As we are now all staying at home more than we would like it is more important than ever that we take care of our mental and physical wellbeing, and as we know, being physically activity is one of the best ways of doing this.
We are also seeing the role physical activity and sport can play in our communities in a wider role with some amazing acts of kindness and generosity with organisations working together for the good of the local people.
Active Partnerships have responded quickly to the current crisis, working with partners to understand the problems and challenges being faced in their locality, building on existing connections and insight to come up with effective collective solutions and innovative ways to encourage people and communities to keep moving.
All Active Partnerships have set up web pages to highlight some local and national resources and ideas that people can access regardless of previous levels of activity and some Partnerships like Active Essex are including live weekly activity schedules. All Active Partnerships are also supporting Sport England’s campaign Join the Movement which gives people fun and creative ideas on how to get active at home and share their own ideas using #StayInWorkOut.
Active Partnerships are also conscious that people may not have access to online activities so have been working with community organisations like food banks, housing associations, coronavirus support groups to provide equipment and creative ideas to encourage everyone to get active and keep moving. This is especially important as a recent Sport England survey revealed that older people and people on low incomes are two groups who are finding it more difficult than normal to be active during the outbreak.
Below are just some examples but there are many more across the Partnerships. Please contact your local Active Partnership to see what is happening in your area.
Online resources are not always as useful for this demographic so SASP have been using priority shopping hours in local supermarkets, housing support officers and coronavirus volunteer groups to distribute resistance bands and exercise programmes amongst other useful items to those over 70. Over 2,000 packs have been distributed after a successful pilot in Minehead.
Feedback included: ‘Thank you so much, my mum was so grateful for the pack and wanted to make sure I thanked you for doing it. She said in her message today that she is going to take over from The Green Goddess with her exercise routines’. Their GP Referral clients at The Beach Hotel fitness suite which SASP operate, have also been given the opportunity for telephone support to encourage them to keep moving in ways that are right for them.
GreaterSport have also produced leaflets for people who aren't currently active or who are less physically able to do higher intensity activity, based on strength and balance based activities the partnership have linked with adult social care to ensure they are distributed to relevant people. GreaterSport’s super six leaflet can be found here.
North Yorkshire Sport, working with North Yorkshire County Council as part of their Universal Plus service. This will provide additional support to people who are not part of the shielded community but need more help. They have put together activity packs for older people, families and young people.
Rise teamed up with Barclays to deliver 4000 activity packs to benefit users of reablement services across Northumberland and Tyne & Wear to support independent living. Adam Brougham, Strategic Lead for Adult Health and Wellbeing said: “Many people using reablement services need support to regain their confidence and independence. Keeping active supports this as a benefit to not only our physical health, but also our mental well-being. That is why we are delighted to be working with our local authorities to distribute the packs to residents across Northumberland and Tyne & Wear. We hope that these packs will give many people the means to regain their strength, balance and co-ordination.”
A number of Partnerships have launched weekly challenges for families. This includes Wesport who have launched a Weekly Activity Schedule and #ActivityBingo resource as a fun way for families to maintain their health & wellbeing at home. The aim is to produce some hard copies to have distributed with foodbanks.
Rise, the Active Partnership for Northumberland and Tyne & Wear have created 2,400 physical activity packs containing a variety of items for creating indoor and outdoor games and activities.They have teamed up with the local authorities to deliver the packs to ensure they reach the families which are most in need of extra support.
Leap developed the Boredom Buster Pack which was distributed to families during the summer (2100 packs) and winter periods (1300 packs) in conjunction with partners The Clare Foundation, Latimer Hope Trust, the Rothschild Foundation and the Milton Keynes European City of Sport (ECoS) programme.
#BeFit4Baby – Free ‘crisis content’ for mums-to-be via a collaboration including MSP and Active Cheshire. Having spotted a gap in provision for pregnant women self-isolating or social distancing when it comes to availability of free online workout content, an existing collaborative has quickly mobilised to put something in place. Active Cheshire, MSP, Cheshire and Merseyside Women’s and Children’s Partnership and Cheshire and Merseyside Maternity Voices Network were already working together around early years physical activity, but have shifted focus to meet an immediate need in these unusual times.
The result was twice-weekly live and on-demand #BeFit4Baby video content catering for pregnant women and allowing them to #StayInWorkOut . More details at https://www.merseysidesport.com/be-fit-4-baby/ and https://www.activecheshire.org/news/mums-lockdown-project/
Wiltshire and Swindon Sports Partnership helped support families of children with a learning and/or physical disability after identifying that supported families had significantly reduce opportunties to stay active over the summer and Summer Activity Packs were created to fill the gap.
#ThisIsPE – A campaign designed and created in Yorkshire to support teachers, parents and carers to teach physical education received national recognition from the Department for Education. Led by Yorkshire Sport Foundation, and supported by Association for Physical Education, North Yorkshire Sport, the Youth Sport Trust and Active Partnerships, it used specialist teachers of PE from across the county to film two-minute videos with activities that can be replicated at home, all linked to the primary PE curriculum. These videos were posted three times a week.
Birmingham Sport - Commonwealth Challenge. Sport Birmingham created a free resource that links to the curriculum and enables families to earn sports equipment for their primary school by being active at home linked to the commonwealth games.
Active Partnership are ran virtual school games providing lots of fun competitions to keep children active, some examples include Active Lancashire, North Yorkshire Sport, Active Sussex, Active Humber, Energise Me and Living Sport amongst many others. Visit your local Active Partnership for more information. Other Partnerships such as Leciester-Shire and Rutland Sport have joined with sport clubs to provide some fun competitions like the Active Foxes challenge.
As well as encouraging people to keep active at home Active Partnerships have also been working with community groups and bike shops to support key workers and those self isolating to receive medical supplies. Active Lancashire, have supported an initiative involving Love to ride, Connecting East Lancashire and Lancashire County Council, to donate 12 bikes to NHS workers from Blackburn and Burnley Hospital Trusts, with many more to come. Active Oxfordshire worked with Cyclox and many other local organisations to launch a Bike for Key Workers Scheme which resulted in 500 bikes being donated to key workers across Oxford city.
Active Oxfordshire have supported cycling and running clubs to help deliver routine medicines to those under lockdown. Adapted from a Bristol programme to local circumstance in Banbury, Bicester and Oxford.
SASP Jump Start are offering teenagers 1:1 bike maintenance through a video link to help them keep their bikes in good working order as for many of them this is their key to their once a day physical activity.
Join the Movement
Sport England's 'Join the Movement' campaign gives people fun and creative ideas on how to get active at home and encourage them to share their own experiences and join the movement online. Active Partnerships are all supporting the campaign and sharing creative ways you're getting active . https://www.sportengland.org/news/join-movement
Mayathon – Be Active, Stay Well, Support a Friend
Active Partnership are promoting a new free app that helps people feel connected. The app encourages people to buddy-up virtually with a friend and support each other to so 26 minutes of exercise a day. For more information visit https://mayathon.com/
Supporting the Sector
All Active Partnerships are providing support, advice and guidance to organisations that help deliver physical activity across their areas. This has included running webinars to help provide ideas and share good practice of how to remain connected and also support and provide guidance on funding available. For more infomation organisatiosn should contact their local Active Partnerships.
Active Partnerships Stay At Home Webpages
To find out more hints and tips on how to stay active in your local area contact you Active Partnership http://www.activepartnerships.org/active-partnerships
For more information please contact Nicki Couzens ncouzens@ActivePartnerships.org