Sussex partners enjoy day of learning at Active Sussex Network
On 22 February in Brighton, the Active Sussex Network brought together 65 local stakeholders from local government, public health, leisure trusts, local businesses and the charity and voluntary sector.
On the agenda were fundraising and income diversification, behaviour change to tackle inactivity and how to work with public health commissioners.
National policy updates
Introducing the event, Active Sussex's CEO Sadie Mason MBE gave an overview the national policy context - looking at new Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) policies on improving the lived environment and briefly at progress against the Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) outcomes. Sadie also emphasised the gender gap in participation in sport and physical activity as evidenced in Sport England's Active Lives Survey where generally fewer women than men are active regularly and concluded that more work needed to be done in this area. Finally, Sadie also updated partners on Sport England activities - especially around local workforce development.
Active Sussex Sport England funding confirmed
As the Network also coincided with some excellent news from Sport England. Sadie was delighted to share with our partners that Active Sussex has been successful in attracting funding for its work for the next three years from April 2018 until March 2021.
This funding award comes from Sport England, who deemed our insight-driven application to be ‘outstanding’. The funding support of approximately £1.02m over this period will provide stability to our County Sports Partnership and will allow us to adapt our focus to reach areas of greatest need and least physical activity. Using local insight to determine the areas of highest aggregated need in Sussex, we wanted to outline our new strategies to partners at the Network and to let them know that we would be focusing on the following audiences over the next three years:
- People living in 24 wards across Sussex where there are high levels of inactivity in combination with high deprivation
- Older people and people with long-term health conditions
- Young people aged 14-19
Birmingham Behaviour Change model
Our keynote speaker, Karen Creavin was recently appointed as CEO of The Active Wellbeing Society - a mutual set up with Birmingham City Council. Karen was previously Head of Health and Wellbeing at Birmingham City Council and was on hand to share with us her experiences successfully enabling behaviour change in Birmingham. Her task has been to get more people from deprived areas active by removing barriers to exercise and encouraging people to form good habits around physical activity. Karen gave us many examples of how Birmingham City Council worked in partnership with leisure trusts and housing associations to encourage activity and improve mental and physical wellbeing - including providing free sessions, GPS enabled bikes and sports kit.
Lessons from industry expert on how to fundraise successfully
Next up was Kerry McDonald who spoke about income diversification and how to access funds - with varying degrees of return on effort. Kerry urged the audience to consider themselves as fundraisers no matter what their job title and advised partners to consider coming together to bid for larger funding pots. Kerry stressed the importance of insight in outing together successful funding bids.
Kerry's workshop in the afternoon was a continuation of the discussion about the need for insight in bid writing and where to find data sources that could help you to analyse local level insight and understand the needs of specific audiences. Kerry classed insight as:
- Statistics and quantitative data
- Qualitative information
- Behavioural insight (attitudes, barriers, motivations)
- Evidence (success, failure, impact)
Working with Public Health Commissioners
Paul Jarvis-Beesley (Street Games) and Anna Card (East Sussex County Council) ran the second of two workshops in afternoon. This looked at the wide-ranging benefits of engaging young people in sport and physical activity and presented strategies for working with public health professionals to commission for physical activity.
Anna and Paul presented national and local policies focussing on young people and physical activity as well as national datasets (Active Lives, Health Survey for England, ONS Children's engagement with outdoors and sports) and local Sussex datasets (JSNAA, Scorecard). They clearly made the case for putting forward evidence-based projects which used return on investment tools.
Ultimately Anna and Paul had this advice for delegates:
- Make contact
- Know your role
- Find your partners
- Build from what’s worked
- Share your workings
- Show your impact
- Think long-term
Find out more
If you want to find out more about what our delegates thought of the day, watch our video interviews with Anna Card (Public Health Team, East Sussex County Council), Jayney Gascoigne (Southdown Housing), Jo Osborne (Event Solutions), Bob Leeves (Outreach 3 Way) and Lynda Nurse (South Downs Leisure).
We will also be running our annual Active Sussex Conference this September, please check our event pages for more information in due course.