07th December 2023
The Active Hastings team
Community Engagement Award winner - Active Hastings
Active Hastings was announced the winner of the Community Engagement Award at this year’s Sussex Sport and Physical Activity Awards.
Active Hastings works hard to increase activity levels within the areas of the town with the highest health inequalities.
A challenging, but vital, task considering some of these areas fall within the one per cent most deprived nationally.
Through community outreach, they are successfully engaging with and breaking down barriers for people who are not taking part in enough physical activity to benefit their health.
Heidi Tembah from Active Hastings said: “I think we won the award because we are so initiative and we take a project and just run with it.
“We are so passionate about what we do and we work in our local area.
“We have children from five years old all the way up to 95 years old so we cover a real age range.
“We do lots of different things, the team specialise in different areas. We are so diverse in the fact that we get given a project, like the weight management project, or our youth work and we just run it and we love it.
“We are on the ground and in the community and we are face-to-face all day every day working with the participants.
“We love our job so much.”
Between April and September 2023, the team delivered 563 low cost, inclusive physical activity sessions, involving 754 residents and 3,921 registered visits to sessions.
All of the projects aim to break down barriers.
This is done in a variety of ways, such as keeping sessions free or low cost, providing free childcare, ensuring local instructors are trained to support people with health needs, ensuring that digitally excluded people are still informed about opportunities and creating partnerships with other organisations to maximise the offer and impact.
While health is the key driver, through increasing physical activity levels, the team is having a much wider impact on lives in Hastings.
For example, Street Sport sessions focus on improving life chances for Hasting’s most deprived young people, encouraging participation in sport instead of risk-taking behaviours.
Age-friendly activity sessions which include free tea, coffee and a chat not only keep older people active, but also reduce social isolation and improve mental wellbeing.
Men: Mind & Muscle courses engage men through exercise, but provide a safe space for talking about mental health.
Other classes include free weight management courses; walking groups for pregnant women; free pilates and boxercise classes – including a free creche – for people living in one of Hastings’ most deprived neighbourhoods.