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The importance of inclusivity and wellbeing at a grassroots level

The importance of inclusivity and wellbeing at a grassroots level

Mental health and physical wellbeing are more important now than they ever have been. We all know someone, perhaps even ourselves, who has been impacted by the pressures and strains of the pandemic. It’s an issue where sport and education – a particular area of focus for our business – can play a hugely significant role.

The Centre for Mental Health announced that levels of psychological distress and mental ill health have risen as a result of the pandemic. Crucially, the report highlights the impact on young people; supporting this demographic is crucial as we strive for brighter days ahead. Part of this challenge is tackling the equality gap, driving inclusivity and opening up opportunities for all young people – regardless of their race, gender, background or identity.

In recent times, we have been privileged to work across various projects focusing on these topics and increasing an understanding and awareness of them at grassroots level.

Henley Royal Regatta Charitable Trust (HRRCT) recently announced its extended support of London Youth Rowing (LYR) and its Active Row programme that aims to improve the mental and physical wellbeing of thousands of young people who have faced unprecedented challenges as a result of the pandemic.

Rowing has often been considered a sport with a difficult entry point, but initiatives such as Active Row aim to overturn these underlying beliefs, while providing an amazing opportunity for youngsters to experience a dynamic environment while having fun.

Speaking about the programme, Sir Steve Redgrave CBE, Chairman of Henley Royal Regatta Charitable Trust said: “We are committed to providing opportunities to make rowing more inclusive as well as enabling young people to discover and enjoy the immense benefits the sport can have on both their physical and mental wellbeing. The success of Active Row over the past four years has been a great achievement and we are thrilled to support the programme, which creates an effective pathway into the sport and ensures that the positive effects of participation and inclusivity are sustainable in the long term.”

Active Row will broaden its reach this year, as it operates outside of the nation’s capital for the first time with the creation of an additional programme in Leeds. The initiative aims to engage over 3,000 young people via indoor and on-water rowing, ultimately to improve equality and inclusivity.

It is programmes such as these that provide a structure for young people from underrepresented backgrounds to get active and experience the benefits of activities like rowing.

Another fantastic initiative that forms the backbone of SQN’s purpose initiative is Greenpower Education Trust, for whom we are proud to be communications partner again in 2021. Greenpower’s design-build-race challenge has provided an amazing opportunity for young people from all walks of life to develop STEM skills. By unlocking the potential and sparking an enthusiasm for STEM learning through technology and racing, Greenpower inspire children and teenagers with an emphasis on inclusivity.

With a growing number of international teams participating in events and programmes running all around the world, Greenpower is helping to address the engineering skills gap. STEM roles are expected to double in the next ten years, yet the shortfall in skillset is costing businesses £1.5bn a year in recruitment (STEM Learning, 2018). In 2018, this shortfall was estimated to be 173,000 workers. Greenpower works to tackle this by encouraging over 10,000 students, from primary school age through to university, to pursue STEM studies and discover the variety of career opportunities within the industry.

It is important to nurture the youth of today and provide opportunities for people of all backgrounds. As a society, we can collectively work together to do great things through supportive actions for young people and ultimately, inspire the leaders of tomorrow.

We are proud to support our partners with campaigns and programmes around inclusivity and wellbeing. If you require marketing and communications support on projects similar to these, we would be more than happy to assist. Contact us today at hello@sqn.agency.