Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games: National Lottery funding to boost employment opportunities for young people

Team England triple jumper Nathan Douglas high fives a pupil from Hillstone Primary School in Shard End at the Alexander Stadium Published: 18th Mar 2022

The National Lottery Community Fund and Sport England’s Lottery Sports Fund set to boost opportunities for young people across Birmingham in 2022 and beyond

Hundreds of young people across Birmingham and the West Midlands will gain access to new volunteering and employability boosting opportunities as part of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, thanks to a cash injection of £1 million from the National Lottery.

£750,000 has been awarded by The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK, to Gen22, a legacy project created and run by Birmingham 2022. A separate £250,000 Sport England investment from the Sport England Lottery Sports Fund is also supporting Gen22.

The good news was announced today (Thursday 17th March), where Gen22 will use this vital funding to create 1,000 new opportunities for local young people (aged 16–24) to gain life skills from Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games (the Games) related activities. This is in addition to a workforce of 50,000, which the Games is expected to create.

This National Lottery funding will enable young people, who face barriers such as a lack of confidence, being a young carer or young parent, or having a criminal record, to contribute 30,000 hours of social action towards the Games, thanks to support from Gen22.

Working alongside Gen22, The National Lottery Community Fund will support four ‘flagship providers’ - The Canal and River Trust, Street Games, Groundwork and Positive Youth Foundation - which will support young people to design and deliver their own social action projects in Gen22’s focus sectors that interest them the most – mental health and wellbeing, physical activity, sustainability and creativity respectively. Sport England will be working with six West Midlands Active Partnerships to focus on sport and physical activity-related youth social action volunteering to deliver the Gen22 ambition.

The ‘Gen22 – Ideas Made Real’ campaign will also be launched thanks to The National Lottery Community Fund’s support, where Birmingham 2022 will invite young people from across the West Midlands to submit their project ideas. From these ideas, 22 projects will be selected and each will be matched with a local community organisation to work with a team of young people. Up to £10,000 of National Lottery funding will be awarded to each project to help make these ideas a reality.

Blondel Cluff CBE, Chair of The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “We are delighted to be supporting Gen22’s important work and look forward to seeing the lasting impact National Lottery funding will have through upskilling talented young people.

“Thanks to National Lottery players, the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will create a lasting legacy by generating volunteering and employment opportunities, that will support communities to prosper and thrive and build back stronger from the pandemic.”

Bethan Stimpson, Gen22 Programme Lead at Birmingham 2022, said: “I am delighted that The National Lottery Community Fund has chosen to support Gen22 and our mission to bring the Games closer to our young regional audience. I’m particularly happy to launch our search for social action ideas from young people across the West Midlands and to see these become a reality. We hope that National Lottery players will be excited to see the impact they will make to the lives of our participants and their communities, and we’re really grateful for their contribution.”

The National Lottery Community Fund distributes money raised by National Lottery players, who raise more than £30 million* each week for good causes across the UK. To find out more visit

Gen22 provides an opportunity for young people (aged 16-24) from the West Midlands who might otherwise struggle to access Games related opportunities to gain employability boosting skills.

Young people can submit their Ideas Made Real project ideas online by 24 April 2022.