We were approached by Active Oxfordshire to provide a Recovery & Support service for clubs & organisations facing difficulties during the COVID-19 period, advising them on best practice around a number of issues. This involved working in partnership with local authorities and NGB officers to ensure we were reaching the clubs & organisations most in need of support.
Our approach was flexible due to the ever changing nature of the situation. We produced a catalogue of support including FAQ factsheets and short podcasts based around Funding, Insurance and Staying Connected, as well as delivering interactive webinars on each topic, allowing clubs and organisations to ask questions on specific issues they were struggling with, and provide examples of things they were doing through this period. We also launched frontline support through a dedicated email, allowing clubs to receive bespoke support and the opportunity to use the expertise of the Active Oxfordshire team. This was supplemented by a call back service so that clubs could talk through their issues over the phone. We have dealt with a range of issues, including:
- A recreational trust who have lost out on rent due to football clubs and a nursery service that use their facilities not being able to pay the rent. We advised that they apply for the Sport England Community Emergency Fund
- A tennis club who was unsure whether they were eligible for the Sport England Fund as they have previously secured funding for floodlights. They were also directed to the CE Fund, as well as considering CASC status for the future.
- A self-employed fitness instructor who was struggling financially due to being unable to deliver sessions. We spoke to him about accessing the Government's Self-Employed Income Support Scheme
- A regional charity with multiple sports venues were given suggestions of national and local funding pots as they had already applied for the CE Fund. They also had questions regarding how they can look to deliver sport as social distancing measures are relaxed.
- A community project were given advice around staying connected with their service users during this time, and in particular how to keep them active & engaged.
The service is still ongoing, however to date we have supported a number of clubs via email, phone and webinar to ensure they are able to survive the current period.