A new grant scheme encouraging people to get active and enjoy Suffolk’s natural environment has been announced today by Suffolk’s Public Health team.
‘Getting Suffolk Moving’ is a £100,000 pot to which the county’s voluntary groups and community organisations can apply to fund projects to promote walking, gardening, volunteering, swimming and anything else that boosts physical activity in the outdoors.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), physical inactivity is the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality. An estimated 50% of Suffolk people do no or very little active recreation, which can have costs to personal health and the county’s health services alike.
Councillor Alan Murray, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for health and adult care, said: “I’m pleased to announce this new fund, which has been set up to prompt a range of projects to get people more active while enjoying the wonderful outdoors, wherever they live in Suffolk.
“Regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health, reducing your risk of disease in later life, controlling your weight and even contributing to positive mental health.
“Through our commitment to become the most active county in England we’re encouraging Suffolk’s public to get involved in walking locally, enjoying the garden, managing local green space or rediscovering cycling.”
The fund is primarily aimed at voluntary organisations and community groups. It is being administered by Suffolk Community Foundation, which has a strong track record for managing funds to benefit communities.
Each bid must consider the following:
· Projects that increase everyday opportunities to be active, without the need to purchase specialist equipment or join a club;
· Initiatives that remove barriers to participation so that everyone can get involved;
· Ideas that can be adopted and work elsewhere in the county;
· Projects that have long-term benefits and can be sustained.
Stephen Singleton, Chief Executive of Suffolk Community Foundation, said: “I’m excited about the potential that this scheme has for delivering a legacy of increased physical and mental health. We’ve already seen plenty of interest from voluntary groups with schemes in mind that need financial input to get off the ground.
“I know from experience that small sums of well targeted funding can have a huge impact, which is why I have every confidence that this scheme will make a difference by getting people more active.”
The scheme is open to bids of up to £5,000, but larger amounts may be considered where projects can demonstrate exceptional contributions to increase daily activity.
Applications can be made online at www.suffolkcf.org.uk.