Salvation Army Survey Reveals Striking Attitude to Sport in South East England

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42 per cent of people in the South East (government region) do not do regular sports/ exercise at least once a week but 86 per cent agreed that regular exercise is important, while 82 per cent felt that vulnerable people would benefit from taking up exercise.

Captain Nick Coke

The Salvation Army is helping vulnerable people across the UK and Ireland.

There is a wealth of sport on the TV this summer, but for many of us it’s as close as we come to taking any form of exercise.

In a YouGov survey commissioned by The Salvation Army, 78 per cent of respondents in the north of England said they watch sport on the TV, but 41 per cent admitted that they exercise less than once a week, and 28 per cent said that they don’t do any exercise or sports at all. Nevertheless, a whopping 82 per cent of northerners who took part in the anonymous poll thought that taking part in sport/ exercise is important.

The Salvation Army believes that sport is a powerful tool in helping people recover from addiction problems and homelessness. That’s a sentiment agreed by our respondents 79 per cent saw the benefit of regular sport and exercise for vulnerable people.

The Church and charity has a number of programmes to get people involved in sport, including our Partnership Trophy, a football tournament for homeless men and women, summer camps, weekly football matches, hill walking, badminton, tennis and many more.

Captain Nick Coke, a Salvation Army minister, is working with vulnerable young people and teenagers in east London, to show them key life skills though sport. Nick, runs weekly football training sessions, explained: “Sport gives confidence, tackled stress, helps in treatment of people with addition problems, and brings people into their community as well as keeping people healthy. We support people with a hand up rather than a hand out and sport is a perfect tool for doing this.

“The government recommends that we take exercise at least a couple of times a week, because of the benefits to our physical and mental health. Sadly, most of us don’t do enough exercise.”

Daniel England, 37, took the team up to Birmingham, and organised weekly football matches for current and former residents of the Lifehouse in Bristol. Daniel was homeless and addicted to drugs for several years before he was taken in as a resident at Logos House himself. He’s now been clean for five years, and after leaving Logos House volunteered at the centre, setting up the weekly football matches.

He later became the centre’s receptionist and now works for Logos House as an early intervention worker. He took part in the Partnership Trophy last year: “The guys loved meeting Peter Shilton. Some of the guys said to me it was an amazing day which was great. It was a brilliant day. I just want the lads to become like me – to get back on their feet and realise they can live fulfilling lives.”


The Salvation Army is a Church and charity dedicated to caring for people who are vulnerable or in need in every community. We are there when you need us, working in 126 countries offering compassionate support and practical help.

In the UK and Republic of Ireland this work includes more than 800 community churches and social centres. Registered Charity Nos. 214779, 215174 and in Scotland SC009359, SC037691. For more information visit the website

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Sophie Docker
The Salvation Army
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