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Spirit of 2012 names Alan Coppin as chair

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Funding charity Spirit of 2012 has appointed Alan Coppin as chair. He replaces Dugald Mackie after a four-and-half year stint.

Spirit of 2012 was established with a £47m (US$61.95m, €53.34m) endowment from the Big Lottery Fund to invest in projects that continue the spirit of pride, positivity and social connectedness experienced by people during the London 2012 Olympic Games.

It has awarded £29.5m (US$38.88m, €33.48m) to 36 projects across the UK, with the largest grant – £4.5m (US$5.93m, €5.11m) – given to Get Out Get Active, a programme that encourages disabled and non-disabled people to enjoy being active together.

Speaking at the Spirit of 2012 Summit in central London last week (25 October), Coppin pledged to support the organisation’s work to improve social cohesion and influence the wellbeing agenda in the UK.

“I’m absolutely delighted to have been appointed as chair of this wonderful charity, which is investing in happiness by grant funding arts, physical activity, and sport and volunteering, in genuinely inclusive ways,” Coppin said.

“I join the board as Hull 2017 UK City of Culture is in full swing and during our continuing, successful Legacy 2014 partnership with the Scottish Government to increase levels of healthy physical activity in the least active population groups.”

The Summit featured a keynote speech from Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson which focused on a new report revealing the impact of Spirit’s first three years of funding.

Coppin added: “Evidence from Spirit’s InFocus report suggests our small organisation is influencing the agendas and methodologies of more established and larger funders, and that our voice is part of the national conversation about wellbeing.

“I’m grateful to Spirit’s founding chair, Dugald Mackie, whose experienced and wise leadership established the organisation on a sound footing. I’m determined to do all I can over the next few years to enable Spirit to fulfil its ambition to improve wellbeing, increase social cohesion and transform perceptions and attitudes – including self-perceptions – towards disability and impairment.”

Coppin, former MD of Wembley Stadium and CEO of Wembley plc and the Historic Royal Palaces, is also chair of The Sports Grounds Safety Authority and a trustee of The Royal Air Force Museum.

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Funding charity Spirit of 2012 has appointed Alan Coppin as chair, replacing Dugald Mackie after four-and-half years in the role.
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