A fantastic milestone achieved at the end of the Sport 4 Life UK financial year!

It has been wonderful to be part of Sport 4 Life UK’s success in achieving another key milestone and smashing through the £1m funding record. This could not have been achieved without the hard work and dedication of everyone at Sport 4 Life UK. Everyone should be very proud of themselves!

By Mundeep Johal, Sport 4 Life Trustee

Q4 Board Meeting & Strategy

This quarter the trustees got together again at Birmingham City University campus, hosted by Emma Neale (thank you!), which included beautiful views over the city, and with the anticipation of the Commonwealth Games upon us very soon.
Unfortunately, due to other work commitments I was unable to make it on site this time, so I joined virtually along with Matt, but had the pleasure of meeting many of the trustees in person at our last meeting. Alongside other members of the leadership team, we were joined by Jeni Bennett (Mentoring Project Manager) and Emma Oliver (Finance & HR Manager) who provided important insights and contributions.

The meeting was extended this quarter so we had a specific session on strategy looking at the strategic priorities for the charity over the next five years, as we enter our 17th year. It was great to see the variety of individuals, teams and stakeholders provide input into the charity’s direction and future.

Tom and the team articulated how this was being put into action, and how it will form part of everyone’s objectives – ensuring a collective journey towards a common goal. The Trustees had good healthy discussion with the leadership team, ensuring that the ambitious goals are well understood, and providing challenge where needed.

Celebrating successes

We had a detailed update from Tom, supported by the leadership team with a pack of key reports distributed ahead of the meeting, highlighting even more great successes worthy of celebration. There was positive performance on a number of outputs and outcomes, however we also acknowledged there was more to be understood around engagement challenges with certain cohorts and achieving qualification targets.

Matt provided an update on the ‘Youth Voice’ group, and it was great to hear the first meeting had taken place during quarter 4. Five young people met for the first time to understand the wants and needs of the group and start considering areas of focus, as well as to provide feedback on the delivery model and Sport 4 Life UK more broadly. We look forward to hearing more from this group and continuing to support this area.

We received key updates on the financials, including passing the £1m funding income milestone which is a fantastic success, but it does come with additional scrutiny as the charity enters its first audit year. Emma and the team have been working hard to ensure the organisation is prepared for this. With the growth of the charity, it has also been agreed that we purchase a new CRM system to streamline and develop M&E and impact management practices, as well as to improve the experience for young people and stakeholders.

Another great achievement was attendance at the summer 2022 NCS programme, which had a 100% turnup – the only one in the West Midlands, and only one of four in the country!

Finally, Sport 4 Life UK has been working hard to raise its profile during the run up to the Commonwealth Games, in particular securing a partnership with Longines where 30 individuals – including staff and young people – had the honour of becoming baton bearers.

Final thoughts

As a Board, we recognise even with these successes, as we emerge from the pandemic, we are faced with new challenges, in particular the cost of living. Sport 4 Life UK will continue to support and make a difference to many people’s lives during these challenging times, however this cannot be achieved without the dedication of everyone at the organisation, all of whom play an important role in ensuring its success. Thank you to all the Sport 4 Life UK team, as well as the Board for their time, guidance and support.

Mundeep Johal