An update from SASSOT

Wednesday 1st April 2020


Firstly I hope this finds you and your family healthy and happy.

I wanted to get in touch specifically to update you on SASSOT’s response to the current COVID-19 pandemic. We understand we have an important role over the coming months in supporting, not only the sector, but everyone around us. Over the past week or so we’ve been thinking really hard about the services we can offer; actions which make sense in a time when nothing else really does. We know we will need to adapt and change this as we go and we’re really keen to hear your feedback.

Initially we have identified the following priority actions:

1.   Supporting people to stay active 

Keeping our population active is going to be vital tool in the maintenance our physical and mental wellbeing. We will provide clear, accessible information, advice and guidance to support people to do just that. We will connect people with online offers and activate the national #StayInWorkOut campaign.

2.   Activating our volunteers

We know sporting volunteers are some of the most dedicated, connected and community minded individuals out there. We are working with local authorities and third sector partners to connect them with the appropriate volunteer opportunities where it is safe to do so.

For more information about COVID-19 volunteering contact Jude Taylor.

3.   Connecting our sector

We will provide digital spaces for sport and physical activity professionals to share information and best practice and we will distill and disseminate national advice and guidance, for our partners, quickly and accurately.

For more information regarding this contact Jane Kracke.

4.   Developing our professionals & volunteers

We recognise some of our amazing sport and leisure professionals and volunteers will be looking at a change in their day to day responsibilities as an opportunity to develop their skill-set and SASSOT will be there to support them.  We will coordinate regular webinars, online courses and seminars for free.

For more information regarding contact Marie Jenkins-Evans.

5.   Strengthening our clubs 

We know it isn’t business as usual for our community clubs, however many of them will be looking for ways to come back stronger. SASSOT is enhancing its offer to clubs, supporting them with their development activities, bid writing policy development and volunteer recruitment.

For more information contact Claire Greenwood.

The team contact details can be found here. 

We understand this offer will need to evolve over the coming week and months; it’ not clear at the moment what challenges, you, our partners will be facing on the ground. I really welcome conversations with you all to understand the challenges you are facing.

Given the general backdrop of uncertainty and the reduced capacity of many of our providers and partners, we have had to consider our own plans for the coming months, as you know we were due to transfer to an independent charitable organisation – Together Active in April. The SASSOT Board has taken the difficult decision to postpone that move until 31st of August. Internally we have also had to look at the way we operate, the SASSOT team are all now working from home, but they remain available via email and mobile phone.

The most important thing, the only thing, is the health and wellbeing of our communities. We know this is going to be a challenging few months for everyone in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, but SASSOT are behind you every step of the way

In light of the recent event, this newsletter will now be issued weekly to ensure you’re keep abreast of the latest sector news and information.

Take care,
Jude Taylor, Director