National Lottery Awards 2013 Finalists
We were absolutely delighted that the Devon Active Villages project was shortlisted as a finalist in this year’s National Lottery Awards. To be recognised alongside six such fantastic projects is a real honour and is a tremendous achievement for all the partners and local people in Devon who have contributed to helping the project achieve such an impact. The projects selected as finalists show what a valuable contribution sport can make in so many different ways in so many different communities and they all deserve great credit.
Of course we’re disappointed that Devon Active Villages wasn’t the winner this year but our wholehearted congratulations go to Us Girls, a great project which richly deserves this accolade.
Devon Active Villages has helped and supported over 10,000 people living in rural communities to take part in sport where they live by providing specialist support, equipment and training to over 120 villages. What makes this project particularly special is that we work with each local community to establish what is wanted and what is feasible and then work with volunteers, providing coach training to make the solution sustainable, leaving sports provision in place long after our involvement has ended .
It’s been an ambitious project and we haven’t done this by ourselves, we have a wonderfully strong and passionate local delivery partner network who have helped us to make Devon Active Villages the success it is. Through them we have been able to offer a variety of sports and physical activities from more traditional to the downright unusual and bring the fun and excitement of sport to the doorstep of those living in more remote parts of the County.
People in the local villages have told us how the sessions have really pulled the community together; cricket sessions put on for youngsters in Chagford led to impromptu weekly games of volleyball for the parents, ballroom classes in Langtree led to one lady meeting her neighbours after living in the village for three years and making friends with the other 30 regular attendees and Princetown FC set up following support from Active Villages, brought a whole community together for the first time in many years and in the words of the locals “took an aspiration to a reality that is slowly changing the whole dynamic and vibrancy of the town”.
The programme has also helped to identify undiscovered talent; youngsters from Northlew and North Tawton who started Muay Thai through Active Villages are now British and European Title Holders and Halwill Junction Archers Club, established only two years ago through Active Villages now boasts a continuously growing medal collection.
The Devon Active Villages approach is so successful, funding has recently been secured to roll out Devon Active Communities, a project similar in nature to Devon Active Villages but which will see more urban communities included. Winning this award will be a huge thank you to everyone who worked so hard to deliver this fantastic project and will give recognition to the volunteers and people in the villages who are continuing to make sport happen for their communities.
Have a look at our film below to find out more about how Active Villages works...