Third Sector Strategy for Communities and Local Government


Third Sector Strategy for Communities and Local Government

Discussion Paper June 2007

A response from CCPR

CCPR is the representative body for 270 national voluntary sector sport and recreation organisations, including the national governing bodies of sport. CCPR exists to promote the role of sport and recreation in a healthy society, to protect its member organisations from unnecessary regulation and bureaucracy, and to provide high quality services to help its members grow and develop their sport or activity.

The contribution of voluntary sports clubs to communities

There are an estimated 150,000 voluntary sports clubs in the UK, 80 per cent of which have existed for over 30 years, providing a long-standing and tangible contribution to the communities they serve. An estimated 14 per cent of the UK population are members of a sports club and their participation depends on the efforts of some 6.29 million volunteers.


Community sports clubs are therefore major contributors to active citizenship. Moreover a recent statistical study, undertaken on behalf of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, found very strong correlations between membership of sports clubs and higher levels of social trust, higher levels of trust in institutions, well being and life satisfaction. In fact, evidence showed that membership of a sports club had the same impact on individual well being as an increase in income of £3,600 per year.


In addition to the inherent benefits outlined above, sports clubs are also proven vehicles for social interventions. Positive Futures, the sports-based social inclusion programme, managed by Crime Concern on behalf of the Home Office, consists of 124 projects, many of which are either based at, or very closely engaged with, sports clubs. Since the programme began in

2003, more than 110,000 young people have been involved in the various projects. The most recent evaluation of the programme found that in the six months to March 2007, 27,171 young people engaged in projects, 229 enrolled as volunteers, 112 gained employment, 193 returned to school and 1368 gained qualifications and achievements.


The programme has also widened its reach to ensure that it supports all of the five key outcomes for young people identified in Every Child Matters, namely: being healthy; staying safe; enjoying and achieving; making a positive contribution and achieving economic well-being.

This clearly demonstrates that sport can play a key role in assisting the Government to achieve its objectives as expressed in Every Child Matters and the Local Government White

Paper. However if sport is to fulfil its potential to contribute to communities it needs to be recognised by local government as an equal partner with education, health and crime

1 All figures are taken from Nichols, G. (2003)

Citizenship in Action

– Voluntary Sector Sport and


, Sheffield, University of Sheffield.


Delaney, L. and Keaney, E. (2005)

Sport and Social Capital in the United Kingdom: Statistical

Evidence from National and International Survey Data

, London, DCMS.

3 Home Office/Crime Concern (2007)

Positive Futures Review of the Year: You’re Part of It

, London,

Positive Futures.

prevention. The emergence of County Sports Partnerships and Community Sports Networks at a local level provides an excellent opportunity for local policy makers to engage with sport at the planning stage. As yet however, this opportunity is rarely seized. CCPR hopes that

Communiti es and Local Government’s Strategy for the Third Sector, will correct this anomaly so that sport’s contribution to communities can be fully recognised and realised.

Answers to consultation questions

Q1) How effectively do we implement Compact principles?

To date CCPR and its member organisations have had little direct engagement with

Communities and Local Government. As such we are unable to comment on this question.

Q2) In what other ways could we help to improve the effectiveness of engagement with the third sector at the: i) regional and sub-regional levels;

Sport now benefits from a well-established network of County Sports Partnerships (CSPs).

These are independent bodies, governed by volunteer boards, and benefiting from a paid executive. CSPs bring together the various bodies interested in sport within their county, including governing bodies of sport and local authorities, to take a strategic approach to the development of sport within each county in England. As such County Sports Partnerships should be a key point of reference for Communities and Local Government at a sub-regional level.

ii) local level?

Community Sports Networks (CSNs) are now emerging at a local level across England. Some

CSNs such as London Community Sports Network are well-established, and have for some time been successfully supporting broader community developments within their vicinity.

London CSN currently offers a wide range of training opportunities to individuals from disadvantaged communities, enabling them to get the necessary qualifications to volunteer or work in sport. CCPR believes that Local Strategic Partnerships should work with the

Community Sports Network in their vicinity to ensure that the contribution of sport to local objectives is fully realised.

Q3) Would your organisation wish to be considered to become a strategic partner?


Q4) Do you agree with our focus on community anchors?

CCPR agrees that community anchors have a significant contribution to make to building prosperous and cohesive communities. CCPR would however suggest that these should not need to be multi-purpose by definition. Research indicates that 48 per cent of sports clubs own facilities of some description.


Whilst these clubs would consider themselves singlepurpose, in that they are sports organisations, they do make a broader contribution to the community. For instance, many clubs rent out their facilities for parent and toddler groups, dance classes etc, and thereby offer a wider service to the community. CCPR believes that these clubs should also be considered community anchors.


Sports Marketing Surveys (2007)

CCPR Sports Club Survey 2007

, Sports Marketing Surveys.

Q5) Are there good models of regional and sub-regional bodies, local authorities, or LSPs working strategically to support community anchor organisations in conjunction with the local third sector?

As outlined above, sport has developed a robust model of engaging both the voluntary and statutory sector via County Sports Partnerships and Community Sports Networks. Voluntary sports clubs are also key partners in the delivery of the Home Office/Crime Concern Positive

Futures programme, which aims to assist young people at risk of substance misuse and social exclusion. CCPR believes that these are indeed examples of the voluntary and statutory sector combining to support community anchors, although this work has not previously been described as such. CCPR therefore believes that there should be a requirement for Local

Strategic Partnerships to work with County Sports Partnership and Community Sports

Networks to ensure that the contribution of sport to community development is fully realised.

Andrew Hanson, Head of Policy, CCPR

Tel: 020 7976 3902

Email: [email protected]