sporta report
Local touch

All across the country, ‘unsung hero’ initiatives – community-focused projects being delivered by sporta members – are having a significant impact on their respective local communities. We take a look at a selection of these initiatives taking place across the north-west of England


DOING IT FOR THE KIDS


Organisation - Rossendale Leisure Trust

Project - Fusion


Fusion, a community-based youth engagement project, was launched in June 2011.

A detailed consultation led by Rossendale Neighbourhood Forums had uncovered a lack of activities for young people, specifically in the Haslingden area of Rossendale. In response to this, Rossendale Leisure Trust teamed up with Rossendale Young People’s Service (YPS) and Rossendale Borough Council to apply for funding to provide youth activities.

Consultation carried out in schools and youth clubs found that young people wanted a place to ‘hang out’, with a range of sports activities on offer. Thanks to funding from Sportivate and Lancashire Drug and Alcohol Team, Fusion was therefore born – a youth zone created within the local sports centre from 6.00–8.00pm every Friday evening.

Costing just £1 a visit, young people can come with friends and take up new activities; the subsidised cost means that those from deprived areas, who might otherwise be out and about on the streets, can afford to get involved.

Rossendale YPS provided a youth worker who co-ordinates the project each week, working hand-in-hand with a sports coach to develop a rapport with the young people and build their confidence levels. The overall idea is to use sport as a positive tool to engage with young people and promote a healthy lifestyle, building their interest in the activities slowly through an informal approach to sport, without any barriers to participation. Activities have included street dance, boxing, breakdancing, parkour, table tennis and Xbox sports sessions.

An average of 18 young people attend every week, and other initiatives have stemmed from the project: a parkour club now runs every Friday for youngsters who first tried it at Fusion. Many parkour club members stay on for Fusion afterwards, and some have joined the sports centre as junior gym members.

Having successfully developed a brand young people relate to, the project has now been linked with Street Games and is offering volunteer and training opportunities. Regular consultation is carried out to allow the young people to view Fusion as a youth-led project.

Further funding has been obtained to develop this project, including increasing its volunteer base and the number of young people gaining training qualifications.

 



The youth project aims to remove any barriers to participation and gradually engage youngsters through different sports
 


Engage youngsters through different sports
 
Countering adversity

Organisation - Carlisle & District Sport and Physical Activity Alliance Foundation

Project - Combating funding cuts


Carlisle & District Sport and Physical Activity Alliance Foundation is a not-for-profit Independent Industrial Provident Society. Its main aim is to provide inspirational sport and recreational activities, as well as lifestyle coaching provision, across schools and local communities. Although based in Carlisle, its remit also extends across surrounding districts throughout Cumbria.

In 2008, Carlisle was one of many districts across England to form a Sport and Physical Activity Alliance (SPAA) – also known as a Community Sports Network (CSN). Through a partnership approach involving public, private and voluntary sector organisations, its key aim – through significant match capital and revenue funding from Sport England – was to develop new sporting opportunities, supporting new facilities and developing appropriate programmes to raise participation levels.

In early 2011, after a successful two-and-a-half years of SPAA projects, financial austerity measures meant that Carlisle was facing reductions in service provision for sport and recreational activity provided through the local authority and the School Sports Partnership.

Carlisle SPAA partnership therefore decided to use its remaining Sport England funding to appoint a development manager on a six-month contract, tasked with the following objectives:

• To review existing programmes and establish the impact of imposed funding cuts, and try to attract sufficient interest and funding to retain as many as possible.
• To investigate the possibility of establishing a social enterprise or similar to work alongside the existing leisure trust (CLL).

On 31 January 2012, Carlisle & District SPAA Foundation was officially registered as a not-for-profit Independent Industrial Provident Society. It currently has four full-time and six part-time employees – a development manager, three full-time community coaches and six casual coaches – and has retained the commitment of partner organisations concerned at the level of programmes that would be affected.

The foundation has secured its first year running costs, with income streams through service delivery, fundraising, sponsorship, grants and partnerships totalling £175,000 for the first financial year, 1 April 2012 to 31 March 2013.

