Essex has been awarded a “game-changing” National Lottery grant of £10.68 million from Sport England to increase activity levels across Essex. The three-year plan, published today, promises to tackle the inequalities which prevent 391,600 people in Essex from enjoying the physical, social and mental health benefits of an active lifestyle.
Currently, one in four (27%) Essex residents are inactive and carry out less than 30 minutes of physical exercise each week, while people on low incomes are twice as likely to lead sedentary lifestyles (source, Active Lives Survey 2016/17).Getting families, the elderly and people with poor mental health more active is the priority.
The successful bid was made by the Essex Local Delivery Pilot (Essex LDP), which is led by the Essex Health and Wellbeing Board, Active Essex, and more than 20 partners including public, community and voluntary sector organisations.
Essex is one of 12 pilot areas selected by Sport England, with around £100 million of National Lottery funding being invested in the pilots over the next 3 years to build healthier, more active communities.
It is accepted that previous approaches to tackling stubborn inactivity have had mixed results and not been sustainable, so the Essex plan focuses on doing things differently and challenging the root causes of inactivity. In 2018 Essex undertook extensive research to understand what needs to change to help people live more active lives. The findings led to the development of seven strategic priorities and the plan which Sport England has approved, awarding Essex one of its biggest ever National Lottery grants.
Councillor John Spence CBE, Chair of the Essex Health and Wellbeing Board and Chair of the Essex Local Delivery Pilot, said: “The National Lottery award of almost £10.68 million from Sport England is a game changer in helping us create the sustainable change which will benefit individuals, local communities and across wider Essex.”
“This is about public, community and voluntary organisations coming together to tackle the inequalities in our most deprived local communities where we most need to promote the opportunities and benefits of an active lifestyle.”
Public sector organisations in Essex are fully committed to bring about whole system change across health, education, housing, transport and the built environment, tackling the root causes of issues so people can live and work in places which enable them to be physically active - for example cleaning up and improving poorly lit outdoor spaces so they appeal to families or older people.
As part of the project, Essex will share their learning and add to the knowledge base nationally and internationally, of what gets in the way of being active and how community groups, public and voluntary partners can help build relevant activity into people’s daily living.
Basildon, Colchester and Tendring have been chosen as the initial focus for the Essex pilot as each of these has areas where there are high levels of inactivity and associated health inequalities. The pilot will test new ideas and learn quickly, taking successes Essex-wide to supercharge Active Essex’s strategy to get 1 million people active in Essex by 2021.
Essex’s exciting plans include:
- Getting local passionate people involved, who want to create activities in their areas
- Creating active parks, coastal paths and new walking and cycling routes
- Easy access small grants and support for community projects
- Investing in successful voluntary groups and charities to scale up their activities
- Training people in voluntary as well as paid roles, creating thousands of new volunteers, leaders and coaches
- Brightening up buildings, streets and parks to make them attractive places to be active
- World class measurement and evaluation which will be shared UK-wide
Tim Hollingsworth, Chief Executive of Sport England, said: “Sport and physical activity have the power to transform lives, but we need to find ways that make the choice to get active more practical and appealing in everyday life. We know that across Essex there are many barriers to getting active – for example you are less likely to be active if you are less affluent, a woman or disabled.”
“We need to find new approaches to tackling inactivity and that is why Sport England is investing National Lottery funding into the Essex Local Delivery Pilot. This investment will help Essex lead the way in breaking down barriers to activity making it easier for people to enjoy all of the physical, mental and social benefits of being active. Bringing individuals, community organisations and councils together to tackle these barriers is at the heart of this pilot. We are excited about the emerging plans and look forward to working closely with Essex to test new approaches and implement what works across the whole County.”
The Essex LDP has a dedicated team working closely with local communities in Basildon, Colchester, and Tendring to understand what support people need. It is already working with a number of community groups and citizens and is looking forward to meeting many more to bring the plans to life.
