Children and Young People

Time for Change

Inclusive multisport opportunities for young people

A range of fully inclusive multisport sessions in Harlow were set up by local organisation Time for Change Kids, to encourage children aged between 4-11 to try new and different activities and begin making better choices around exercise and moving more.

It’s important to ensure that from a young age, every child has the opportunity to find the activity that’s right for them, so that they can adopt good health and fitness routines throughout life.

The work that Time for Change does with the young children is positively contributing to Harlow’s Health and Wellbeing Partnership subgroup Early Help and Start Well, which focuses on improving the health and wellbeing of children and young people living in Harlow. By introducing children to a range of different sports in a fun and inclusive environment, it can massively impact their approach to physical activity, helping them to create new healthy habits.


Group 1
Who's it for?
Children living in and around the Harlow area aged 4-11
Goal 1
Prime Objective:
ensure every child has the opportunity to enjoy a new sport
Goal 2
Second Objective:
to help alleviate the costs of childcare for parents

Through Find Your Active funding, Active Essex worked alongside Time for Change Kids; a childcare provider and HAF deliverer, to provide a 10 week programme focusing on variety of games, which were designed to improve skills and build confidence, whilst keeping a level of childish ‘silliness’ and entertainment.

The sessions saw a mix of naturally athletic and non-athletic children, however all participants were able to improve their balance, co-ordination and confidence in their sporting abilities. The activities were incorporated into friendly competitive team games, which encouraged children to work on their sportsmanship and put in maximum effort, so they knew they had done their best, even if they hadn’t won.

individual children took part in the programme
different activities for children to try
of children only do physical activity at school

Participants were able to try a range of activities including boxing, dodgeball, football, hockey, tag rugby, athletics, bokwa punch and strike, tennis, running (lots of different style races) and handball. The games were designed to ensure different skills were utilised to allow children to excel in their own skill sets. Games such as true or false working on fast turns, 1-2-3 that works on accuracy and speed, silent ball that focuses on hand/ eye co-ordination and catching skills, as well as legs for ladders, which focuses on running, special awareness and speed, made up each session.


By ensuring the programme was inclusive, meant that all children could take part. The SEND children enjoyed being included and gave them a sporting outlet, they could truly belong in. The sessions also helped the neurotypical children, gain a better understanding of the children who are neurodiverse.

Aside from the health and wellbeing benefits of the programme, Time for Change Kids also supported parents and carers, in response to the cost-of-living crisis. They wanted parents to have the opportunity to work more without worrying about the cost of childcare, or to have a couple of hours per week to attend the gym without incurring the huge fees many pay for childcare.

children in attendance had additional needs
trainee sport coaches helped run the sessions

Upskilling and creating a strong workforce in the sector, is one of Active Essex’s goals and two new young trainee sports coaches were employed to help run the programme, both of which are Harlow residents. This enabled them to gain insight and experience in the sport and physical activity sector, whilst earning some money at the same time.

I have loved every minute of working with the children in these sessions. Every child has enjoyed themselves and it has made us so proud to facilitate this programme for them! Watching each of them succeed and learn new skills has been amazing! It has been a privilege to see their confidence grow and we cannot wait to nurture their love of sport even more in the future.
Sports Coach

Key Learnings

It's important to take time to reflect and understand the learnings from work undertaken, in order to focus on ways to improve in the future.


Barriers to Children

Children like sport once taking part, as it's not always competitive or intimidating.

Activity provision

Activity Provision

The children also only experienced sport in the form of P.E lessons at school.


Cost of Living

Parents have cancelled out-of-school activities, as they cannot afford them.

The programme was needed by both parents and children. The children found a way to make sport fun and engaging, whereas parents appreciated their children not being at home on iPads or watching T.V, and some saved money on after school clubs. Each child felt a sense of pride in themselves for completing their course and many participants stated that they had never tried boxing or tag rugby but loved them both.