2013
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2013

Ready, get set, go!

Ready, get set, go! Following the success of the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games, Spirit of 2012 is established to capture the spirit of pride, positivity and community that inspired people across the UK. The task, to continue a lasting social legacy, awarding grants for inclusive arts, sports and volunteering activities in communities that bring people together to improve their wellbeing.

With a £47m National Lottery endowment, Spirit of 2012 uses the momentum of one-off events, to invest in projects that improve how people feel about themselves, others, and their communities.

In September, we make our first award to Unlimited, an organisation which emerged from the London 2012 Games that showcases the work of disabled artists. This was the start of a relationship with Unlimited which spanned five years.

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2014

Our very first Youth Advisory Panel and more...

We appoint 12 members to our very first Youth Advisory Panel. On alternate years until 2021, the panel is responsible for the Challenge Fund, allocating to projects they feel will empower young people, managing the entire process, from setting out the initial application criteria to making the final decisions on allocating funds. We also convened our Spirit of Achievement Panel, chaired by Paralympian Susie Rodgers MBE to advise on disability inclusion.

We invest in our first major events programme at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games 2014, funding Volunteer Scotland, Glasgow UNESCO City of Music and Streetgames, and opening up the Games experience to thousands from all over the UK.

We launch our three-year Fourteen programme, as part of the legacy of Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, giving people in local communities across the UK the resources to develop social cohesion and wellbeing through sport, arts and volunteering.

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2015

Our funding continues...

Spirit of Rugby is launched, which seeks to empower young people aged 16-24 by introducing them to rugby, its values and its potential to build socially active communities. Spirit of Rugby is timed to maximise the buzz around the 2015 Rugby World Cup and the introduction of Rugby 7s as an Olympic sport at Rio 2016.

We continue to fund Unlimited to enable them to increase their reach and fund emerging artists. With our funding, the Unlimited Impact project was founded which supported 50 young disabled artists in establishing their careers.

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2016

New partnerships...

We fund Get Set’s Road to Rio, a project that connects thousands of schoolchildren across the UK to the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. We grant our biggest-ever award of £4.5 m to Get Out Get Active, a project that seeks to increase rates of physical activity among the least active across the UK.

As a legacy partner of the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, we announce a new £1.3m partnership with the Scottish Government to continue to get people active and, as a result, develop our Thrive toolkit, an online resource to support people in making their own communities more active. 2016 is also the beginning of our partnership with Women of the World (WOW), to deliver WOW festivals outside of London.

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2017

Our commitment continues.....

An early supporter of Hull’s bid to be the UK’s City of Culture 2017, our funding, which started in 2016, continues to help Hull deliver a year-long cultural programme that will leave a lasting social legacy for local people.

We commit to fund and administer fourteen Sporting Equality Funding projects, continuing our relationship with the Scottish Government, to encourage more girls and women into sport, and see the rollout of a further four Women of the World (WOW) festivals outside of London.  2017 also sees the publication of an evaluation report on the impact of Spirit’s first three years. We launched the evaluation at a summit on the Social Legacy of Events, held at RIBA in London and attended by key stakeholders and influencers.

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2018

Empowering and inspiring...

To mark 100 years of (some) women winning the vote, we launch EmpowHER, delivered by UK Youth and jointly funded by Spirit and the #iwill Fund. The UK-wide youth social action programme aims to develop and skill up young women and girls to use their voices for positive change, just as their predecessors did 100 years ago.

Inspired by the 2019 Cricket World Cup, we partner with Youth Sport Trust and Sporting Equals to develop Breaking Boundaries: Connecting Communities through Cricket, which uses cricket to bring people from different communities together.

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2019

More and more projects...

Our Day Out, a Creative Arts East project, funded by Spirit of 2012, won a prestigious Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) Arts & Health award. Based in Norfolk, Our Day Out was designed to help older people from rurally isolated communities engage with high-quality music and movement. One of the judges commented that the programme ‘clearly showed how co-production made it stand out as different from other dementia services.’

We launch three new projects through our Music Challenge Fund for initiatives that bring disabled and non-disabled people together as equals through music to forge new social connections and improve their wellbeing. Spirit is awarded £1.5m from DCMS’s Tampon Tax fund, which it matches with £400,000 from its own funds, for a £1.9m Carers’ Music Fund to increase access to music-making for women and girls with caring responsibilities.  And in June, Spirit partners with the Jo Cox Foundation to support its portfolio of projects to hold ‘Great Get Together’ events to bring people together to celebrate all they have in common.

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2020

Navigating lockdown...

At the start of the year we launch our new strategy for 2020-26 at a reception at the House of Lords. Happier People, Happier Places identifies five key aims: Build the evidence base; work in partnership; break down barriers; champion genuine inclusion, and influence.

As we navigated lockdown and homeworking, we supported our projects to adapt to the restrictions, sharing good practice and enabling them to be flexible around delivery and outcomes.

We awarded Coventry UK City of Culture 2021 £1m for ‘Caring City’, embedding associate producers into four community organisations to deliver a community programme of cultural activities that address the city’s most significant social issues. And our Youth Advisory Panel awarded £100k to Bay Create in Whitley Bay to fund a project using creativity and coastal landscapes to bring under 25s and over 60s together united in the idea that: ‘We are more similar than we are different.’

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2021

The power of events...

In June we celebrated the conclusion of our Carers Music Fund with a virtual summit to share practical guidance on how to design and implement music programmes which improve wellbeing and reduce loneliness for unpaid female carers. Through detailed analysis and evaluation of these ten ‘test and learn’ projects, we have generated insights about the impact of creative participation activities on the wellbeing of carers and the people for whom they care.

We said goodbye to the last members of our Youth Advisory Panel and recruited three of them to join the main Spirit of 2012 board.

In November, we launched an independent Inquiry into the power of events, chaired by Sir Tom Hughes-Hallett with How events can boost volunteering, the first of a series of themed reports to be published between 2021-22, culminating in a final report and recommendations in October 2022.

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2022

A year of celebration!

We’re very excited by what’s in store for 2022. Not only is it the tenth anniversary of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, it’s also packed with big national festivals, sporting events, and celebrations including the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, Birmingham Commonwealth Games, Unboxed, UEFA Women’s Euros, FIFA Men’s World Cup, and the Men’s Rugby League World Cup. Find out more about Spirit of 2012’s plans to #Celebrate2022

The Event That Changed Me

2022 is the tenth anniversary of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. And it’s a year packed to the rafters with big events.

Events have the power to change lives. Maybe one changed yours?

Nationwide impact

We are the London 2012 legacy funder. We build sustainable social legacies from the inspiration of events, investing to improve how people feel about themselves, other people and their communities.

Big events like the Olympics and Paralympics are powerful moments in time. These moments unite people from all walks of life in joyful, optimistic experiences. That’s why we will use the remaining six years of our life to use the power of events to unlock Happier People and Happier Places.

£46.7 MILLION

To projects across the UK

45,000

Volunteers supported nationwide

5.5 MILLION

People reached through Spirit

Explore our funded projects

Using the momentum of events, we invest in projects that improve how people feel about themselves, others, and their communities.

More on our funding

Disabled people Sport and physical activity

Critical Mass

Birmingham England
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Read our insights

Research and learning is at the heart of our approach to making the most of the money we invest and the partnerships we make.

We are committed to working closely with all our grant holders to really understand the outcomes and impact that projects have for the people they work with and for.

Latest News

Inquiry 2022

Can events help build happy, thriving and more connected communities?

Ahead of the tenth anniversary of the London 2012 Games, Spirit of 2012 launches its Inquiry into the power of events.

Our partners