Count me in: The dimensions of social inclusion through culture and sport

Author(s):*Listed Alphabetically
Bramham P, Butterfield J, Hylton K, Long J, Welch M

Year of Publication:

Department for Culture Media and Sport

Publication Type:


This study was set up to examine claims made for the ability of cultural projects to promote social inclusion (cultural projects are here taken to include those incorporating sport, the arts, media, heritage and outdoor adventure). This was to be achieved primarily by collecting evidence from a sample of 14 projects selected from some 200 that had volunteered their services. The report to the government’s Social Exclusion Unit (SEU) from the Policy Action Team (PAT10) (1999)2 noted the potential. In his foreword, Chris Smith (then Secretary of State for the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS)) wrote: “… art and sport can not only make a valuable contribution to delivering key outcomes of lower long term unemployment, less crime, better health and better qualifications, but can also help to develop the individual pride, community spirit and capacity for responsibility that enable communities to run regeneration programmes themselves”. Similar statements have followed from other politicians, particularly in the recent Commons debate on sport and social exclusion (22/11/01), and again in the public health debate (13/12/01). However, the PAT 10 report also came to the same conclusion as previous commentators (e.g. Glyptis, 19893; Allison & Coalter, 19964; Long & Sanderson, 19985) that there is little ‘hard’ evidence of the social benefits that accrue.

Reports the findings from an evaluation of 14 projects using cultural activities (including sports) to promote social inclusion. The principal benefits from participation relate to: empowerment and development of social relationships. The authors acknowledge the difficulties in assessing such outcomes, but concluded that they were ‘persuaded that these projects were enjoyed in and of themselves, offering fun and a contribution to quality of life’.

Main Focus: Community Development

Research Purpose: Discussion / Debate

Context: Community

Access Type: Free Download

APA Citation:

Long, J., Welch, M., Bramham, P., Butterfield, J., Hylton, K., & Lloyd, E. (2002). Count me in: The dimensions of social inclusion through culture and sport. London: Department for Culture Media and Sport.