4 October 2013

TAKEPART wins Prime Minister’s Big Society Award

TAKEPART, a Brighton & Hove scheme to get more local people playing sport, is the latest recipient of a Big Society award, Prime Minister David Cameron has announced.

The scheme, which was created in 2008 to inspire the city of Brighton &Hove ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Games, is aimed at people of all ages and abilities and has seen more than 60,000 people in the city taking part in free sports events each year.

TAKEPART is run by the sports development team at Brighton & Hove City Council in partnership with over 100 sports clubs, charities, community groups, local businesses and public sector organisations. The scheme offers local people a chance to try over 450 free and discounted events and activities across a range of different sports, dance and physical activities - from Archery to Zumba.

This year’s TAKEPART events saw 1,600 young people participate in intra-school competitions and an estimated £16,000 of free coaching and tuition provided voluntarily by local clubs and coaches. TAKEPART helped more than 100 local sports clubs raise their profile and attract new members

Prime Minister David Cameron said: "This Big Society award recognises the achievements of the partners and organisers, as well as the 60,000 people they have helped to TAKEPART in a new sport. Like so many of us, the people of Brighton & Hove have been inspired by London 2012. The TAKEPART initiative is keeping the Olympic flame alive.”

Jan Sutherland, Brighton & Hove City Council Sports Development manager for TAKEPART, said: “TAKEPART is proud to be improving activity levels in Brighton & Hove. The TAKEPART festival forms an impressive legacy for the spirit of 2012 in our city. TAKEPART gives people many ways to continue to enjoy the global impact of the Olympics at a local level for years to come.

"The TAKEPART two week programme is a wonderful celebration of sport and activity suitable for all ages and abilities. This is also a springboard, encouraging people to enjoy a healthy living approach all year round. The TAKEPART team work hard to forge links between groups and help individuals. Some people will try new sports and we may be nurturing future Olympians through our events. Others will make small crucial changes to improve their health, yielding potentially life enhancing results. TAKEPART works through people power and community spirit, together we are stronger.”

Cllr Geoffrey Bowden, Chair of the Economic Development and Culture Committee for Brighton & Hove City Council, said: "TAKEPART makes a big difference in our city and is a popular fixture in the annual event calendar. The festival is a fun friendly way to introduce new activities and strengthen support for existing ventures. It is a great project led by a dedicated enthusiastic team.

"This award is marvellous recognition of the efforts being made by so many at all levels to encourage healthy active lifestyles in our city. Brighton & Hove City Council is committed to supporting projects such as TAKEPART to provide access for people of all abilities to sports and activities. As one of the host cities for matches for Rugby World Cup 2015, we are excited about being in the international sporting spotlight. At the same time, every success at grassroots level is a testament to those committed to gaining benefits from healthy living and equally worth celebrating.”

More information:

Visit the TAKEPART website

TAKEPART event example: Family Day
The Festival launches with a Family Day in Preston Park, attracting over 10,000 families from across the city. Split up into different zones, including he Amazing Zone for disability sports, this family friendly day is designed to provide a showcase opportunity for the range of sports available in the city.

TAKEPART event example: Bikestock
The ‘Bikestock’ festival saw a 1.5km track set up for people to try out cycling in a safe and fun way on various different bikes. Profits raised were donated to Sustrans and East Sussex Association for the Blind.

TAKEPART event example: Paddle Round the Pier
‘Paddle Round the Pier’ is the world’s biggest free beach and watersports festival with a range of land and sea-based activities. Donations go to the RNLI and local charities such as Surf Action and Winston’s Wish. The highlight of the event is the flotilla of small whacky craft which take to the sea to race around the remains of the West Pier.

TAKEPART case study: Brighton Phoenix Basketball Club
Brighton Phoenix Basketball Club has taken part in the festival since 2011. Anne Baverstock, from the club, explains: “The TAKEPART Festival is a fantastic showcase for sport in the city. There is a great spirit and feeling of community and partnership”. 
The basketball club engaged over 850 residents during TAKEPART 2013, through school programmes, community taster sessions for older people, women and girls and session for people with learning difficulties.

