A Devon social entrepreneur has attended the President’s Lunch at Wimbledon after winning a prestigious tennis award.
Former physiotherapist, Fiona Murphy, founded her social enterprise, Double Bounce Inclusive Tennis South West CIC, to combine her love of tennis and helping others. Double Bounce Inclusive Tennis South West CIC provides tennis based sessions for people with physical and learning disabilities. It caters for adults at the Plymouth Life centre, as well as holding sessions in special needs schools and young adult support centres.
Fiona’s work has been recognised after winning the Devon LTA Disability Tennis Programme Award and the British Tennis Awards Disability Programme Award for the South West region. Winning the award earned Fiona an invite to the President’s Lunch at
Wimbledon, and she was also given a Centre Court ticket where she got to see eight-time Wimbledon Champion Roger Federer play.
Fiona said: “Double Bounce Inclusive Tennis South West is for people with a disability or severe impairment who would not normally find it possible to access tennis. Winning the award and being invited to the President’s Lunch at Wimbledon was a fantastic opportunity to chat to the deputy President of the LTA, David Rawlison, to tell him what we are doing in Devon regarding Disability and Inclusive Tennis.”
Jill Osleger, of the Tennis Foundation, praised Fiona for helping to ‘kick start activity in Devon’. She said: “Fiona has shown such dedication and passion for increasing provision for people with a disability to get involved in tennis. Her drive and passion has encouraged others around her to get more involved so that many people can now enjoy the great physical and mental wellbeing benefits playing tennis can bring. We are delighted to work with her and support her work, and are very proud of her achieving such amazing results!”
The Enhance Social Enterprise Programme provided Fiona with business support to help her develop and grow her business. The European Regional Development funded programme which is supported by both Devon and Somerset County Councils, offers social enterprises in Somerset and Devon 12 hours of free business support tailored to their needs. Fiona added: “The European Regional Development Fund has enabled me to progress and develop my business as a Community Interest Company.”
To find out more about how the Enhance Social Enterprise Programme helped Fiona develop and grow her social enterprise watch this video
Fiona has also started providing walking-tennis based sessions for people with dementia, working with the Plymouth Dementia Action Alliance to help promote these sessions. Fiona has also worked in partnership with Improving Lives Plymouth, who have leant volunteer support and provided funding for her tennis-based sessions. If you are a social entrepreneur in Plymouth, Torbay, Devon or Somerset looking for business support to grow your social enterprise fine out more information here.
Further information about the Enhance Social Enterprise Programme:
The Heart of the South West Enhance Social Enterprise Programme is receiving up to £1,053,610 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for ERDF. Established by the European Union, ERDF funds help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding. The accountable body for the Heart of the South West Enhance Social Enterprise Programme is Devon County Council, working with the following delivery partners: Devon Community Foundation, Cosmic, School for Social Entrepreneurs – Dartington, Somerset Community Foundation, Iridescent Ideas and Real Ideas Organisation.