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The Changing Lives Through Sport and Physical Activity (CLTSPA) Fund was launched in partnership between the Scottish Government, sportscotland, the Robertson Trust and Spirit of 2012, and will support organisations to deliver positive change in communities across the country.

North Ayrshire’s own partnership of KA Leisure, North Ayrshire Active Schools and North Ayrshire Alcohol and Drug Partnership were delighted to receive confirmation of a successful funding bid for their Champions for Change Project, which will draw on the energy and passion of the people in North Ayrshire and serve as a vehicle for tackling social challenges.

Spirit of 2012’s Chief Executive Debbie Lye said “Spirit of 2012 has strong links with the young people of North Ayrshire, having invested in the area through our Sporting Equality Fund in 2017 and 2018. We’re therefore delighted to see CLTSPA funds going to North Ayrshire Champions for Change to continue to promote healthy, active lifestyles and positive mental health for young people, equipping them to be future leaders and champions.”

Champions for Change has two distinct strands, each delivered in two selected SIMD localities in North Ayrshire – Garnock Valley and Irvine.

Community/Senior Pupil Leadership Programme

A volunteer project which develops the skills of people who don’t traditionally get involved in sport and physical activity. The development project aims to support individuals gain the necessary skills and training to deliver community sports and physical activity opportunities in their communities, volunteer and increases employment opportunities or progression into positive destinations.

Schools and Community Participant Programme

Individuals who have participated in our Leadership programme will be supported to design and deliver their own sports and activity programmes.  The delivery method will be interactive and educational and will focus around the awareness of alcohol and drug issues combined with non-traditional sports and physical activity sessions combined with family community events.

KA Leisure Business Manager for Sport and Physical Activity Laura Barrie said “We are delighted to be able to deliver the Changing Lives Through Sport and Physical Activity fund here in North Ayrshire.  We have a fantastic partnership with North Ayrshire ADP and Active Schools and are excited to be creating opportunities in the Garnock Valley and Irvine areas to support people to make a difference in their communities.”

The project will use sport and physical activity to help address issues of drug and alcohol abuse by raising awareness of the dangers of misuse.  Our volunteers will be trained and supported on how to deliver key drug and alcohol messages to young people which will help guide them in future years.

Anne Lee Service Manager of the North Ayrshire Drug and Alcohol Recovery Service explained that North Ayrshire Alcohol and Drug Partnership are delighted to be a part of the changing lives programme.  “We are excited about the opportunities this partnership can offer to the young people in North Ayrshire.”

The first Champions for Change volunteer project will launch in May 2019.  For more information contact co-ordinator Craig McBirnie at cmcbirnie@kaleisure.com.