Message from Samantha Hyde
Chief Executive Officer of Living Sport
It has been an exciting and impactful year for Living Sport, one which we think has far exceeded our expectations. We have reshaped a lot of how we work and refined and realigned our work with that of Sport England and the Uniting the Movement Strategy.
The need to support those touched by the pandemic or those who cannot access services that will support them to lead a healthy and active life, one that is not defined by loneliness or challenged by the cost-of-living crisis, has been more apparent in the past year than in my 25-year career to date. We have, despite our impact, reached a significant crossroads; one which requires health, primary care and social care to come together and be bold in their actions and the investment that they choose to make.
We are seeing increased complexity in the lives of the people and groups that we support. We recognise that Primary Care is struggling and that sadly people are far sicker when they do in fact end up in the hospital; there are many underlying structural problems, an ageing population, multi-morbidity, increased mental health challenges and that capacity cannot keep up. This is where we add value and impact. We are in the business of helping people to change their lives. Working through the delivery of the Uniting the Movement Strategy we ultimately want to develop a new social contract, to prevent people from becoming patients and allow them to be able to make early decisions about leading an active and healthy life.
We are a relatively small team but a team that is bold, punches above its weight and with purpose because we care passionately about the communities we serve across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. We work very much based on trust and accountability and with the significant investment of time and the trust of a board who are volunteers to whom we remain endlessly grateful.
What we have achieved this year against our strategy and what it means…
members of the physical activity workforce trained and supported who are representative of, and responsive to, the local community
members of the non-physical activity workforce worked with to advocate for physical activity
We helped to train 473 people across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough who now have increased knowledge of physical activity following their participation in, for example, Physical Activity Clinical Champion training and sports activator courses.
organisations supported to include physical activity as part of their solution
We supported 138 different organisations across different sectors (including schools, charities, community groups and local authorities) to embed physical activity in their offer to beneficiaries following engagement with us, with just over a third of those through the Together Fund.
physical activity offers supported
Nearly 50 different physical activity offers have come to life this year across all districts with our support, ranging from youth takeovers and inclusion of physical activity in warm hubs to junior parkrun development and walking football linked to social prescribing. The main aim of these is for them to become self-sustaining for the communities they serve.
Several organisations have included and further embedded physical activity within their strategies (e.g. Falls Prevention Strategy), pathways (e.g. diabetes care pathway) and practices (e.g. Active Practice Charter sign up)
place-based profiles developed or expanded
Internally these have been created for our priority places to demonstrate understanding, knowledge and impact in them and apply this to our work in local communities to support them in a way that they want and need. This year we have worked predominantly on Peterborough and Soham.
We engaged with more than 6,000 people this year including 807 students through school games events and 268 people through our work with health partners at diabetes roadshows.
We were a part of 70 “events” where we took on a specific role – consultation, delivery or signposting; 63% were aimed at the public, 18.5% connecting with other organisations, 18.5% with school pupils.
We carried out in-person delivery to 2,169 people across all six local authorities within our geography. These ranged from our own Dragon’s Den workshops to Wellbeing Together sessions and multi-sport camps with partners and school games events.
We carried out consultations with 1,093 people on 18 separate occasions, to use community and youth voice to help refine our work where it was needed and wanted.
Every year we send a survey to all our partners and stakeholders to assess how we are delivering on our partnership values and to measure the effectiveness of our partnerships. This allows us to continue to learn and improve. 52 partners completed our Partner Survey in January 2023 with positive responses highlighting the respect and high regard members of staff at Living Sport are held in.
More than three-quarters (78%) agree we work with our partner organisation to identify or create shared objectives, with around a third of those stating the objectives had been completely achieved. More than 4 in 5 (85% plus) agree that we trust and respect our partner organisation and share the same values.
2022/23 saw notable developments in our links with Public Health as we continued to expand our Dragon’s Den and Active Mile programmes across more schools with funding from Cambridgeshire County Council Public Health.
Dragon’s Den works with young people who don’t often participate in physical activity to create and pitch their ideas for activities in which they would want to take part. Successful pitches receive funding to run the activity. The learning from last year allowed us to adapt our offer so that Dragon’s Den schools could tailor their involvement across one or more days, whatever worked best for them.
“The project enabled students to present, developing their communication, teamwork, and leadership skills, whilst mapping out how they would spend their £1000 if they were the group selected! It’s been a fantastic project, that became real life for one group” – (Teacher, Dragon’s Den school)
Active Mile is our local legacy programme of The Daily Mile national initiative and we support schools and early years setting to adopt and embed an active mile in their offer to their CYP. 17 new schools joined our Active Mile programme this year. We support 22 schools to reintroduce of enhance their offer following a challenging few years through the pandemic.
Once again, our multiple School Games events across the year were successful with hundreds of children and young leaders taking part.
Our annual Colour Run returned for its second year seeing 450 school children from 31 schools across our 6 local authorities take part. Last year, they enjoyed the event village that local partners provided for the children to extend their experience with pop-up and interactive activities.
