Health and wellbeing

Funding level: £1,001 to £5,000


Back to Netball Bury offer netball sessions to women in Bury, regardless of ability, age or experience level. We encourage all women to participate, and we are inclusive of all socio-economic and cultural backgrounds. But it is so much more than just playing a bit of netball. This organisation has become one of the most positive and rewarding aspects of so many of our ladies day to day lives, and I dont think a description is going to do it justice! We have participants all the way up to their late fifties who havent played for thirty years, engaging with girls in their late teens who played for the school team, and women of varying orthodox religious backgrounds all coming together and having the best of times.
There are no sign up fees, no set length of course etc, meaning that those who would be put off by, or could not afford, a gym subscription, can still engage in regular exercise, with all the physical, mental and social benefits that this affords. It also gives women who have limited time to engage socially due to childcare, to have some me time, make new friends and exercise all within the space of an hour.
We are run entirely by volunteers. All of the committee and the coaches are women who have come to one of the sessions, and have found it so rewarding that they wanted to give back to other women who want to get involved.
What we now need is to make sure that the project can remain viable. Due to natural attrition, we are short on coaches, and we also want to ensure all our coaches have the chance to be trained in first aid. The volunteers are without doubt the best thing about this project, and they do it from the goodness of their own hearts. What we want more than anything is to support them with adequate training so they can continue to make a huge difference to the women of our community.
We are self funded, we ask for only £3 per session and we use this to cover the costs of hiring halls in the winter. The problem is that when we play outside, we are at the mercy of the elements and as we are in the famously rainy Manchester we often have to cancel the session. This is a double blow for us, because then not only have we had to turn our ladies away that night, it then means that we haven’t taken any money and our winter indoor sessions are also at risk as we cannot then afford the cost of the halls.
In July this year we received a grant from a local council initiative called "The Pitch" which was £1800. We have used this to pay for some new equipment and to assist with the cost of the halls, and provide travel expenses for our coaches, but this has only covered 15 weeks of our expenses. If we could cover the cost of more of our indoor sessions, we can ensure we don’t have to turn any of our ladies away because we can’t afford to keep the halls, and we could stay indoors longer.
I want to stress the impact this organisation has had on me, and on so many of our participants. I came to this having not been a “sporty” type. I didn’t do netball at school etc. I went along to a session with a friend as I was just too nervous to go alone. This was two years ago. Now I am the co-chair for the group, I've given presentations in front of strangers and I have made some of the best friends I have ever had in my life. My mental and physical health has improved beyond measure, and I am only one person. There are so many ladies I could tell you about who have gained just as much, if not more, than me from this organisation. When I was explaining to one of our participants about how we are funded and how close it can get to us not being able to afford the halls she said "Gosh, but I live for this at the moment, I'm so stressed with work I need this as my release!"
With this bid we could fund a year of netball and it would also mean we could even offer some free sessions without worrying about cost or turning any of our ladies away.

Project Video

Back To Netball Bury

Every single thing about this project makes me proud, whether it be the hard work of the volunteers, or the participants. When we get feedback from one of the palyers because she is happier, more skilled, and is enjoying exercising for the first time ever, it makes it all worthwhile.

Location: Bury