The Foundation of Light and Tailored Leisure Company kick off new partnership

September 2, 2021

THE FOUNDATION OF LIGHT AND TAILORED LEISURE COMPANY KICK OFF NEW PARTNERSHIP

An exciting new delivery partnership has today been unveiled between South Tyneside based Tailored Leisure Company (TLC) and the Foundation of Light, the official charity of Sunderland AFC.

TLC have been awarded funding and have joined the team at the Foundation of Light as a Get Out, Get Active (GOGA) delivery partner.

GOGA is an exciting programme that supports disabled and non-disabled people to enjoy being active together. It is made possible by founding funder Spirit of 2012 and additional investment from Sport England and the London Marathon Charitable Trust. The programme is focused on getting some of the UK's least active people moving more through fun and inclusive activities. 

Thanks to the funding boost, TLC will deliver the GOGA Sit to Be Fit in the Community project to support the community and key groups with their health, wellbeing and employment prospects, engaging around 120 people with the free provision from September 2021 - March 2022. 

The funding boost is launched at a poignant time as Paralympians currently wow viewers in Tokyo. Tara Johnson, Director of Tailored Leisure Company who set up the company due to her own experiences of living with cerebral palsy, said:

"The Paralympics is a prime platform to showcase the capabilities of disabled people, and these inspiring athletes are key role models to many. The Paralympians are successfully raising awareness about sporting possibilities, however unfortunately, the majority of disabled people still at times feel isolated and excluded in participation in accessing sport, the issue of which has been heighted even more post Covid-19.

Through this funding boost we are delighted to be working closely with the Foundation of Light through their GOGA programme, this isn't just an amazing funding injection but an opportunity to work in collaboration to tackle accessibly and raise aspirations in sport for many service users."

The Foundation of Light have grown to become one of the most pioneering sports charities in the world, winning multiple awards for their ground-breaking sports, health, community, and education programmes. In partnership with GOGA, the Foundation of Light run an exciting programme of sports.  GOGA is more than being active, it strengthens community spirit, increases confidence, and improves mental health. 

Foundation of Light's Head of Sport and Wellbeing, Liz Barton-Jones said,

"Our aim is to use the power of sport, physical activity and the Sunderland AFC brand, to engage the hardest to reach participants in Sunderland, Washington and Coalfields, across a bespoke range of targeted programmes covering physical activity, sport, and education.

Improving physical and mental health through accessible activities is a primary objective for us as an organisation and GOGA is central to our strategy, helping us encourage sustained participation by signposting participants of any ability to Foundation of Light and other community opportunities to stay active for life.

Getting the region moving and healthy is a joint effort and we are excited to team up with Tailored Leisure Company as one of our GOGA partnerships to achieve this ambition".

Tara added:

"Following the success of Sit to Be Fit at home which we launched via zoom during lockdown, we will roll out this programme into the community to reach all abilities, those cared for, with MS and other long-term conditions, but also for Carers. The project really does give results, in particular Jane who has been involved in the project for the last 18 months as a participant and now has the confidence and motivation to support us a volunteer, so we really look forward to supporting even more participants in the coming months."

A recent PNE Social Impact Award winner for 2021, TLC have been a key driving force in developing accessible projects since its inception. The team are committed to developing accessible opportunities to get fit, have fun and relax with as little stress as possible and are passionate about overcoming the barriers and social exclusion faced by disabled people.

Led by regional research they attracted the attention of numerous national funders over the months to run a host of accessible fitness projects. The interactive fitness programmes run alongside a continued funding drive to raise £1.5 million for the development of an innovative, one-of-a- kind accessible short break holiday and leisure complex, the 'Butterfly of the North', which saw the inspirational founder stand for the first time in over 20 years to raise vital funds towards the endeavour.

Registration days will be held in the coming weeks across the city:

 ·      St Marys and St Peters Church (Headway Wearside Room)14th September (1pm - 2pm) 

·      Fulwell Community Centre: Friday 17th September (1pm - 2pm) 

There are also opportunities for volunteers to join the team at TLC as they roll out the project.  To find out more and to register for the new GOGA Sit to Be Fit in the Community project contact tailored.leisure@gmail.com or visit https://tailoredleisure.co.uk