In an ever-growing event, 160 school children from across the county took part in the Panathlon/Disability and Inclusion Festival this year. The event is designed to be more appropriate for young disabled people with specifically adapted sports for children with learning disabilities and physical impairments. 28 young leaders supported the smooth running of the day. As well as developing skills in a range of activities, the event also allowed the young people who attended to gain knowledge of where they can access these activities within their local community for ongoing participation.
An exciting new addition to the School Games calendar this year was Dodgeball. We provided Dodgeball Activator training for 96 young leaders and from this the Dodgeball Inclusive School Games Festival was born.
Thank you David from @Living_Sport @cambspborosg for leading an amazing KS3 Dodgeball Festival @HBK_School on Friday. 🤾— Hunts SSP (@HuntsSSP) February 6, 2023
The event was split into two sessions, dodgeball skill based challenges, followed by mini dodgeball matches. #dodgeball #the5dsofdodgeball pic.twitter.com/zIfeQxdFcq
We are the countywide coordinator for the Healthy You service, which we deliver in partnership with local district and city councils.
Programmes are delivered in the community, in schools and in workplaces to help people make positive changes to their lifestyle through increasing physical activity and healthy eating behaviours. The support we provide allows the districts to confidently develop their physical activity and healthy eating offers with insight and evidence underpinning their solutions.
We are now pleased to report that Active New Communities engaged with 6,706 people across the 4½ years, 154 people undertook some form of training to support community-led delivery and we have directly supported 49 new physical activity offers, with over 90% of these being sustained by the local community.
Learning from Active New Communities: Our key takeaway from this project which we will apply to future work has been the amount of time it takes to understand the local communities, their needs and how to develop trust to support positive change. Dedicated staff working on the ground, who are working alongside the communities and key influencers in those communities, are needed to identify the key local assets and opportunities for change.
The convening power of an Active Partnership
We are in a unique position to be able to bring different organisations, stakeholders and community groups together under a shared purpose, to benefit the local community in a way that works for them. For example, 1,810 people benefited from our coordination of activity taster events (provided by multiple organisations) in Stanley Park and Central Park with those people now more knowledgeable about what is on offer in their neighbourhood. Further, we engaged with 25 people on a one-to-one basis at community engagement events and led the community consultation of 292 people around the potential for PlayZones in the city. From this, three PlayZone sites in Bretton, Castor and Hampton have been agreed. Our relationship with Hunts FA strengthened as a result of working with them on these and they appreciated the opportunity provided to engage with residents and find out what they wanted to do in the future. This insight will support our planning for next year.
“Thank you for the opportunity to be heard” Male, Bretton resident
“I’m pleased that you are keen to ask people’s opinions” Female, Orton resident
Over the next two years, we will work with more than 20 schools to open up their facilities outside of the school day to their own pupils but also to local young people and the wider community. Funding has started to be spent on equipment with delivery due to begin in 2023/24.
Although we are a small team, we aim to support several communities each year. We expanded our staff team in 2022 with two dedicated place-based coordinators covering Peterborough, and East Cambridgeshire/Fenland; read the spotlights from each of these coordinators for their highlights of the year.
Learning from previous TIF rounds, this year we made a conscious decision to target the funds through 3 main routes:
Together Fund Spotlight on Libraries and Warm Hubs
This year we have opened conversations around the wider role of physical activity within warm hubs and libraries as they are in a position to reach those that need extra support. We have been pleasantly surprised with the number of organisations who are curious and interested in how they can add physical activity into their existing offers to add value.
Their aim of building safe, community spaces (‘community hubs’) where people can meet and connect, adapting their offers to local needs thus expanding their usefulness, using community assets and working out what is realistic in their spaces, is something we have been able to offer support with. We are working with them to provide a varied offer for all ages, be that extra support to connect or be more active, or signposting to local opportunities and information for healthy lifestyles. For example, we have started planning to link a physical activity element to the summer reading challenge in libraries through the Active Mile programme for children (and their families) to take part in. We also expect to see more wellbeing walks, chair-based exercise and family offers take shape over the coming months.
Together Fund Case Studies
We opened this opportunity to sports clubs and community groups in Peterborough, Fenland and Cambridge City, to enable sport and physical activity to be more accessible. Qualifying clubs ‘opted-in’ to this scheme. Living Sport then reached out to low-income families through our trusted partners to provide them with the financial support they needed in order for their child or children to participate in sport/physical activity.
The Active Practice Charter is a joint initiative between Sport England and the Royal College of GPs. It was launched to inspire and celebrate GP practices that champion the role of physical activity in improving health and wellbeing.
Over the past year, we have continued to lead the creation of a Disability Active Lifestyle Framework for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough in partnership with representatives from Headway, Sense, Disability Peterborough, Cambridgeshire FA and individuals with experience in developing physical activity for the disability community.
In partnership with the South Care Partnership, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough ICS and Cambridge United Community Trust, Living Sport are coordinating a walking football project in South Cambridgeshire running from March 2023.
Physical Activity Clinical Champion (PACC) training is aimed at practicing healthcare professionals (HCPs) who want to increase their knowledge and skills in having conversations around physical activity linked to personalised care.