Funding success to get families active together in Northumberland



SMILE Through Sport is celebrating after being awarded £173,835 of National Lottery funding from Sport England’s Families Fund, which aims to help more families get active together. The fund comes as part of Sport England’s focus on ensuring young people have an enjoyable experience and a positive attitude towards sport and physical activity at a young age and continue to be active in later life.

Four out of five primary school children do not get the recommended amount of daily exercise of 60 minutes a day, and are missing out on the benefits it brings. Children from low income families are most likely to do very little physical activity.

SMILE Through Sport’s project, SMILE Together will work with families from Northumberland who have a disabled family member, either a child or parent, to become active as a whole family unit. Through training courses and resource packs families will learn skills, gain knowledge and become confident to take part and remain active in sport and physical activity with all members of the family being involved.


Sport England are funding organisations that help families get active together, because parents and close family members can have a big impact on children’s experiences. As well as giving children direct access to sporting opportunities, Sport England research shows that they are also significant role models in helping their children get active – because how a parent behaves impacts what a child sees as important.

Stephen Miller, Founder of SMILE Through Sport said “We are thrilled to receive National Lottery funding. This project will allow us to work with families in Northumberland helping them to become active together. The project will benefit families greatly by enhancing their skills and confidence to do more sport and physical activity together. When I was younger my family had to learn how to include me in sport and activity and I’m really pleased I now get to help other families to do this.”


Sport England’s Director of Children and Young People Jayne Molyneux said “It’s not right that four in five children don’t get enough exercise and are missing out on the health benefits it brings. Just by seeing their parents being active, children can be inspired to do the same, and if they have an enjoyable experience they’re far more likely to continue as an adult.

“Parents have many demands on their time, and often lack the confidence to get active with their children. That’s why Sport England is working hard to make getting active with your children an easy choice. With this new National Lottery funding, SMILE Though Sport will be able to provide family fun days and challenge days, as well as giving families creative ideas for activities to play as a whole family unit.”