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Active Essex leads countywide pledge to support social inclusivity through sport

High-profile sporting organisations in the county have pledged their support to the Essex Faith Covenant, to use participation in sport as a way of bringing people of all faiths together.

Active Essex, the county sports partnership, has brought together several organisations including, The Essex County Football Association, Colchester United Football in the Community, Essex County Cricket Club and the Active Essex Foundation to commit their support and share the Essex Faith Covenant’s vision of using sport to tackle loneliness, isolation and disadvantage felt within Essex’s minority communities.

Jason Fergus, Director, Active Essex commented on the involvement of the County Sports Partnership: “We have witnessed the benefits that sport and physical activity can bring to under represented groups including those from disadvantaged communicates, people with mental health issues and disabilities. Sport can break down barriers and give people a positive way of becoming involved in their communities.

“We are committed to changing 1 million lives by getting Essex active, a goal which we want to become accessible to everyone in the county.”

The Essex Faith Covenant leads representatives from several faith-based organisations to share their ambitions and ensure that no inequalities exist between faith and community organisations across Essex.

Vivienne Wiggins, Chair of the Essex Faith Covenant Steering Group and CEO of Beacon House, said: “The Essex Faith Covenant aims to bring faith leaders from across the county together with organisations such as Active Essex, to make a real difference by building inclusive communities and supporting people most in need.

“In signing up to the Faith Covenant, sporting organisations are joining faith communities and other partners that have pledged to follow a joint vision – a set of principles that unify us, and focus our attention on helping others. The overriding sentiment of that vision is that together we are stronger.”

It is hoped that many more sporting organisations will sign up to the Essex Faith Covenant and commit to breaking down barriers to participating in sport and physical activity.

Cllr Ray Gooding, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills commented: “Faith communities play a positive and important role in our communities, however, for some people, their faith can make it difficult to engage in some activities. I am delighted to see sports bodies in Essex taking the first steps towards acknowledging issues of isolation in our communities and offering real solutions to bring our communities together.”

For more information about Active Essex, please visit www.activeessex.org