Ardal and StreetGames Partnership Delivering Sustainable Community Impact

Steve Robinson

‘Getting young people across South Wales more physically active, upskilling members of the community in mental health and wellbeing, managing challenging behaviour training, helping young people grow in confidence and deliver impactful solutions for their communities,’ these are just some of the ways Ardal, in partnership with the charity, StreetGames, has been supporting communities across South Wales as part of its social value commitments.

In line with its passion to help achieve the aims and objectives of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015, Ardal, via its SEWSCAP and SEWH frameworks, has worked closely with StreetGames over the last four years to design and fund community solutions that leave a lasting, sustainable impact.

StreetGames’ mission is to transform the lives of young people living in low-income, underserved communities through sport and physical activity, and it does this in South Wales by working with a network of over 200 Local Trusted Organisations (LTOs) from those communities, ensuring the right support is delivered to directly respond to specific community needs.

So, thanks to Ardal and its frameworks, what has that support looked like?

In January 2021, SEWSCAP contributed £5,000 to StreetGames’ ‘Give to Play’ match funding initiative, which enabled sports activity packs (SAPs) to be created and distributed locally across Wales.

These SAPs were created to help families living in areas of poverty across Wales to get active at home, whilst COVID-19 restrictions prevented them from accessing organised sport and physical activity locally.

In total, 22 organisations were awarded funding which had been matched by StreetGames, resulting in 1,326 families, across 12 local authorities receiving sports packs.

An example of this was the Gellideg Foundation Group in Merthyr; Supporting over 50 families, the Gellideg Foundation group utilised the funding to start a sports equipment library – allowing young people to borrow equipment for a set period. This proved incredibly successful and led to challenges being set for young people as well as competitions between families on the estate.

In 2021, working with 6 Locally Trusted Organisations in South Wales, funding was provided by SEWSCAP to enable regular Doorstep Sports provision to take place, and upskill coaches and volunteers around Mental Health and Wellbeing, and Managing Challenging Behaviour. This resulted in:

  • Over 200 young people accessing the Doorstep Sport Provision, which has been sustained and remains ongoing today
  • Over 90 learners accessing the online training
  • 93% of learners said they learnt something new they can put into practice

Of particular importance to StreetGames is its ‘Us Girls’ initiative, designed to get women and girls more physically active.

Poverty has a huge impact on the levels of sports participation. Only approximately 35% of young people living in the most deprived areas are “hooked on sport”, Sport Wales’ measure of those that play sport three times a week. For girls, the problem is more acute. The Us Girls initiative is an ambitious and bold programme to address the barriers that prevent disadvantaged girls and young women from playing more sports.

Thanks to funding support from Ardal’s SEWSCAP and SEWH frameworks, StreetGames, working closely with five Locally Trusted Organisations, recruited, upskilled, and supported 30 young community leaders to become ‘peer researchers’.

These ‘peer researchers’ worked hard locally to research, design and pitch their ideas and business plans to help young women and girls be more active in their communities, and these business plans were pitched to a panel of experts, to be awarded their share of £80,000.

The teams – who were drawn from LTOs from across Wales – took part in a new ‘Dragon’s Den’ style pitch developed by StreetGames. The teams were expected to conduct peer research in their communities about what an attractive sport/physical activity offer looks like to girls and young women and to create a business plan proposing how to create and deliver a suitable project. All of the teams’ proposals had to meet the same goal – working to increase participation in sport and physical activity amongst women and girls.

The impact of this funding has been felt across the South Wales region:

  • In Bridgend, £19,000 was awarded to provide fortnightly sessions for girls to learn to dance and cheerlead. This resulted in the group entering their first cheerleading festival at the end of 2022
  • In Caerphilly, £11,000 was awarded to provide weekly multi-sports sessions that enable local girls to try a range of new activities and taster sessions to help inform what comes next
  • In Blaenau Gwent, £16,000 was awarded to provide transport for local girls to access existing provisions that were out of reach. These sessions are participant-led and change each week, and have linked with the local health board to add a wellbeing element at the participant’s request
  • In Powys, £15,000 was awarded to provide female-only sport sessions, kit, clothing, and food at the sessions, including boxing, swimming and leadership qualification opportunities
  • In Merthyr Tydfil, £17,000 was awarded to transform a space in their local youth club into a gym/studio space to provide girls-only fitness sessions. Some of the participants are now training to be fitness instructors with a view of earning an income from this new purpose-built space.

Throughout 2023, StreetGames has worked with a further 5 groups of young people from Southeast Wales to upskill them to become peer researchers.

Once again, these brilliant young people worked tirelessly in their communities, researching, planning, and pitching their ideas to a panel of business leaders to bring their vision to life.

In total, an additional £76,000 was invested by SEWSCAP into Doorstep Sport across South Wales, and these projects, in partnership with community groups, are now well underway and include the following:

  • Aneurin Leisure – £15,846.96 to run quarterly multi-sport festivals to introduce children and young people to new sports, and provide transport for those who need it to get there.
  • County in the Community – £14,158.72 to expand their sessions in Ringland and Barrackswood to include sports outside of football for young people to try, and to fund food/refreshments for those attending.
  • MonLife – £10,065.20 to deliver three new sessions a week to young people at Caldicot Leisure Centre, plus an additional session for the special resource centre at Caldicot School.
  • VGA Caerphilly – £12,382.00 to set up a community gymnastics session in Newbridge and a youth club session in Crumlin.
  • Grange Youth Forum – £11,000 to create a female-only sports session so that young women and girls from Grangetown have a safe, supportive, and inclusive environment to enjoy physical activity with their friends.
  • VGA Merthyr – £12,552.84 to develop new sports and physical opportunities for boys and girls in Merthyr Tydfil, with day trips built in as incentives every 4 weeks.

Collaborative frameworks

Our frameworks are used on a regional and national basis to deliver buildings and highways construction projects, and to provide technical and professional services.

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The South East & Mid Wales Collaborative Civil Engineering and Highways Construction Framework.

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The South East Wales Technical and Professional Services framework.

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The South East & Mid Wales Collaborative Construction Framework.

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