Funding from the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner of £20,000 has generated a social return on investment of almost £400,000.

The initiative Sport for Change was developed by Yorkshire Sport Foundation, who more than match funded £20,000 from the Commissioner and awarded the money to over 50 sporting organisations across South Yorkshire.

The Sport for Change initiative provided funding to 50 sporting projects throughout the summer break, 21 in Sheffield, 9 in Barnsley, 11 in Doncaster and 8 in Rotherham.  They consisted of football, rugby, cycling, free running, cricket, along with many others.

Data provided to the Commissioner shows that the initiative, provided a £6 return on investment for every £1 spent.

Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner said: “The results of this pilot initiative are very pleasing.  With funding extremely tight for organisations, the return on investment and the number of participants involved is remarkable.

“The data provided to me shows that 1,482 young people between the ages of 11 to 18 participated in 523 sessions across Barnsley, Rotherham, Sheffield and Doncaster.  That is 14,559 hours of sporting activities delivered at key times of the day.

“Software used on previous projects indicates that there is a potential saving of £205,000 on substance misuse and £64,000 on crime and anti-social behaviour.  The participants themselves were surveyed and one in four admitted being involved in nuisance behaviour and 42% said they would not normally have taken part in a sport over the school holidays.

“With such data available and the engagement opportunities that this project brought to us, we must now look for  opportunities to engage with young people using limited investment.”

Nigel Harrison, CEO of Yorkshire Sport Foundation said: “It’s great to see the impact these sporting activities have had on young people in South Yorkshire with a number being introduced to a new sport.

“Sport for Change has shown the potential in working alongside funding providers like the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner and FK Group, and we look forward to building on these relationships in the future to increase investment in sport and achieve social outcomes.

“I’d also like to thanks the groups themselves, many of them volunteers.  Without their time and dedication, these young people wouldn’t have had the opportunity to take part in these activities.”

Of the young people surveyed, 61 said they made new friends, 70 said they were doing something positive and 55 were in control of their behaviour.

The Sportsworks Impact measurement tool provided all of the data that can now be collated for evaluating future projects.

Posted on Friday 4th November 2016