Essex Local Delivery Pilot
How do we get people in low-income communities across Essex more active?
The Essex Local Delivery Pilot tested some approaches, by funding 17 organisations working with:
- older people
- people with mental health conditions.
Innovative new projects developed and grew – including gardening clubs for families and children in Colchester, community football services to engage families in Southend and dementia-friendly activity programmes in Basildon.
So what did we learn?
- Physical activity was not the primary motivator for attending.
- People got involved mainly for social reasons.
- Co-producing activity was more successful as people took ownership.
- The location had be safe, welcoming and accessible.
- Where there was strong, passionate leadership a sense of belonging developed.
- A flexible approach was essential to ensure activities remained relevant.
- Groups that were well networked felt part of a bigger system.
What challenges did we encounter?
- Mental health conditions, housing problems and low income caused demotivation.
- Local referral systems didn’t work well.
- People didn’t know about the programmes.
- Providers were hesitant to share their intellectual property.
- The public sector tended to work in silos.
- Data collection and evaluation was inconsistent.
- Long term funding was hard to come by.
- Successful interventions took time and extra capacity was needed to scale up.
But success factors were found in all of the projects:
- Many people regularly did 30 minutes of physical activity each week.
- Participants felt more motivated to get active.
- They experienced increased self-esteem, happiness and enjoyment; less stress and anxiety; and increased confidence.
- Overall wellbeing improved – emotionally and physically.
Now, we’ll be supporting groups to expand – increasing participation with new sessions and activities, replicating successful programmes in new areas and adopting the ingredients of success in new environments.
To find out more visit www.activeessex.org