Thank you for agreeing to feedback on our plans for a potential Inclusion and Access Fund

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* 1. Please provide the following information

Section 1  - Suggested Eligibility Criteria

We need to consider some simple eligibility criteria that allows for sufficient rigour to make the right judgements about ‘need’ whilst avoiding bureaucracy and excessive time assessing applications. We are proposing the following criteria as the measure of eligibility and need:

"Members are eligible to apply if they are affiliated to Basketball England, aged between 8 and 18 where a family member is on free school meals"

We have researched a range of thresholds that recognise financial need and it is a very complicated picture. The initial feedback we received suggests that the school meals threshold recognised in education could be the simplest and most relevant, but we are open to suggestions.

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* 2. Do you agree that free school meals is a simple and appropriate measure to apply that will help us target the most needy?

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* 3. Do you agree with the 8-18 age range?

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* 4. If you have any other suggestions for criteria that are simple to apply and relate to the targeting of support grants to those who need it most, please suggest here

Section 2 - Other grant information requirements that we are considering

We feel this grant should be limited to one grant per person.

Should the number of applications outstrip the amount of funding available, we will then need to examine additional information to assess a successful application. This could involve a short statement on the player background, connection with their club, why the applicant needs this fund and what their contribution is to their club/peers. This isn't an exhaustive list of what could be provided.
Equally, should applicants be prepared to share their story/basketball journey so we can help to inspire others within the game?

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* 5. Do you have any helpful suggestions as to what we should consider beyond financial need should the number of applications we receive be greater than the funds available?

Section 3 - Application and assessment process

We want to use a simple, fast and efficient application and assessment process. Equally, we want to avoid incurring major costs in administering the fund. We are proposing to manage the pilot round centrally, though this has the scope to change in future years.

Following the evaluation of the pilot and the demand, we will consider how to grow the small grants fund and consider decentralising it to the regions with incentives to grow the fund and have a greater impact in each region. We will need to be sure there is capacity in the regions to do this. A good compromise may be to administer centrally and ensure there is input from the regional committee on grants in their region.  

We are suggesting the following approach:

A simple online application which will be submitted by Basketball England affiliated clubs on behalf of the recipient.

A club member nominates the player with another club members as seconder. Parental or guardian consent will be required and verification of home address and eligibility to apply.

Evidence of the school meals eligibility (simple process to be established).

Explanation of what the grant is to be spent on and why by the recipient.

Assessment criteria and guidance to be clear for applicants to follow on the Basketball England website

Opening and closing dates for each round(s) that the fund is available for.

Grants panel with BE Officer support to make decisions.

Bank account details will be required on the form for simple and fast payment to the club/player.

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* 6. Please share any views to help us establish the simplest and most appropriate way of applying that also allows for the provision of important information to judge the application? 

Section 4 - Grant reach and size of award 

Funds will be limited to a range that is deemed reasonable to help individuals overcome the financial barriers and make the sport more accessible. Careful balance is required in this area. Whilst the footprint that can be achieved by this fund would ideally be as large as possible, there must also be consideration to the finances required to do this.

Initially we are thinking of a small grant of up to £50 per person with an initial fund of £10,000 for the pilot in the 2018-19 season. That would allow the fund to support approximately 200 players. If we applied a £100 limit, this would support around 100 players

Depending on the demand and its positive effect on players, parents and clubs, we would seek to get matched funding from other sources and boost the total of the fund over time. 

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* 7. Would you like to see more young people benefiting from £50 awards, or fewer players benefiting but receiving a larger grant?  Should the amount awarded be smaller or larger per person?

Please comment below on your preference or any middle ground you want us to consider.

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* 8. Do you think we should link the awards to any other fund raising requirements so we can maximise how funds can be acquired from other sources? For example, each region matches the award with local funds

Section 5 - Themed Rounds

We are also considering options relating to themed rounds relating to improving access and affordability. For example, we want to tackle the gap between boys and girls participation so we may target some funding rounds to purely support girls participation as we have stated this is a priority for the sport.

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* 9. Do you have any thoughts on the use of themed funding rounds as part of the proposed fund?

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* 10. If sufficient resources could be made available, do you want to see themed rounds which the members can influence on what different parts of parts of the game we should tackle?

Section 6 - Additional Scope

In addition to grants to support players, we could consider extending this to include teenagers wishing to participate in coaching, officiating, volunteering or other training, development and qualification opportunities in basketball.

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* 11. In the future, would you like us to consider allocating part of any potential fund to cover additional areas of the sport?

Section 6 - Club Specific Funding

The Basketball England Inclusion and Access Fund could be complemented with other forms of support to assist clubs with affordability. We know that numerous clubs have become very successful in securing grants and raising funds to support their players and club activities.

If you are involved with a club and you can offer advice on how you raise funds, negotiate cheaper facilities or if you are aware of funding streams that other clubs could benefit from, please let us know below and we can promote these opportunities more widely.

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* 12. Please share your club funding ideas here if you have anything to add