TAKEPART case study: Active Forever
TAKEPART reaches out to groups who might traditionally participate less in sport and physical activity. Like much of the TAKEPART programme, Active Forever is a free event. The aim is to encourage older people to be more active. One Active Forever group is the Zumba for Older People from Moulsecomb. Zumba dance moves have been adapted to suit a slightly slower pace while still delivering an exercise workout for the over 50 age range. Zumba participant Marion Guy said: “I started Zumba to get out and about. Also because it is different to anything I have done before. I very much enjoy the music and the dancing. And I enjoy the company of the other women in the group.”

TAKEPART case study: Local volunteers
TAKEPART helps people to get involved with leading community sport and physical activities. Local residents are encouraged to and enabled to assist clubs and groups at events and competitions. Projects include local Sports Makers, providing sports leaders from the city’s secondary schools and colleges. During 2013’s TAKEPART employees from American Express, in partnership with local organisation Albion in the Community, supported athletics and swimming galas for 1,200 local primary schools children.

About the Big Society Awards:

The Big Society Awards were set up by the Prime Minister in November 2010. The aim is to acknowledge individuals and organisations across the UK that demonstrates the Big Society in their work or activities. In so doing, the aim is also to galvanise others to follow.

The award focuses upon three specific areas:

Outstanding Contribution to Community

  • People, projects and organisations that enable communities to drive change themselves
  • Projects and organisations that allow the community to identify solutions
  • People, projects and organisations that inspire others to contribute to their community

Improving Lives and Society through Innovation, Collaboration and New Partnerships

  • People and organisations taking new approaches to public services
  • Successful collaboration and partnerships between public, private and voluntary sector - working together to benefit communities

Engaging in Social Action

  • People, projects and organisations taking action in their community
  • Working together for social change (e.g. through creating groups, campaigns, movements)
  • Generosity of time, money, skills and other resources – in support of social action

Launching the awards, the Prime Minister said:

“There are some amazing projects and remarkable voluntary work going on in towns and cities up and down the country, by all kinds of organisations from large enterprises to tiny grassroots schemes and inspirational individuals.

“These awards are a chance to pay tribute to those making a valuable contribution to their community, the real champions of the Big Society, but perhaps more importantly, I hope they will motivate many others to take action, get involved and drive change in their area.”

Nominations come in from the general public after which there follows a process of scoring and short-listing by civil servants and a further short-listing by a Panel of Ministers and independent external experts. This Panel makes recommendations to the Prime Minister who makes the final decisions about who to make the award to. Twelve winners are decided each quarter meeting and then announced once a week throughout the year.

Over 90 winners have been announced to date, including:

Derbyshire Village Games
A collection of villages in Derbyshire committed to offering a range of sporting activities to residents. The vision came from the two Derbyshire women, who ran sports schemes in their local communities. 

Fencing North East
Fencing North East provides opportunities for young people in the North East who have gone on to compete at national, European and Paralympic levels. It has trained 69 unemployed young people as ‘Go Fence’ leaders who have in turn introduced over 800 people from their communities to fencing.

Community Action Through Sport
Promoting, recognising and rewarding all young people for positive community action with sports based awards.

Wotton under Edge swimming pool
In their first year (2011) overall use of the pool was estimated to have increased by 89% on the previous year. Users include the local schools, a triathlon club, mums and babies.  The site continues to provide employment for local young people, offers swimming lessons and has seen twelve lifeguards receive trained.

AFC Wimbledon
AFC Wimbledon is a professional Football League Two club, which is currently celebrating its 10-year anniversary.  The club is still owned by its supporters via the one-fan, one-vote Dons Trust. Since formation, the club’s officials, supporters and 300 volunteers have organised a number of community initiatives.

Big Society Awards - Inspired by 2012: Keeping the Olympic Flame Burning across the UK  

The Olympic and Paralympic Games last summer enthralled the nation and inspired over 70,000 people to volunteer their time and energy. Since then, people have engaged with their local sports clubs, tried a new sport, implemented community initiatives, ignited whole towns and villages to commit to keeping the spirit of 2012 alive. 

To celebrate the anniversary of the 2012 Games, a number of awards will be announced for innovative groups, individuals and organisations whose work exemplifies the Big Society and whose Olympic-style achievements are making a real difference in communities.

Visit the Big Society website for a full list of winners and for information about the Big Society Awards