Covid-19 Sector Support

Covid-19 Sector Support

Updated Guidance: 1 June 2020

Changes to government guidance on physical activity and sport were announced this weekend 2020. Effective 1 June 2020 across England:

  • People can now go outside more than once a day for exercise in groups of up to six people, as long as people from different households observe social distancing by keeping two metres apart.
  • These guidelines will enable people who need someone with them when they have a 1-2-1 session to access activity, for example someone who might need a carer.
  • All of this must be done safely and responsibly, and if someone is planning to exercise or take part in some activity in a small group, they should familiarise themselves with all the government guidance around social distancing and hygiene, in particular.
  • Facilities that can open include basketball and tennis courts, playing spaces like golf courses (public and private), playing fields and watersports. Outdoor gyms, playgrounds and outdoor swimming pools will remain closed. Each venue, including council-owned sports facilities, should make their own decisions about when their facilities are ready.
  • For sport-specific guidance around when people might be able to return to training, they should check in with the relevant organisations and governing bodies for advice they may be providing.

The Covid-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak has already had a huge impact on what we, as individuals do, as well as the sport and physical activity sector as a whole.

Active Herefordshire and Worcestershire, through the Stay Active at Home initiative, is encouraging people to stay active within their homes or during their one activity slot per day, outlined by UK Government. In fact, we believe this is more important than ever before to look after both our physical and mental wellbeing.

Whilst the coming months remain uncertain, as the strategic lead for sport and physical activity across the two counties, Active Herefordshire and Worcestershire is committed to supporting clubs, coaches, volunteers and the professional workforce to adapt to changes, and thrive as a sector beyond the pandemic.

Sector Support

Active Herefordshire & Worcestershire Support

Sport England recently made the decision to offer major flexibilities to those who currently received funding, ourselves included. This flexibility includes the ability to change timings, KPIs, targets and conditions. We have also been given the ability to redirect funding to new activity in response to Covid-19.

Active Herefordshire and Worcestershire would encourage local sport and physical activity providers to get in touch if you have ideas that could support and adapt the sector during this period. We are assessing sources of funding and may be able to help shape ideas that support inactive audiences to become more active, to utilise available funding and meet objectives.

In light of the Covid-19 outbreak, Active Herefordshire and Worcestershire aims to adapt in order to be innovative with regards to programme delivery. We aim to utilise technology where suitable to deliver at-home initiatives.

We will be conducting a survey to gather insight across the landscape. Through the survey, we aim to improve our understanding of the concerns facing the sector, ideas for innovation and inform our priorities. This will help us to adapt to changes and enable a thriving, sustainable environment of sport and physical activity beyond the pandemic. Complete the survey

Online Session Delivery

Active Herefordshire and Worcestershire is delighted that many local activity providers have made the switch from face-to-face group sessions to digital, online delivery to support the nation to stay in and work out. We have combined a range of useful information sources to support safe online delivery.

1. NSPCC - The NSPCC has created online safeguarding guidance including safety principles and good practice for live streaming sessions.

2. Advice from Mann Broadbent - When moving to online delivery, it is important to remember the safety of you and your business. Mann Broadbent have created a useful guidance document for online delivery.

3. Promote your Sessions - We have updated our online activity finder to include virtual and online sessions. We can help you to promote sessions for free through our General monthly newsletter and social media. On social media, we would encourage you to use the hashtags #BeatTheBoredom and #StayInWorkOut for added promotion.

4. Where should I stream? - We have put together an information document to inform you of the pros and cons of various, commonly used streaming services.

Support for Coaches

The Coronavirus has stopped you from gathering with teams and participants. We understand that this may be an extremely difficult time for our workforce however, this is a perfect opportunity to keep the mind busy, a sense of routine, improve your knowledge and skills and use your downtime effectively. We have collated a range of free online resources to support your development through these unprecedented times:

1. UK Coaching Safeguarding and Protecting Children - Online classroom to deliver virtual workshops. This Online workshop will raise your awareness of the tell-tale signs of abuse, and give you the tools and confidence you need to deal with any issues sensitively, appropriately and effectively.

2. UK Coaching 'Antidote for Coaches Side-lined by Covid-19' - UK Coaching has unlocked 10 of their key resources (until 3rd May) to support learning and development while sport and physical activity remains in limbo.

3. Stay Active at Home - We understand that many coaches and activity providers are concerns about retaining their participants and client base. Virtual delivery may not always be a feasible option for coaches. We have collated a range of online resources and sessions to retain engagement in sport and physical activity.

