Lady seated on a bed doing exercise

Active Essex Local Delivery Pilot and Essex County Council have formed a county-wide strategic partnership alongside the delivery partner, Sport For Confidence CIC. It is their aim to ensure all Essex citizens can be active, independent and able to engage with their community.

The Prevention and Enablement Model (PEM) is a 12-month ‘test and learn’ pilot, that tests how the health and social care system in Essex can use physical activity to enable independence, improve population health and develop communities that are inclusive.

The strategic partnership responsible for the delivery of PEM, officially formed in August 2020. Over the next 12 months, the impact of PEM will be independently accessed by the University of Essex.

Kelly Harman, LDP Delivery Manager, Active Essex, said: “With the spread of Covid-19 threatening various degrees of lockdown, this winter is going to be tough for many people across the county, especially those facing additional challenges with both their physical and mental health. The initiative will focus on a preventative approach centred around physical activity, to help reduce demand on the healthcare system and the challenges of social isolation.”

Lyndsey Barratt, Senior Occupational Therapist and Founder of Sport For Confidence, said; “We are already noticing the positive effects community support services can have on individuals and the health care system. Through the Sport For Confidence programme, physical activity is already having a huge impact on those living with learning disabilities, long term health conditions and other complex health needs.”

This model has already shown the importance of a whole-system approach and the strength that comes from the relationships formed by the partners involved. By infiltrating Essex’s wider ecosystem, we have begun to drive positive change on a community-wide scale and proving the significance of having physical activity at the heart of the delivery plan.

Rebecca Jarvis, Lead Commissioner, Adult Social Care Essex County Council, said: “Physical activity plays such an important role in keeping us healthy, both in hearts and minds. Being active can help to connect us to the outdoors, the place we live and those around us. It helps grow confidence, build life skills and improve our health. Health and Social Care need to think innovatively, to work with communities effectively to create the conditions that enable individuals to live, grow, adapt and flourish. Using physical activity as a tool in shaping and delivering care and support gives us the opportunity to understand a very different relationship with citizens.”