This could be anything from supporting young people to help them thrive, to bringing communities together to make a difference. Here are our final three:
The Flamingo Chicks is a unique club for disabled children to experience the magic of dance while also providing support for their parents and carers – it’s also a local community partnership that has revolutionised the lives of all those involved with it.
Since being formed in Bristol, the group has broken new ground - with over 300 active volunteers now helping over 1,500 children each year. Perhaps the biggest indication of its success is the fact that as many of 22% of the children now involved do not have a disability themselves – highlighting overwhelmingly the club’s ability to break down barriers.
Flamingo Chicks have now moved from simply being an organisation to becoming a movement including its “Agents of Change” - 12 children voted by their peers to challenge and champion a new vision of a truly inclusive society.
In July of this year, they were invited to the UN in New York to make a speech about human rights for disabled children - an honour that illustrates just how far reaching and wide-ranging this West Country- based programme has become.
Shael Ali and The Somali Rugby Development Team
In communities across London, rugby is being used by the local Muslim community to introduce a new generation to the sport - all thanks to the perseverance and ambition of leading figures in those communities.
In March 2013, the local Rugby Development Officer made contact with the Darussalam Mosque and Cultural Centre in Hounslow. This was a result of insight gained that young Somali Muslims were finding challenges in accessing the local rugby club due to a lack of parental consent to participate.
From that initial meeting with Mr Sahel Ali, the chair of trustees for the Mosque, a partnership was struck up to share and promote the game of rugby amongst the Somali community in Hounslow.
Fast forward to 2016 and Mr Ali has recruited and developed the Somali Rugby Development Team, a group of volunteers from across 10 boroughs of London with the remit of promoting Rugby Union (particularly the seven-a-side format) to the Somali adult community within each of those boroughs.
To date over 100 Somali players have experienced the game of rugby and the common values that the game shares
Cricket Against Dementia
Sport is a powerful tool – and now it’s being harnessed to help those living with dementia revive some priceless memories.
Cage Cricket, in collaboration with Hampshire County Cricket Club and local dementia charity, Dementia Friendly Hampshire, have run a series of ‘dementia days’ at the county’s Ageas Bowl home over the summer, allowing those living with the condition to not only watch a match in comfort and safety but also enabling them to pick up bats, balls and the sport’s modern-day coloured clothing.
The results have been impressive, with those involved rolling back the years to bowl to each other, share their memories of the sport and, perhaps most importantly, offer their carers and loved-ones a priceless glimpse of their previous selves.
So successful has the partnership been that Cage Cricket are now in talks with Alzheimer’s UK, with a view to rolling the project out across the country.
A similar project has already begun with dementia charities and cricket clubs in Dorset as charities look to take advantage of the tremendous benefits that sport can deliver.
The winner will be announced on Wednesday 7th December.