It currently has 20 schools – around 2,000 children – involved in its sports coaching and/or U Can Shine Well Being programmes. Holiday sports activities are also offered at community centres across the Carlisle district, including a rural activity scheme. A health project in a deprived ward of Carlisle had 100 adult attendees in 2012, while a social inclusion programme across seven sites attracted 500 young people in 2012.

 



The foundation has 20 schools engaged in sports coaching and wellbeing programmes
Holistic wellbeing

Organisation - Pendle Leisure Trust, East Lancashire

Project - Arts on Prescription


Arts on Prescription provides art courses for people who are finding life tough – people who are isolated, stressed, lacking confidence in themselves or suffering from anxiety or depression. It offers a range of courses with professional artists including glass-making, creative writing and storytelling, traditional painting, classical drawing techniques, crafts, journalling and scrap-booking, cookery, textiles, jewellery and sculpture.

The project is run by Pendle Leisure Trust and has been funded by Target Wellbeing, Lancashire Adult Learning, Lancashire County Council, Pendle Borough Council, Burnley Borough Council and Ribble Valley Borough Council. It has been running since April 2008 and has worked with over 750 individuals across Burnley, Pendle and the Ribble Valley.

Arts on Prescription uses the Warwick-Edinburgh scale of mental wellbeing as a measure of how people feel both at the beginning of the course and at the end (whereby a higher score denotes feeling more positive). For 2011/12, the average starting score among participants was 43 points, going up to 50 by the end. This is based on the 14-question Warwick-Edinburgh.

For comparison purposes, the average Warwick-Edinburgh score for Lancashire (where the shorter seven-question scale is used) is 27. East Lancashire scores slightly below this. Pendle is therefore working with people who score significantly below average (21.5 points for a comparative number of questions); by the end of the course, they are brought up to 25 points – much closer to the average East Lancashire score.

One participant, Karen, tells her story: “I was depressed, had no job, no friends and nothing to fill my time with. It was a big step to contact Arts on Prescription and ask if I could take part. I enjoyed the creativity, met new people and became interested in new things. I started a blog and did more arts and crafts.”

Karen has since secured a full-time job after almost two years of unemployment.

 



The project helps people who feel isolated to gain a sense of purpose
Forget the fads

Organisation - Wigan Leisure & Culture Trust (WLCT)

Project - Lose Weight, Feel Great


When it comes to managing weight and improving health, it really doesn’t get any more straightforward. No faddy food matching or celeb-endorsed calorie-counting – just common sense advice and the right support to help you get up, get active and get more out of life. This simple ethos has worked for people in Wigan Borough for over four years as part of WLCT’s ‘Lose Weight, Feel Great’ initiative.

The leisure trust teamed up with the borough’s health services (NHS Ashton, Leigh and Wigan) and Slimming World to pilot the scheme in 2008. Jane Hynes, who leads on weight management for the trust’s Active Living Team, explains: “More than 60 per cent of people in our borough are heavier than they should be, so there was a real need for a programme that addressed healthy eating and physical activity.”

‘Lose Weight, Feel Great’ typically targets those with a BMI of over 25, but is shaped around individual preferences. Hynes explains: “We know that losing weight and improving your fitness is a very personal thing – one size does not fit all – so our scheme offers a bespoke service tailored to the needs of the individual. At its core are some very basic concepts: healthy eating, physical activity and motivational support.”

The partnership between WLCT and Slimming World is one option: a 12-week programme with further support for up to 12 months. WLCT creates a personalised exercise programme, Slimming World delivers a healthy eating schedule, and support comes from a specialist activity instructor and Slimming World consultant – and fellow slimmers.

At the end of the 12 weeks, 36 per cent of participants have lost on average 5 per cent of their starting weight. Weight loss then continues over the 12 months of follow-up support.

Retired nurse Margaret McNulty, 64, was struggling to come to terms with her body image post-mastectomy following breast cancer. With a BMI of over 30, she was also in denial about the fact that her weight was putting her health at risk. She enrolled on the course and over time dropped from a size 18–22 to size 14.

Based on the success in Wigan, WLCT will roll out the scheme in Selby, North Yorkshire, where it also delivers services.

