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Local groups can apply for HSBC Golf Roots PLUS funding

The first application window for inclusive local and regional golf projects to apply for ‘HSBC Golf Roots Plus’ funding from the Golf Foundation is now open.

A wide range of community-based educational/social/health projects which wish to introduce the life skills benefits of golf to young people can now apply for up to £1,500 of funding up until July 5, 2019 (a second application window is open from September 2-October 7). See end of article for how to apply.

HSBC Golf Roots Plus projects (funded by HSBC and The Gerald Micklem Charitable Trust) are a key initiative within the Golf Foundation’s drive to make ‘Golf for All’. A number of these have supported young people with a disability, special educational needs (SEN) or behavioural issues, while other projects have backed young people while offering further social and community benefits. These have included charity/local authority led groups in deprived economic areas offering playing opportunities for young people who could experience golf for the very first time.

An HSBC Golf Roots Plus project should, among other criteria, reflect the core values of the Golf Foundation:
• be inclusive and innovative;
• make the introduction of young people to golf fun;
• demonstrate how it will enhance Skills for Life learning and inspire its young people.

Each HSBC Golf Roots Plus project should link to a local HSBC Golf Roots golf facility (there are 480 nationally), involve a PGA coach, and train young people as volunteers.

During the last two years, 25 organisations have benefited from HSBC Golf Roots Plus funding. Here are just a few:

Positive Futures in Caerphilly was awarded funding to run StreetGolf sessions in one of the most deprived areas in Wales, an area which had problems with anti-social behaviour. The activity began in the Summer of 2017 with outreach StreetGolf sessions and was followed up with coaching and fun competitions at Bryn Meadows Golf Club – a HSBC Golf Roots Centre. By the end of the activity, 55 young people had taken part and it had enjoyed a community-wide impact. According to Paul Taylor, the coordinator for the project, the local police reported the activity “had contributed to an 18% reduction in anti-social behaviour in Lansbury Park and 33% drop in anti-social behaviour across the entire borough”.

Stonham Barns Golf Centre in Suffolk has been redeveloping its facilities to build a Golf Adventure Park which will attract more juniors and families to play golf. The club is also offering its coaching and facilities to young people from deprived communities and those with special educational needs.

The Newcastle Community Asset Trust (NCAT) is a local charity with a social purpose, situated in an area ranked within the 10% most deprived neighbourhoods in the country. The NCAT provides activities and support for local young people and their families. The team also works with the police to help in the community.

Northamptonshire Sport & Brampton Heath GC, with the help of ‘Plus’ funding, created a successful inclusive golf project over two years. Young people who attend six mainstream schools that have SEN units were encouraged to take part, with the opportunity to receive golf coaching, attend Tri-Golf festivals and a family fun day at Brampton Heath GC.

Hertfordshire Golf Development received funding in November 2017 for its ‘Autism in Golf’ project that aimed to offer golf activity to around 90 young autistic people. The project targeted inactive youngsters to enable them to be physically active on a regular basis and gain the additional health benefits associated with regular exercise.

Urdd Gobaith Cymru, Port Talbot: The Urdd Sports Department offered a range of community sports clubs and national competitions to children and young people through the medium of Welsh. The project promoted Tri-Golf in six Welsh medium primary schools and provided an opportunity for school children to continue play at local golf clubs – Glyn Abbey, Neath GC and Maesteg GC.

Sheffield Inclusive Football: This project received funds to help young people with a range of disabilities improve their health and wellbeing through recreational and competitive golf.

Larbert High School in Falkirk received funding to create and sustain the school’s golf academy programme and make a positive difference to the lives of young people. As well as receiving coaching, pupils received the opportunity to participate in a variety of individual and team based competitions throughout the year allowing them to develop their social skills, whilst also developing a knowledge of the Rules and etiquette of the game.

A North Lanarkshire Golf Development Group project created a pathway for children with social and behavioural problems from two schools in Lanarkshire. Each school received a 10-week training programme where they received coaching from PGA professionals. The target for the kids has been to learn new life choices and to try to give them positive rewards for good behaviour and their working hard on improving their ability in golf.

Excellent donation from London Welsh Golf Society

The Golf Foundation was also fortunate to receive an excellent donation from the London Welsh Golf Society last year, allowing the charity to fund two more ‘Plus’ projects in Wales this season. One of these is being led by Tom Bowen, a Golf Foundation Award winner, who is a PGA Assistant Professional and volunteer at North Wales Golf Club. Through funding support Tom is able to offer ongoing inclusive golf to a range of people of different ages who have mental health issues. Tom was helped himself by the team at North Wales GC as he suffered from depression and he is now putting something back into the club by supporting this innovative scheme.

A second project that can be carried out thanks to the London Welsh donation, includes encouraging more young people from BAME backgrounds to get involved in learning golf while offering them wider Skills for Life educational training. The project will be run by Cardiff-based BME Connect Cymru and will look to help young people currently not in education, employment and training to develop personal skills that can help them obtain education or employment opportunities, while encouraging them to enjoy golf with follow-on opportunities at a golf club.

If your organisation is interested in running an HSBC Golf Roots Plus Project, please discuss your proposal with your Regional Development Officer before applying. To view the guidance notes and application form click here.  

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