Councillor Tina Bourne, Colchester Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Housing and Communities, said: “We are making a commitment in supporting communities to adopt healthier lifestyles. The Essex Local Delivery Pilot for Sport England will help us to achieve this. We will work with local communities removing barriers that unjustly prevent residents living more active lives. This in turn helps improve their wider health and wellbeing.”
Councillor Lynda McWilliams, Cabinet Member for Health and Education, Tendring District Council, said: “The Essex Local Delivery Pilot, and the new investment it brings, is an incredible opportunity to address those issues which blight our area and which hold back our communities from meeting their potential. We are keen to realise the potential of co-production where power is shared, and the creativity of these communities is nurtured and encouraged to design and deliver solutions together.”
Clacton’s Active 4 Life, a physical activity club which holds weekly classes for over 100 older people, is an example of a successful project which could be replicated across Essex as part of the ELDP.
Maggie Parkes, Group Fitness Manager at Active 4 Life, said: “Regular exercise helps to deter certain medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and some cancers. It also keeps our minds sharp by keeping them active.”
“The great thing about these sessions is that they not only give the participants that important physical wellbeing aspect, but they also provide a lifeline for many. One member said she wouldn’t see anyone during the week if she didn’t come here.”
Active 4 Life, which holds weekly classes for over 100 older people at Clacton Leisure Centre and is an excellent example of a club which could be replicated in other parts of Essex.
Credit and copyright: Active Essex.
Councillor Andy Barnes, Chairman of the Communities Committee, Basildon Council, said: “We are working closely with our local communities and partners to bring about change for our residents. Being part of Essex Local Delivery Pilot is helping us tackle the inequalities which prevent some of our most vulnerable residents from accessing the social, physical and mental health benefits of an active lifestyle.”
Basildon’s Sport for Confidence (pictured) has brought health and sport sectors together to tackle inequalities in physical activity participation and is an excellent example of an organisation Essex LDP is learning from. It places health professionals in leisure centres directly alongside sports coaches and leisure centre staff to make adjustments that create accessible and inclusive sport and physical activity opportunities.
Anna Pettican, Senior Occupational Therapist and Projects Manager at Sport for Confidence said: “Working in new ways and overcoming barriers and challenges that restrict participation in sport and physical activity can be exhausting, but the outcomes can be life changing for our participants.”
“We’re delighted to be a part of the Local Delivery Pilot. It provides an opportunity to broaden and evaluate our work and we are looking forward to collaborating with other local organisations.”
Sport for Confidence at Eversley Leisure Centre in Basildon
Credit and copyright: Active Essex.
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NOTES TO EDITORS
Sport England National Lottery Grant Awards
The total of the National Lottery grant awards for Essex LDP, either awarded or committed in-principle by Sport England, is £10.68 million.
In 2018 Essex LDP was awarded an initial grant of £845,542 to undertake the first part of its work which is summarised in the Chapter One Report, ‘Getting Ready for Systems Change’.
The additional £9.84m includes a £5.9025m award now with a further £3.9375m in principle which is subject to Essex Local Delivery Pilot’s early delivery, learning and emerging impact.
Basildon, Colchester and Tendring will benefit from a share of the National Lottery award and successes will be scaled up county-wide, supercharging Active Essex’s strategy to get 1 million people active in Essex by 2021.
The announcement today coincides with the publication of Essex LDP’s Chapter Two Report, ‘Delivering System Change’.
Background to Essex Local Delivery Pilot
“Our vision is to tackle the issues of inactivity in Essex head on and for our county to become a beacon for best practice in reducing inactivity.”
The Essex Local Delivery Pilot (LDP) is a once in a generation opportunity to make a difference for the people of Essex, addressing the high levels of inactivity in our most deprived communities.
Essex was chosen by Sport England at the end of 2017 as one of 12 areas in England to undertake this ground-breaking work because of the range of significant problems and opportunities which exist in the county.
The three outcomes for the Essex LDP are to:
- Increase physical activity, in particular targeting people who currently do under 30 minutes physical activity per week and who live in the most deprived communities.
