The year began with our volunteer programme for Hull 2017 City of Culture achieving the NCVO ‘Investor in Volunteers’ kitemark, the highest award of its kind for a volunteer programme. The ‘Spirit of Hull’ projects we funded throughout 2017 have contributed to the remarkable regeneration of the city, and a renewed pride among its residents.




Spirit of 2012 joined Instagram! And we agreed a new £300,000 Sporting Equality Fund to be delivered on behalf of the Scottish Government to increase women’s and girls’ participation in sports of all kinds. The fund itself launched in August.




We attended the first British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards (BEDSAs), giving out our own award – the Spirit of 2012 Connecting Communities Award – to the Al Madina Centre in Barking, east London. Al Madina, a Muslim-run centre, won for its multi-sports programme which connects people of all ages and from within the many communities situated in the borough.




Spirit partnered with leadership organisation UpRising to launch One Million Mentors, an online mentoring platform to connect professionals with young people, maximising their talents and helping get them into the world of work.




We launched our Spirit of Women Changemakers programme with the Fawcett Society, funding seven projects that work with women and girls to challenge negative gender stereotypes and norms.




To coincide with National Volunteering Week, English Athletics held a month-long You Can Make It Happen campaign to recognise the army of volunteers upon which competitive sport depends. In Hull, the ground-breaking, citywide community programme “The Land of Green Ginger” launched another of their series of ‘acts of wanton wonder’, opening a pop-up shop housing a hallowed ‘golden nose’ and offering customers the chance to craft their own.




Dance Syndrome, who partner our Everybody Dance programme bringing disabled and non-disabled people together to dance, win a nomination for a National Lottery award. We launch Thrive – a digital toolkit for practitioners who want to help people become active – building on the learning accrued from the Legacy 2014 Physical Activity Fund.




We launch our £2 million #iwill grant – £1 million from Spirit matched by £1 million from the Big Lottery fund. Beacon Hill Arts begins to develop plans to offer degree-standard, Level 4 training for their learning disabled film-makers, a potentially life-changing opportunity.




Our Get Out Get Active programme celebrates its first full year of delivery, having supported almost 4,000 people into physical activity, engaged 230 volunteers and delivered a huge range of activities across 18 localities.




WOW festivals were held in Exeter, Perth and Bradford, featuring a range of inspirational speakers and panellists including Nicola Sturgeon MP, Kirsty Wark, Radio 1’s Gemma Cairney and Liz Carr. We held our Spirit Summit (and trended on Twitter!) in which we revealed the findings from our three-year evaluation report.




Our Youth Advisory Panel choose to extend their funding of the Reading Rooms project in Northern Ireland by £100,000 over two years. Reading Rooms works with young ex-offenders, bringing them together in a reading group in order to grow their social networks and use literature as a means of discussing important topics.




Our new Board Chair Alan Coppin visits Northern Ireland, seeing first-hand the work of some of our successful Fourteen projects. The Aspire programme in Monkstown, for example, which offers small group support and targeted work placements for children at risk of exclusion, has built on our £20,000 initial year one investment to land a £600,000 award from Big Lottery to develop their work for three more years.