Community Leisure UK’s Active Kindness project celebrates after being awarded £651,003 in National Lottery funding

Published on: April 3rd 2024

Active Kindness, a volunteering programme which previously received Sport England funding, is celebrating after receiving vital National Lottery funding to leverage the power of volunteering across public leisure and culture to create greater community cohesion, stronger personal development of individuals and increase the diversity of those taking part in health, wellbeing, and creative programmes.

The funding will support Community Leisure UK to empower their members – social enterprises and charities delivering public leisure and culture – with the necessary resources and support them to revolutionise their volunteering programmes in a sustainable manner that best suits their unique circumstances. 

Thanks to National Lottery players, Active Kindness will receive £651,003 over five years from The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest community funder in the UK.  

This comes from The UK Fund, one of The National Lottery Community Fund’s first significant commitments as part of its new strategy, ‘It starts with community’, funding projects that support communities to come together – one of the funder’s four key missions.   

Active Kindness is one of the first nine projects to receive a share of £12 million from The UK Fund. It will use the funding to develop resources and tools to measure social value, and establish consistent data collection and evaluation of volunteering across members. 

The UK Fund, launched last year, supports organisations that bring people with different life experiences together, form connections that create healthier lives, and provide opportunities for people to play a part in shaping their community’s future.  

Phil Rumbelow, Chair of Community Leisure UK, said: “We’re thrilled that The National Lottery Community Fund has recognised our work. This funding will make such a huge difference – allowing us to build on the success of the project to date, and expand across our members in Scotland and Wales, and those with cultural services. It is an incredible opportunity to embed volunteering and engage with people in communities across the UK. Thank you to National Lottery players for making this happen.” 

Mel Eaglesfield, Deputy Director for UK Portfolio at The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “We’re delighted to make this significant investment of £12 million to projects across the UK focused on supporting communities to come together – one of our key missions as part of our new strategy.  

“We’re looking forward to seeing the difference these projects will make in strengthening society and improving lives across the UK. Thanks to National Lottery players, people from different backgrounds will feel an increased sense of belonging and have the opportunity to play a part in creating lasting change in their communities.” 

The announcement comes as The National Lottery Community Fund launches a new report, revealing findings from its latest Community Research Index [1], which show how important it is to people to feel part of their community and having the opportunity to improve their community for the future. The findings show:  

  • Seven in ten (72%) say it’s important to them to feel part of their local community 
  • People who feel part of their community say the benefits of this include: having an opportunity to meet people (45%), improving their wellbeing (43%), having a greater sense of pride (40%), and having a positive impact on their local area (36%) 
  • Half (51%) say having activities that bring people together is in their top five local community priorities  
  • Nearly two-thirds are willing to work with others to improve their local community (64%), and think that people in their area can make a real change by getting involved (63%) 
  • But only around half feel they have the opportunity (52%) or ability to play a role (46%).  


National Lottery players raise over £30 million a week for good causes across the UK. Thanks to them, last year The National Lottery Community Fund was able to distribute over half a billion pounds (£615.4 million) of life-changing funding to communities.     

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