Tackling Inequalities Grant for Westminster Boating Base

10 Dec 20

The grants are for projects that aim to tackle inequalities in sport and help reduce the negative impact of COVID-19. 

The £150,000 of National Lottery Funding was awarded to the RYA from the Sport England Tackling Inequalities Fund which benefits organisations running projects that engage with lower socio-economic groups, ethnically diverse communities, disabled people and people with long term health conditions.

WBB is an award winning charity located in South Westminster next to areas of diverse ethnic communities clustered in areas within the lowest 10% in the country for social deprivation. A large proportion of the adult population was not born in the UK and has language, employment, housing and discrimination challenges.

The impact of the pandemic has been felt acutely by both the lowest social economic groupings (LSEG) and ethnically diverse communities (EDC).

Jonathan Drake-Wilkes from WBB says: “We are doing our best to help fill this gap by providing a safe haven, activity, adventure and opportunities for youngsters to gain qualifications. The pandemic, the restrictions of social distancing and lock downs have made the need for positive support both urgent and important.

“Schools have experienced major financial costs due to the pandemic and we have been advised that many will be unable to fund sporting activities off site. We are trying to fill this funding shortfall.”

WBB will deliver powerboating training starting in January consisting of 20 half-day sessions, using three boats each with an RYA instructor and three students, for local schools and alternative education providers that focus on LSEG and EDC and that are financially unable to provide groups to attend WBB.

Jonathan adds: “We will give a year’s free membership to every attendee and we hope they will then join in the sailing and kayaking activities outside school hours all year round, enjoying the sporting opportunities on their door step.”

RYA Director of Sport Development, Alistair Dickson concludes: “We’re delighted to be able to share this funding with so many deserving OnBoard and Sailability organisations. The venues selected are all going to be running fantastic projects and we look forward to hearing about the impact that they will have on the club or centre and on the underrepresented communities in which they aim to reach.” 

Find out more about the RYA Sailability RYA OnBoard programmes and Westminster Boating Base