Wimbledon Foundation opens £65,000 fund for local groups and clubs

Dr Richard Bennett enjoying a Boccia match at the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability

The Wimbledon Foundation, the charity of The All England Lawn Tennis Club, is offering funding of £65,000 to local groups and clubs to help meet social needs in Merton and Wandsworth.

The Get Set, Get Active Fund, launched in 2016, aims to help people of all ages and abilities to take part in physical or sports activities in their community.

Groups and clubs active in the boroughs of Merton and Wandsworth can apply for grants ranging from £500 up to £2,500 towards the costs of direct sports or physical activity provision including equipment and kits, coaching fees and venue hire. Applications are encouraged from groups which tackle social problems and help people facing disadvantages to improve their quality of life.  Full details of how to apply (opens 6 February) can be found at www.wimbledon.com/foundation/getactive.

Boccia is a disability sport where players aim to propel a ball towards a target

Helen Parker, Wimbledon Foundation & Community Manager said:

“The Get Set, Get Active Fund is about offering people of all ages and backgrounds in our community the opportunity to take part in some form of physical activity, not only to improve fitness levels but to help people’s mental wellbeing by learning a new skill, meeting new people and making our communities stronger.”

In 2016, 31 local groups and clubs were awarded grants covering a variety of pursuits from beginners’ badminton classes for the over-60s to a cycling programme for families.

The Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability used their Get Set, Get Active Fund grant to run ‘Boccia’ sessions, a disability sport for patients suffering brain injuries. Patient Dr Richard Bennett, a leading biochemist, suffered a massive stroke in 2011 which left him unable to speak or move, except with his eyes. With the support of staff and volunteers Richard takes part in the weekly Boccia sessions, giving him much enjoyment, a sense of achievement and the identity of being part of the ‘RHN Rollers’ team.

Jane Beaven, Director of Fundraising at the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability said:

“Participating in sport is as important to people with brain injury as it is to everyone else. Patients have complete control over how they play, and make all the decisions about their own game and strategies. Thanks to the Wimbledon Foundation’s generous support, our patients have been able to compete with other Boccia teams, both at home and away league games.”