Southall has been selected as one of 12 locations to benefit from a share of £100 million to help target inactivity within its community.
After being selected by Sport England, Southall will be a pilot area to work on a “bold new approach” to build healthier communities and make it easier for people to access sport across England.
The area will be one of 12 to receive National Lottery funding, which hopes to encourage better collaborations between organisations including voluntary groups, local authorities, schools and GPs.
Latest research shows that a quarter of the general population are inactive, meaning they do less than 30 minutes of exercise which gets them slightly out of breath each week.
Research also found certain groups, such as those in lower paid jobs, woman, and those with disabilities were disproportionately affected, according to Sport England.
By focusing on 12 areas, the public body wants to “identify better ways to address the stubborn inequalities” and break down barriers that stop getting people active – such as poor transport, safety, cost and confidence.
On Tuesday (December 6), an Ealing Council spokesman said Southall was put forward for the pilot because it has “a number of challenges which could contribute to residents being less physically active”.
“There are significant levels of deprivation, with higher levels of unemployment and lower incomes than surrounding areas, plus bigger households and more homes with dependent children,” the spokesman said.
“A sixth of Southall residents have a disability and many people act as unpaid carers for relatives or friends."
The council suggested Southall was chosen by Sport England due to its “real sense of community” and its “strong entrepreneurial spirit”.
As well as Ealing Council and local NHS services, the pilot will involve many community organisations, businesses, charities and faith groups.
The spokesman added: “The focus is on harnessing that entrepreneurial spirit to help the community to develop its own long-term solutions, which will help people to make lasting changes to their lifestyles.”
Sport England will later look to replicate and scale-up learning from the pilots across the country.
'Change people's lives for the better'
Councillor Julian Bell, the leader of Ealing Council , said helping residents get physically active is a “huge priority”.
“We are delighted to have been selected for this fantastic scheme,” he said.
“Empowering communities and supporting people to change their lifestyles is at the heart of this project.
“We're really grateful to the huge number of people who have already been involved and we are keen to work with many more, who can help change people's lives for the better.”
Jennie Price, Sport England chief executive added: “We are delighted that Ealing Council is working with us on this ground-breaking investment.
“We want to get to the heart of the issues that stop people being as active as they might like to be and work alongside every part of the community and the groups and institutions in Southall that support them.
“This is not all about sport- we're prepared to look at wider issues like transport, childcare and how easy it is to walk or cycle – whatever that community feels is most relevant to them.
“The process to be appointed as a pilot area for this work was incredibly competitive, and Southall has emerged from a very strong field – I am really delighted to be working with them.”
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