8 years our funding has supported over 3000 young people across Berkshire to become physically active. Across our six local authorities we have clubs spanning across 24 different sports including non-traditional activities such as wheelchair rugby, dance and angling.

Many of these young people have met new friends, learnt new skills and increased their mental wellbeing.

Sports clubs like ours as much as we want to reach out and be inclusive of all young people, sometimes barriers like cost can be the reason we just can't reach out to them and provide opportunities they deserve. The impact of funding for these groups is absolutely crucial as it allows coaches to set sessions up which are accessible and affordable without the worry and barrier of cost. Sport and activity is an amazing tool for both physical and mental wellness and through funds that help clubs to provide these sessions it means there truly is an opportunity for all to be active.

Steph Johnson (Director of Community Programmes, Reading Rockets Basketball Club)

Who can access the fund?

To apply for this funding, you must be:

- A school, charity, non-for-profit company, local authority or CIC

- Must have been delivering for at least 1 full year

- Have access to and partnerships with qualified deliverers or those with willingness to be qualified.

- Must have the correct safeguarding and first aid policies and procedures in place or be prepared to meet the minimum requirement before delivery commences.

You do not need to be a sport or physical activity provider, but you must deliver a sport or physical activity programme.

Who does the Starting Life Well Fund want to target?

New applications must reach the minimum requirements set out below. This is due to their underrepresentation and reduced opportunities to become physically active in Berkshire.

Young people must be 5-18 years old that are currently inactive. Applications working with older young people are advantageous.

Applications much reach one of the below audiences:

- Females

- Young people with disabilities

- Young people from Ethnically Diverse Communities

- Young people living in areas of deprivation

- Young people at risk of being criminally exploited or are currently a young offender

- Young people at risk of becoming NEET (not in education, training or employment) or are currently NEET.

Successful applicants will need to offer:

Youth Voice

Speak to young people before completing an application to gain understanding, feedback and support.

Youth Ambassadors

Prepared to support and mentor two young people to sit on GBA's Youth Sport and Physical Activity Committee

Place-based approach

Deliver a programme that meets the need of young people, in their local community, where possible.

Data Capturing

The willingness to use our data capturing portal to share session records and programme evaluation. To upload data on a regular basis and complete case studies when requested.

Collaborative working

Working with partners to support your offer and contribute to the success of the programme. Additional support when working towards wider social outcomes.


Upskilling the local community and young people at every opportunity with the support of our workforce officer. Programmes will be asked to sign up to our workforce offer 'Team Berkshire'.


Projects should have a clear line of sight regarding exit routes and sustainability that does not include continued funding. Partnership working and commitment to a long-term project is important.

Listen to the Starting Life Well Fund webinar recording (27th July 2021), learn more about the fund and get the frequently asked questions answered.

Applying for the Starting Life Well Fund

The application process will be live from 2nd May 2022

Step One: Complete an EOI with details of your programme. Deadline is Friday 27th January 2023

Step Two: If successful, complete a full application form for the fund and go through a series of due diligence checks.

Step Three: If successful, you will be asked to complete a delivery plan, safeguarding checklist and Service Level Agreement


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Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre, Marlow Road, Nr. Marlow, SL7 IRR