The Jason Roberts Foundation in Brent has been awarded £4836 of National Lottery funding from Sport England’s Community Emergency Fund towards retaining freelance staff and core operational costs during the on-going COVID-19 pandemic.

The outbreak of the virus and the consequent shutdown of businesses as of March 23 has left the sport and physical activity sector facing a period of uncertainty.

In response, on March 31 Sport England announced a £195m package to help the sport and physical activity sector through covid-19. Within the package is a £20m Community Emergency Fund, of National Lottery money to deliver immediate funding to those who have a role in supporting the nation to be active but are experiencing short-term financial hardship or the ceasing of operations due to the impact of coronavirus.

The grant will allow the Jason Roberts Foundation to maintain some freelance staff who are involved in initiatives to enable them to stay in touch with their participants during the current closure period via Podcasts and Vodcasts.  The grant will also cover some core operational costs including phones, utilities, insurance for the coming months.

Otis Roberts, Jason Roberts Foundation’s Chief Executive, said:

 “This grant from Sport England’s Community Emergency Fund has been a vital lifeline during this crisis which has enabled us to proactively find new ways to reach out and safely engage with our beneficiaries and their families. Without securing this funding we would not have been able to retain our core freelance staff to continue virtual engagement and to secure future funding for when we are able to resume our operations.”

Tim Hollingsworth, Sport England’s Chief Executive, said: 

“As the body responsible for the growth of sport and physical activity participation, we want the vital grassroots organisations that make sport and physical activity happen in this country to not just to come through this crisis but to be in a position to thrive again in the future. The £20m Community Emergency fund, made possible by National Lottery players is part of a multimillion pound package of support we are providing to ease the pressure on a huge number of the organisations who are central to the nation’s health and wellbeing.

“We are proud to be able to provide vital funding to the Jason Roberts Foundation to help it through these extremely challenging times.”