FC trust achieves new Quest Sport for Development award
Millwall Community Trust – the charitable arm of Millwall Football Club – has become the first organisation to receive a new ‘sport for development’ accreditation since the scheme was rolled out in June.
Quest Sport for Development is aimed at agencies using sport to improve personal and social outcomes.
The Bermondsey-based trust is the first organisation to complete the assessment since an earlier pilot involving two other FC trusts in London: Tottenham Hotspur Foundation and Brentford Football Club Community Sports Trust. The Positive Youth Foundation in Coventry also took part in the pilot.
Millwall Community Trust received a Very Good rating in its assessment – the same score achieved by the Brentford and Coventry organisations. Tottenham Hotspur Foundation was rated Excellent.
The growing sport for development (S4D) sector is made up of organisations that use sport to achieve personal and social objectives, from improving physical and mental wellbeing and educational attainment to increasing community cohesion and civic engagement, particularly by young people.
The new award – Quest Sport for Development – has been jointly developed by top research and technology company Substance, which works to ‘make organisations that do good have a greater impact’; and Quest, the UK’s quality scheme for sport and leisure, endorsed by Sport England, Sport Scotland, Sport Wales and Sport Northern Ireland.
Aimed at nascent and growing sport for development agencies in need of organisational support, as well as at traditional sports organisations that don’t have a track record of using sport for social objectives, the award requires providers to complete six modules.
Four of these have been adapted from modules within existing Quest accreditations for sport development teams, including partnerships and collaboration; people and skills development; continuous improvement; and community outcomes. The fifth and sixth modules – Delivering Sport for Development Projects and Generating Insight – have been specially written with the sector in mind.
The process involves self-assessment and external evaluation, and is based on provision of evidence, partner focus groups and extensive staff interviews. As well as a rating of Excellent, Very Good, Good or Satisfactory, providers receive an improvement plan, while to retain accreditation organisations must be assessed again after one year.
Steve Bradshaw, Chief Executive Officer of Millwall Community Trust, said: “The Quest assessment process was interesting and stimulating for our team; it allowed us space to consider the quality of our work currently and where we could develop our capabilities. We’re hopeful it will generate a more outward focus for all staff.”
Neil Watson, Director and Head of Programmes at Substance, said: “Quest Sport for Development directly supports the Government’s ‘Sporting Future’ strategy as well as Sport England’s new national strategy, both of which challenge sport and leisure providers to demonstrate their social impact.
“It’s no longer business as usual for sport and physical activity providers, particularly those that want to use public money to improve lives and deliver good community outcomes.
“Funders want to be confident that an organisation is healthy, that it performs to a consistently high standard, and that it has the capabilities and competencies to make an impact on the lives of individuals and communities – which means focusing on outcomes rather than outputs. Quest Sport for Development has been created to provide all these assurances.
“More than 600 leisure centres in the UK have Quest Facilities accreditation, helping the trusts and contractors that run them to reassure their local authority investors that their money is in safe hands. Our aspiration is that funders of sport for development projects will view Quest Sport for Development in the same way, guiding them to make wiser investment decisions.”
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1. Quest is the UK quality scheme for sport and leisure. Managed by Right Directions in partnership with Leisure-net Solutions, it is a tool for continuous improvement, designed primarily for the management of leisure facilities and leisure development. Quest defines industry standards and good practice, and encourages their ongoing development and delivery within a customer-focused management framework. For more information, visit questnbs.org
2. Substance is a research and technology company that helps organisations that do good think smarter. It works across different sectors and with many types of organisation, including charities, social businesses and government. Its core team is made up of highly experienced social researchers, technologists and programme managers, each with their own specialisms. For more information, visit substance.net