3 Innovative Sports Projects Who’ve Won Support from the Carling Made Local Fund


Semble and Carling have worked together since 2017, when we first joined forces to deliver funding to communities across the UK. Throughout this time, we have supported groups from Dingwall to Bodmin, Lowestoft to Llanelli. Every group we work with gives us the opportunity to learn more about local communities, their struggles and the passionate people who are working to meet these struggles with humanity, care and connection.

Here are 3 of our favourite projects we’re working with at the moment who are pioneering exciting new ways to support the community through sports.

Birmingham Wheelchair Basketball is a wheelchair basketball club for people who use a wheelchair, as well as people who don’t. During the pandemic their dedicated founder, Andy Craddock, realised that many people who identified as disabled were struggling to stay motivated to keep fit. When Birmingham Wheelchair Basketball was offered funding from Carling, they decided that to put the funding towards hosting interviews with inspirational athletes, Paralympians and Olympians, as well as panel discussions to promote diversity and inclusion in sports and to inspire adults facing barriers to staying active.

For these sessions we were particularly impressed by Andy’s choice of collaboration over competition, sharing funding with Paradance and Paraboxing groups to bring a greater diversity to the sessions offered.

Image of 5 women of different ethnicities and cultures with title reading "Women in Mind" Image by Lu Cornish, commissioned by Exim Dance Company

(Image from Exim’s Website, Image by Lu Cornish commissioned  for the Women in Mind program.)

This community dance space provides opportunities for people in areas of deprivation in Plymouth to participate in socially engaged dance wellbeing services. Their approach uses dance and breaking down the ideological barriers that surround it, to aim for improved mental health, increased confidence and self-esteem and to build on social skills all while keeping participants physically and mentally fit.

As their website says, “Our work centres around our core value that anyone who wants to do something can do it. No matter their background or whether they have any disabilities. We support those on low income by offering our services for free. We seek to unite communities and encourage people to work collaboratively together.”

Funding from the Carling Made Local Fund went towards the cost of mirrors and dance-suitable flooring in their new studio space, as well as to support their new Women in Mind programme. This free health and wellbeing dance programme invites self-identified women who are experiencing low confidence to take dance classes alongside wellbeing practitioners, providing physical and mental health support.

Image of football gloves, boots and balls reading "New football kit, thanks Carling Made Local

(Image from Leicester City of Sanctuary Facebook)

This Leicester City of Sanctuary offers football sessions to its refugee and asylum seeker community. These sessions bring together people living through extremely difficult circumstances to make friends, practice English and find a sense of home and community.

Friends Through Football won funding from the Carling Made Local Fund for pitch hire, as well as half time snacks for the players, and hygiene products for players and other Leicester City of Sanctuary service users, many of whom live on a weekly government allowance of just £39.63.

About the Author:

Keen to make the world a kinder place, Josie supports the campaigns and community teams at Semble to help bring people together. She has worked with migrants, taught sex education and is a lover of all things Latin America. Her interests include food, reading, and dreaming of being a beekeeper.