Guidance for Organisations

Active Herefordshire and Worcestershire advise that you seek guidance from HM Government in the first instance. Please see links below for the Government business guidance as well as other useful information.

1. HM Government Business Guidance - The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

2. HM Government Employee Guidance - You should work from home unless it is impossible for you to do so. This publication provides guidance around staying at home, statutory sick pay, self-employed workers, furloughed workers and universal credit.

3. HM Government Charity Guidance - Help with running your charity during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

4. Federation of Self Employed & Small Businesses - Advice and guidance for small businesses and the self-employed affected by Covid-19.


It is advised that workers and organisations first seek support and guidance regarding funding from HM Government. If your business/organisation is not eligible for these support packages, Sport England have allocated over £195 million of funding to support the sector.

1. Sport England Community Emergency Fund - A £20 million Community Emergency Fund, which will be opened immediately for local clubs and community organisations to bid into. This aims to deliver immediate funding to those most in need and builds on the success of similar previous funds such as the Sport England Flood Relief Fund. This fund is specifically targeted at clubs and organisations, including those not currently supported by Sport England, who have a role in supporting the nation to be active but who are experiencing short term financial hardship or the ceasing of operations due to the impact of COVID-19. Organisations can apply for grants between £300 and £10,000.

2. Existing Sport England partners – Sport England will work with existing sector partners such as Active Partnerships and national governing bodies, on bespoke measures that may be needed for any instances of immediate financial distress. This might include, for example, supporting a national governing body where they've had to cancel an event which would have generated vital income for the organisation. Sport England will provide an additional £5 million for existing partners during immediate financial distress.

3. £55m sector stimulation - Sport England is aware that financial support will be needed to support and stimulate the sector while restrictions are being lifted, and that organisations will need help getting back to business and back to delivery. Details on how Sport England propose to use this funding will be set out in the coming weeks.

4. £115m funding rollover for key partners - This will be for identified selected partners who have funding commitments that end on or before March 2021. Sport England will get in touch directly with relevant partners to confirm next steps in the coming weeks.

5. The National Lottery Community Fund - The National Lottery Community Fund (NLCF) has made two critical decisions in response to the Covid-19 crisis. All funding decisions made over the next 6 months (up to £300 million of National Lottery funding) will be devoted to addressing the current crisis. The NLCF will also accelerate the cash part of this funding as much as we can, so that they can get money to where it needs to be.

6. Our Community Can - Active Herefordshire and Worcestershire is looking to support rural communities affected by social isolation. The aim of the fund/project is to help communities provide more opportunities that bring people together to help reduce social isolation and loneliness through physical activity. We will look to develop and empower local communities to introduce sustainable activities.

7. Magic Little Grants - Grants of £500 are available to small local charities and community groups for community projects in Great Britain that support and inspire people to participate in sports or exercise with the primary aim of improving their physical health

8. LTA - The LTA has announced a multi-million pound support package for tennis in Britain to help combat the impact of Coronavirus

9. RFU - To support clubs the RFU will be providing a £7m relief package for community clubs. The package includes monies ring fenced and diverted for the community game as well as additional funding

Mental Wellbeing

You might be worried about coronavirus (COVID-19) and how it could affect your life. This may include having to stay at home and avoid other people. This might feel difficult or stressful. But there are lots of things you can try that could help your wellbeing.

1. Mind Webinars - Mind will be delivering a webinar series to support the sport and physical activity sector around mental health. The aim of the webinar series is to upskill sport and physical activity organisations and workforce to better support and engage people with mental health problems in being active.

2. Supporting Yourself and Your Team - We know that many of us are worrying about the current situation around coronavirus and how it might affect our lives. It's likely that we'll be working from home for longer periods of time to help keep us all safe during the coronavirus outbreak. Therefore, it's important we recognise how it may affect our mental health and ensure we are taking care of ourselves and our colleagues.

3. Your Mind Plan - Public Health England's online 'Your Mind Plan' tool helps you build an action plan and help you deal with stress and anxiety, boost your mood, improve your sleep and help you feel more in control

4. Boost your mood with activity - Daily activity can help to boost your wellbeing, manage stress and improve your mood and sleep. Visit our Stay Active at Home page for ideas on how to get active.

5. GoVox - GoVox is a digital wellbeing solution that enables ongoing, light-touch monitoring of users' emotional health and happiness. The tool helps to promote a culture of regularly checking in, in a non-intrusive manner, to help you prioritise the conversations that matter.