New strategy to unite the region to create active, healthier people and places.
Collaborative organisation Active Black Country have launched their new strategy which sees a future Black Country where all ages, abilities and backgrounds are able to be more active, move and play sport. Creating an Active Black Country seeks to unite all people and partners who have a role to play in tackling the inequalities that prevent Black Country people from being active.
Creating an Active Black Country is underpinned by a People Plan which focuses on supporting the Black Country Physical Activity Workforce, the local leaders who will deliver the strategy, from building capacity and providing careers development to building confidence and opportunities for community leaders to collaborate.
Amanda Tomlinson, Chair of the Active Black Country Board said: “The benefits of being active are clear, increased activity and movement levels improve health and well-being and build confidence. That can be simply getting out and taking a short walk or participating in your local communities sports team.
“Our vision of a future Black Country where everyone is able to be more active and move, will be delivered through our new People Plan that will support and develop our local leaders who are already inspiring and motivating our communities.
“Working collaboratively with all our partners we aim to get the Black Country moving and ensure everyone in the Black Country can lead a healthy lifestyle.”
Creating an Active Black Country delivers against six key objectives including:
• Increase activity levels across the least active to support good mental and physical health and reduce inequalities in activity levels.
• Increase the diverse range of physical assets, networks, facilities and places that can get people active supporting wider health outcomes.
• Champion and advocate the role being active can play in contributing to wider outcomes across the health system and tackling health inequalities.
• Increase the range of opportunities to be active across Black Country communities. Ensuring they are inclusive, attainable and support stronger, better connected, resilient communities.
• Provide Young People the best start in life through a range of varied and diverse opportunities to be active.
• Lead the development of a ‘People Plan’ for the Black Country to inspire, motivate and guide others to be active and support the development of sport.
Responding to the importance of the Strategy for children and young people, Billie Downie, Headteacher Streetly Academy said: “To overcome the significant challenges of adult activity levels we have to focus on this generation. Through delivering this Strategy we want all children and young people in the Black Country to enjoy being active when in school and out of school, helping them develop a lifelong habit of physical activity. Helping them to protect their futures.”
Aiesha Turner, Senior Social Prescriber, Integrated Plus Dudley, went on to comment: “Research clearly demonstrates the positive link between being active and moving more with physical and mental well-being. We must build on the foundations already in place in health care settings to create pathways that can be made available for all Black Country residents.”
Change in physical activity levels across the Black Country is a long-term endeavour. Active Black Country will review the Creating an Active Black Country strategy in two years and use the collective learning to shape and inform future versions.
Find out more at activeblackcountry.co.uk.