Social integration is about building strong communities where all Londoners can lead interconnected lives and play an active part in their city and the decisions that affect them. It is about how we all live together. Physical activity and sport can enable improved social integration and that’s why Greater London Authority have funded 23 projects to do just that. Find out more about some of these here. The programme is administered by London Sport and involves providing a framework of support, education and guidance to these funded projects.
Toynbee Hall, Tower Hamlets
Working in a diverse borough, Toynbee Hall helps to empower older people across Tower Hamlets to achieve a better quality of life, providing both activities and a robust system of referrals. By using their ‘model for meaningful change,’ work is designed in collaboration with older people to meet their needs and support them to be connected and in charge of the programme. Building on their existing physical activity programme, with this funding from Greater London Authority, Toynbee Hall are able to expand the range of activities they offer, including tai-chi and yoga and health awareness workshops. By targeting older people experiencing social isolation or financial hardship in Tower Hamlets, the work that Toynbee Hall are to carry out this year will significantly improve the lives of these Londoners.
Future Stars, Ealing
Alec Reed Academy in Ealing hosts John Chilton School, a mixed community special school for three to 17 year olds who have moderate to severe learning difficulties. These young people are often marginalised due to their disability, often leading to isolation and very low levels of participation. With this funding, Future Stars will develop an integrated physical activity programme delivered alongside non-disabled young people in basketball and football. These sessions will be multi-sport and geared specifically towards young people with a large variety of disabilities. Activity will also focus on improving mobility, spatial awareness and general wellbeing of these young people. Alongside this, young people will be given the opportunity to develop coaching qualifications in a range of sports, as well as volunteer in the local community. This project hopes to support these young disabled people to be integrated within their community and become more active and healthier.
Middle Eastern Women’s Society, Westminster and Islington
Supporting women aged 19 through to 60 speaking mostly Arabic, Kurdish and Farsi and Bagnoli from Westminster and Islington, the Middle Eastern Women’s Society will run light yoga and pilates. These female-only sessions will also include activities to support personal health and wellbeing issues. This project aims to tackle the perception of the female traditional role and support these women to grow their confidence and independence beyond the family and cultural setting. Similar sessions in the past have shown that women from the same community are more comfortable exercising with groups of women in a similar situation, and especially so when they speak the same language or get support from volunteer interpreters.
The London Together Award celebrates individuals and organisations going above and beyond to build stronger communities in London through physical activity and sport. Does your project build bridges between different groups and communities of Londoners? Have you fostered understanding of integration in London through your activities? Find out more about the criteria for The London Together Award here and enter before 22.00 on Thursday 11 January 2018 to be in with the chance to celebrate your work.