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Diversity and inclusion

Find out how we work with and support new and existing partners to make physical activity and sport more inclusive across Sussex.

To tackle the stubborn levels of inactivity in the county and make an impact on those who are less active, understanding the needs of less active people has never been greater.

We work with and support new and existing partners in understanding this need, to ultimately work to achieve our strategic vision of driving physical activity transformation in Sussex, which sees more people active and healthier communities.

We are particularly focused to drive improved access to opportunities for those most at risk of inactivity in Sussex, especially older people, those with disabilities and long-term conditions, those who live in areas of high deprivation and young people (particularly the 14-19 age group).

To support this focus we have taken a place-based approach to gather more insight about the needs of the community in Sussex.

We also understand the importance of collaboration and providing a space for partners to share ideas and best practice.

What do we mean by inclusive?

The term ‘inclusive’ is often associated with disability. We use it more broadly to mean an activity that anyone can take part in regardless of disability, gender, race, income or skill level etc.

Funding to reduce inequalities

Sport England’s Together Fund (previously the Tackling Inequalities Fund) was created in June 2020 to reduce the inequalities in activity levels between different groups in society, with a specific focus on:

  • Lower socio-economic groups
  • Ethnically diverse communities
  • Disabled people
  • People with long-term health conditions.

Between 2020 and 2023 Active Sussex distributed £618,344 to local partners who were most effective in supporting people and communities from each priority group to be active.

Through the Together Fund, Active Sussex has developed new relationships and collaborated with partners it hadn’t previously worked with to increase physical activity for those most in need.

Active Sussex has been able to fund traditional and non-traditional sport and physical activity providers to ensure those individuals and communities within the four priority groups were reached.

Active Sussex has since offered further support around workforce, safeguarding, funding and governance to ensure the projects and organisations remain sustainable and are able to offer the appropriate level of support based on the needs of the communities they support.

You can read more about Active Sussex’s approach and who was funded in the interim report on phases 1 and 2 published in December 2020, and a report on phases 1-3 published in December 2021.

Tackling inequalities in Sussex: VYD CIC

Here is the story of VYD CIC who used the Together Fund/Tackling Inequalities Fund, provided by Sport England and distributed by Active Sussex, to impact those living in a lower socio-economic area.

Tackling inequalities in Sussex: Crawley Eagles Cricket Club

Here is the story of one organisation who used money from the Together Fund/Tackling Inequalities Fund to impact those living in a lower socio-economic area, specifically targeting women and girls from the South Asian community in Crawley.

Diversity and Inclusion news

Equality and diversity at Active Sussex

Here you can read the Active Sussex equality policy, how we strive for diversity on ther Active Sussex board, and how we are working hard to tackle racism and ensure equality for all.

Equality and Diversity

Gemma Finlay-Gray

Strategic Relationship Manager

Gemma is the organisation's Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) lead, with responsibility for relationship management of key strategic stakeholders in relation to EDI, to support equal access and quality opportunities to physical activity in Sussex. She oversees the Sussex Disability Sports Network and the This Girl Can Sussex Network. In addition she is the Lead Adult Safeguarding Officer, Deputy CYP Safeguarding Officer and will have oversight of the Sport Welfare Officer project in Sussex

Ross Joannides

Strategic Relationship Manager

Ross is responsible for working with key strategic partners to address inactivity across Sussex with a focus on healthy ageing and supporting those with long-term health conditions. He also operates as the strategic lead for Brighton & Hove and oversees the Active Sussex Network, Active Sussex Conference and Sussex Physical Activity and Sports Awards.

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