 


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SELECTED ISSUE
Health Club Management
2013 issue 3

View issue contents

Leisure Management - Local touch

sporta report

Local touch


All across the country, ‘unsung hero’ initiatives – community-focused projects being delivered by sporta members – are having a significant impact on their respective local communities. We take a look at a selection of these initiatives taking place across the north-west of England

DOING IT FOR THE KIDS


Organisation - Rossendale Leisure Trust

Project - Fusion


Fusion, a community-based youth engagement project, was launched in June 2011.

A detailed consultation led by Rossendale Neighbourhood Forums had uncovered a lack of activities for young people, specifically in the Haslingden area of Rossendale. In response to this, Rossendale Leisure Trust teamed up with Rossendale Young People’s Service (YPS) and Rossendale Borough Council to apply for funding to provide youth activities.

Consultation carried out in schools and youth clubs found that young people wanted a place to ‘hang out’, with a range of sports activities on offer. Thanks to funding from Sportivate and Lancashire Drug and Alcohol Team, Fusion was therefore born – a youth zone created within the local sports centre from 6.00–8.00pm every Friday evening.

Costing just £1 a visit, young people can come with friends and take up new activities; the subsidised cost means that those from deprived areas, who might otherwise be out and about on the streets, can afford to get involved.

Rossendale YPS provided a youth worker who co-ordinates the project each week, working hand-in-hand with a sports coach to develop a rapport with the young people and build their confidence levels. The overall idea is to use sport as a positive tool to engage with young people and promote a healthy lifestyle, building their interest in the activities slowly through an informal approach to sport, without any barriers to participation. Activities have included street dance, boxing, breakdancing, parkour, table tennis and Xbox sports sessions.

An average of 18 young people attend every week, and other initiatives have stemmed from the project: a parkour club now runs every Friday for youngsters who first tried it at Fusion. Many parkour club members stay on for Fusion afterwards, and some have joined the sports centre as junior gym members.

Having successfully developed a brand young people relate to, the project has now been linked with Street Games and is offering volunteer and training opportunities. Regular consultation is carried out to allow the young people to view Fusion as a youth-led project.

Further funding has been obtained to develop this project, including increasing its volunteer base and the number of young people gaining training qualifications.

 



The youth project aims to remove any barriers to participation and gradually engage youngsters through different sports
 


Engage youngsters through different sports
 
Countering adversity

Organisation - Carlisle & District Sport and Physical Activity Alliance Foundation

Project - Combating funding cuts


Carlisle & District Sport and Physical Activity Alliance Foundation is a not-for-profit Independent Industrial Provident Society. Its main aim is to provide inspirational sport and recreational activities, as well as lifestyle coaching provision, across schools and local communities. Although based in Carlisle, its remit also extends across surrounding districts throughout Cumbria.

In 2008, Carlisle was one of many districts across England to form a Sport and Physical Activity Alliance (SPAA) – also known as a Community Sports Network (CSN). Through a partnership approach involving public, private and voluntary sector organisations, its key aim – through significant match capital and revenue funding from Sport England – was to develop new sporting opportunities, supporting new facilities and developing appropriate programmes to raise participation levels.

In early 2011, after a successful two-and-a-half years of SPAA projects, financial austerity measures meant that Carlisle was facing reductions in service provision for sport and recreational activity provided through the local authority and the School Sports Partnership.

Carlisle SPAA partnership therefore decided to use its remaining Sport England funding to appoint a development manager on a six-month contract, tasked with the following objectives:

• To review existing programmes and establish the impact of imposed funding cuts, and try to attract sufficient interest and funding to retain as many as possible.
• To investigate the possibility of establishing a social enterprise or similar to work alongside the existing leisure trust (CLL).

On 31 January 2012, Carlisle & District SPAA Foundation was officially registered as a not-for-profit Independent Industrial Provident Society. It currently has four full-time and six part-time employees – a development manager, three full-time community coaches and six casual coaches – and has retained the commitment of partner organisations concerned at the level of programmes that would be affected.

The foundation has secured its first year running costs, with income streams through service delivery, fundraising, sponsorship, grants and partnerships totalling £175,000 for the first financial year, 1 April 2012 to 31 March 2013.