- Achieve wider social and economic outcomes e.g. stronger, healthier, cohesive communities and improved equality
- Achieve transformational change – a shared vision among system leaders, realignment of system budgets and using robust evidence that enables us to replicate success at scale
Test Areas – Basildon, Colchester, Tendring
Three locations (containing 37% of the inactive population) have been chosen to test new whole system approaches in Essex for the pilot. The different challenges in each area will be a rich testing ground for the Sport England Local Delivery Pilot. These are:
- Basildon: A post war 'new town' development with pockets of deprivation and social immobility.
- Colchester: One of the fastest growing areas in the country which is also seeing a growth in deprivation year on year.
- Tendring: A coastal area suffering from chronic long-term deprivation
Chapter One – getting ready for whole system change
During 2018 Essex LDP undertook three important strands of research, the findings of which were published in the following reports in November 2018:
- Tackling Physical Activity in Essex: Readiness for Systems Change, Collaborate CIC
- A Review of Physical Activity Data and Insight in Essex, Intelligent Health
- Essex Local Delivery Pilot: Action Research Initial Evaluation, University of Essex
The three research projects led to development of seven strategic priorities which are included in the Chapter One report ‘Getting ready for system change’, published in November 2018.
The seven strategic priorities are:
- A whole system approach
- Community engagement and cohesion
- Test and learn, scaling up and replication
- Community capacity and development
- Effective use of data and insight
- Create active environments
- Evaluation, learning and sustainability
The seven strategic priorities have helped shape the Chapter Two delivery plan which will be implemented from 2019 until the end of 2021 with the Sport England National Lottery grant investment.
Essex has identified three target groups who are inactive and live in circumstances of deprivation:
● Older people
● Families with dependent children
● People living with mental health issues
Essex Local Delivery Pilot - Lead partners
The following organisations are partners in the Essex Local Delivery Pilot
- The Essex Health and Wellbeing Board
- Essex County Council
- Active Essex
- Basildon Council
- Colchester Borough Council
- Tendring District Council
- Sport England
- CVS Basildon, CVS Colchester and CVS Tendring
- University of Essex
- Basildon & Brentwood and North East Essex CCG’s
- Intelligent Health
- Community 360
- Public Health England
- Braintree District Council (leading the county-wide Livewell brand)
- Healthwatch Essex
About Sport England
Sport England is a public body and invests up to £300 million National Lottery and government money each year in projects and programmes that help people get active and play sport.
It wants everyone in England, regardless of age, background, or level of ability, to feel able to engage in sport and physical activity. That’s why a lot of its work is specifically focused on helping people who do no, or very little, physical activity and groups who are typically less active - like women, disabled people and people on lower incomes.
Sport England’s Local Delivery Pilots
In addition to Essex, the other regions involved in the pilot are: Greater Exeter, Redcar & Cleveland and Middlesbrough, Withernsea, Greater Manchester, Pennine Lancashire, Doncaster, Birmingham and Solihull, Hackney, Calderdale, Southall and Bradford
These pilots are deliberately focused on the whole system change - that is the need for strong vision and leadership at the highest level. Collaboration of all stakeholders, at all levels, is key - not just the sporting infrastructure/ projects and interventions.
For Sport England, the pilots will have been a success if they show:
● More people taking part – measured by a significant decrease in inactivity (as measured by the Chief Medical Officer guidelines i.e. 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week) in a sustainable way
● Improved inclusivity in terms of who is taking part – measured by the profile of active people (in terms of demographics) being more representative of the population of the pilot places than when the pilots began
● Improved outcomes as a result of the above – with proven contributions to some or all of the Government’s outcomes in pilot places. These are physical and mental wellbeing and individual, community and economic benefit.
● Replication of success in other places (extra to the local delivery pilots) because of adoption and implementation of learnings from the local delivery pilots. Replication at scale is very important to Sport England.
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