Strengthening Communities

The Active Essex Foundation

Active Essex Charity Arm

The Active Essex Foundation is a registered charity that has been set up to increase the use of physical activity and sport to engage and support the most inactive communities and tackle the inequalities that exist across Essex.

With a vision to reduce the inequalities in Essex that prevent fair access to physical activity and sport by empowering disadvantaged communities and changing lives, the charity has worked with over 200 local organisations since their conception.

The Active Essex Foundation (AEF) have been able to help broker relationships between systems such as the criminal justice sector, mental health services and the sport for development sector, thus playing an important role in contributing to the sectors 10-year strategy, Fit for the Future, demonstrating the role sport has to play within these systems.


Who is it for
Who is it for?
Residents and communities in Essex, Southend and Thurrock
Prime objective
Prime Objective:
to use physical activity and sport to tackle inequalities
Second objective
Second Objective:
to highlight the role Sport for Development can have on system settings

Projects that have been supported by the Foundation have mainly focused on young people who are at risk of being or are involved in the criminal justice system. Their work to date has had a positive impact on young people who are at risk of exploitation and criminality. The collaborative nature of the Foundations' work alongside locally trusted organisations provide vital support and opportunities for young people around the county. This has been particularly prevalent through their Sport and Youth Crime Prevention Project.

A pivotal moment for the charity this year, was securing funding to deliver a Sport and Youth Mental Health project across Essex, Southend and Thurrock, bringing additional resource and capacity into an already growing AEF team.

secured to deliver Sport and Youth mental health project
young people supported through Sport and Youth Crime Prevention project
leveraged into Sport and Youth Crime Prevention

Growing their reach across the county, and into multiple systems was a key priority for the team this year. A conference was held to showcase the intentions of the Sport and Youth Crime Prevention project alongside partners and colleagues in the criminal justice sector, helping to elevate the work the charity are doing within and alongside local organisations and communities.

Two networking events were held for partners to connect and share learnings, which proved to be extremely successful. This event also resulted in a stronger cohesion between the charities partners, and the Active Essex Active Partnership team, once again strengthening the whole system approach.

I think this conference is a really important event, and the whole discussion we’ve had today really matters, because we know that if together, we can help children make good life choices, it means they’re doing good stuff, and not doing the stuff that we want to prevent them from doing.
Roger Hirst, Police Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex

The Foundation have been able to bring together like-minded organisations to share experiences and learnings to develop county-wide offers. By working together collaboratively and not in isolation, they are able to provide a wide range of opportunities.

The ABCD approach has been something in which Essex has been seen to be adopting over the past few years, thanks to the Essex Local Delivery Pilot. This year the Active Essex Foundation developed this further, encouraging more organisations and stakeholders to learn about this important approach to working successfully with communities.

12 guides and 11 stewards have been trained over the past 12 months, establishing ABCD share and learn networks, and delivering workshops to the entire Active Essex, Essex Pedal Power and Public Health Essex teams.


Read the charity case studies to learn more

Strengthening Communities

The 3 year programme

Dive deeper into the Sport and Youth Crime Prevention project

Active Essex Foundation
Strengthening Communities

Asset Based Community Development

Listening to the community, and working with the assets already strong.