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Government-funded sports project will boost community cohesion

A new project using sport and physical activity to boost community cohesion in Wisbech is being launched by Fenland District Council with £140,000 of government funding.

Football team

The authority has received a grant from central government's Controlling Migration Fund (CMF) to launch a new programme aimed at bringing migrant and local communities together, while improving residents' health and wellbeing.

Working alongside Clarion Housing and key charity and volunteering services, the project will provide tailored sports and physical activities to lower income workers aged 30-55 - comprising of around 10,000 migrant and 5,000 British workers.

It aims to help improve the lives of the working community and build on a number of other CMF-funded projects in the district helping to ease pressures on local services from migration and aid social integration.

Engagement with the target audience revealed high levels of inactivity, but 90 per cent of those surveyed would like to be more active.

The project aims to overcome the main barriers to being active, such as long working hours, and create a programme of sport and physical activity which reflects their lifestyles and income. It will be delivered in both workplaces and in the community, with migrants and local residents encouraged to work together to come up with activity ideas.

The project will also form a fundamental part of the Wisbech 2020 Vision to regenerate the town as it supports the partnership's key priority to improve health, well-being and cohesion.

A Council spokesperson said: "This initiative will use sport and physical activity as a means to address the social divide between various different communities living and working together. The right opportunities will help these communities come together, breakdown barriers and myths and learn about different cultures; reducing community tensions while improving both the physical and mental well-being of participants."

Article added: June 12, 2018