A pioneering project by Family Gateway with support from TyneMet College to help local people on a low income become more active and healthier has won National Lottery funding from Sport England.

The pioneering and award-winning family support charity has been awarded £90,000 funding as part of Sport England’s strategy to improve people’s health and mental wellbeing through sport and activity.


Sport England is funding a wide range of projects around the country, using varying approaches to help people to feel healthier, happier, more confident and able to cope with life’s pressures, or more connected to their families and communities.


Sport England research[i] shows that a third of people in lower paid and routine jobs, are inactive, meaning they do less than 30 minutes of exercise that gets them slightly out of breath each week. And inactivity in people in lower paid, routine jobs is twice that of people on a high income in senior and managerial roles.


Family Gateway, with some support from the Sports Development team at TyneMetCollege, will engage local people in Howdon and other areas of North Tyneside who have barriers to engaging in sport of physical activity. Using their award-winning model of Family Entrepreneurship they will launch their Get Fit for Life project to help people to break down barriers and address the underlying issues that are getting in the way of them becoming active. They will develop a range of accessible affordable activities, with free taster sessions initially, at their base in Howdon Hub and work intensively with clients to help them find the right programmes and activities for them so that they become Fit for Life


Pauline Wonders, CEO of Family Gateway says “this programme is so very important to us and we are delighted to have been awarded the funding. We know that inactivity can lead to a range of serious physical and mental ill-health conditions and we want our community for be fit, happy and active, we also know that people on low incomes have difficulty accessing programmes. This Get Fit for Life programme and our partnership with the team at Tyne Metropolitan College will help make real differences to families’ lives and help them put in place plans and routines so that physical activity becomes a way of life for them and for future generations”


Sport England Executive Director, Mike Diaper, said: “Family Gateway has a strong track record of working with their local community and we’re very excited by how their project will make a positive difference to people’s lives.


“We know that people on a low income can face many practical and emotional challenges that make it difficult for them to be as active as they would like to be. So we’re working with community-focused organisations across the country to find ways to help people fit physical activity and sport into their lives in ways that work for them.


“The lessons we learn from this local project will really help to shape our work with similar groups across the country.”


Family Gateway is one of 34 projects to receive a share of more than £3.36 million in this latest round of Sport England funding specifically aimed helping people on a low income get active.