It currently has 20 schools – around 2,000 children – involved in its sports coaching and/or U Can Shine Well Being programmes. Holiday sports activities are also offered at community centres across the Carlisle district, including a rural activity scheme. A health project in a deprived ward of Carlisle had 100 adult attendees in 2012, while a social inclusion programme across seven sites attracted 500 young people in 2012.

 



The foundation has 20 schools engaged in sports coaching and wellbeing programmes
Holistic wellbeing

Organisation - Pendle Leisure Trust, East Lancashire

Project - Arts on Prescription


Arts on Prescription provides art courses for people who are finding life tough – people who are isolated, stressed, lacking confidence in themselves or suffering from anxiety or depression. It offers a range of courses with professional artists including glass-making, creative writing and storytelling, traditional painting, classical drawing techniques, crafts, journalling and scrap-booking, cookery, textiles, jewellery and sculpture.

The project is run by Pendle Leisure Trust and has been funded by Target Wellbeing, Lancashire Adult Learning, Lancashire County Council, Pendle Borough Council, Burnley Borough Council and Ribble Valley Borough Council. It has been running since April 2008 and has worked with over 750 individuals across Burnley, Pendle and the Ribble Valley.

Arts on Prescription uses the Warwick-Edinburgh scale of mental wellbeing as a measure of how people feel both at the beginning of the course and at the end (whereby a higher score denotes feeling more positive). For 2011/12, the average starting score among participants was 43 points, going up to 50 by the end. This is based on the 14-question Warwick-Edinburgh.

For comparison purposes, the average Warwick-Edinburgh score for Lancashire (where the shorter seven-question scale is used) is 27. East Lancashire scores slightly below this. Pendle is therefore working with people who score significantly below average (21.5 points for a comparative number of questions); by the end of the course, they are brought up to 25 points – much closer to the average East Lancashire score.

One participant, Karen, tells her story: “I was depressed, had no job, no friends and nothing to fill my time with. It was a big step to contact Arts on Prescription and ask if I could take part. I enjoyed the creativity, met new people and became interested in new things. I started a blog and did more arts and crafts.”

Karen has since secured a full-time job after almost two years of unemployment.

 



The project helps people who feel isolated to gain a sense of purpose
Forget the fads

Organisation - Wigan Leisure & Culture Trust (WLCT)

Project - Lose Weight, Feel Great


When it comes to managing weight and improving health, it really doesn’t get any more straightforward. No faddy food matching or celeb-endorsed calorie-counting – just common sense advice and the right support to help you get up, get active and get more out of life. This simple ethos has worked for people in Wigan Borough for over four years as part of WLCT’s ‘Lose Weight, Feel Great’ initiative.

The leisure trust teamed up with the borough’s health services (NHS Ashton, Leigh and Wigan) and Slimming World to pilot the scheme in 2008. Jane Hynes, who leads on weight management for the trust’s Active Living Team, explains: “More than 60 per cent of people in our borough are heavier than they should be, so there was a real need for a programme that addressed healthy eating and physical activity.”

‘Lose Weight, Feel Great’ typically targets those with a BMI of over 25, but is shaped around individual preferences. Hynes explains: “We know that losing weight and improving your fitness is a very personal thing – one size does not fit all – so our scheme offers a bespoke service tailored to the needs of the individual. At its core are some very basic concepts: healthy eating, physical activity and motivational support.”

The partnership between WLCT and Slimming World is one option: a 12-week programme with further support for up to 12 months. WLCT creates a personalised exercise programme, Slimming World delivers a healthy eating schedule, and support comes from a specialist activity instructor and Slimming World consultant – and fellow slimmers.

At the end of the 12 weeks, 36 per cent of participants have lost on average 5 per cent of their starting weight. Weight loss then continues over the 12 months of follow-up support.

Retired nurse Margaret McNulty, 64, was struggling to come to terms with her body image post-mastectomy following breast cancer. With a BMI of over 30, she was also in denial about the fact that her weight was putting her health at risk. She enrolled on the course and over time dropped from a size 18–22 to size 14.

Based on the success in Wigan, WLCT will roll out the scheme in Selby, North Yorkshire, where it also delivers services.


Originally published in Health Club Management 2013 issue 3

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