Burngreave community project receives £110,000 boost from Comic Relief

Comic Relief has awarded £110,000 to a Burngreave community project this week.

After an initial two year pilot scheme, Active Burngreave has been rewarded for its successes with another three years worth of funding.

The Yorkshire Sport Foundation is responsible for delivering the programme, which aims to use sport to empower communities and create social change.

Kathryn Mudge, the Yorkshire Sport Active Burngreave development manager, explained how it is unusual for a pilot scheme to be renewed.

She said: “Very rarely are projects like this supported with additional funding, especially pilot schemes.

“We are definitely pleasantly surprised.”

The project aims to improve community relations through training leaders and providing funding to local groups.  

Active Burngreave work with local groups to develop their ideas and provide structure, instead of either accepting or rejecting applications for funding.

The most successful of the Active Burngreave projects has been Big Brother Burngreave, which is a mentoring programme for young boys.

The project offers boys of all ages the chance to play different sports and the sessions are run by older teenagers.

Safiya Saeed, 46, is a community development officer with Active Burngreave and created the Big Brother Burngreave project.

She said: “I’m very proud that we’ve trained new leaders and found new champions.

“We have to develop them personally before we develop them professionally and that’s my role.”

Sami Saeed, 13, attends Big Brother Burngreave every Saturday.

He said: “Where we live there’s not a lot of things like this, so instead of being out there doing other stuff we can do sports.”

Despite securing another three years of funding, there is no guarantee it will last forever and Active Burngreave wants to ensure the progress already made will not be lost.

Miss Saeed added: “We want to study how they can make their project sustainable and also to teach people how to fundraise so if the funding goes the project doesn’t disappear.”

Active Burngreave also supports a variety of community groups including The Mothers of Burngreave, Maan Somali Mental Health and the Reach Up Group.

The next phase of Active Burngreave will be to make these community groups self-sufficient by working alongside local leaders.