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Announcing The Engage & Activate Programme

Physical Activity & Public Health Practitioner Training in Community Interventions

Workshops, webinars, guides, case studies and network

The obesity crisis is getting worse in the UK causing serious strain on people’s health and our health service.

Twenty-seven per cent of men and 29 per cent of women are obese. Children in the most deprived places are more than twice as likely to be obese as those in the least deprived areas. People living with the negative mental and physical ill health effects, which is a particular concern given the increased risk people with obesity have from becoming seriously ill with Covid-19. Obesity was linked to more than one million hospital admissions in England in 2019-20, up 17 per cent on the previous year.

Women accounted for two-thirds of cases, while admissions were twice as likely in the most deprived areas. Health experts say that the shocking figures lay bare the immense toll obesity is taking on the nation’s health, as obesity is a risk factor for a plethora of medical conditions – diabetes, heart, kidney, lung disease, to name but a few.

In 2019-20, 1.02 million admissions listed obesity as a primary or secondary diagnosis, up from 876,000 the previous year.

Behind the numbers are people living with the negative mental and physical ill health effects, which is a particular concern given the increased risk people with obesity have from becoming seriously ill with Covid-19.

Supporting people to make healthier choices:

  • We need to take a holistic approach to reduce obesity and prioritise prevention by tackling the environment that influences us to eat food of poor nutritional quality and to lead sedentary lifestyles.

If we are to reverse the obesity trend, we need to support people to understand how to make healthier choices, along with making those healthier choices readily available and remove barriers such as availability and cost of nutritional food, poor mental health and deprivation levels.

 

  • This is not about giving people a diet sheet, wagging a finger at them and then expecting them to change their habits and behaviour, developed over years.
  • We must empower our communities to develop their own, local initiatives that are engaging, relevant and sustainable, and over time can make that real change in people’s physical activity habits and their health…it can be done!

The Engage & Activate Programme

Introducing an innovative and exciting programme for any professional person who
wants to improve the way they motivate, stimulate and support people
to lead healthier and more active lives.

The benefits of an active lifestyle are wide-ranging and well understood, however, they can only be achieved if we can get everyone more active.

Innovative training and support to get more people active aimed at three groups of providers:

Existing workforce

Sadly, not every person involved with community sport and physical activity are interested in working with inactive and disengaged people, indeed a survey commissioned by London Sport showed that around 50% of fitness instructors and sports coaches there indeed prefer to work with active, dedicated people

So, we should instead identify and develop a workforce who can engage with people of all abilities and aspirations, such that everyone feels their endeavours to become active and engaged is valid and just as important as anyone else’s.

New providers   

We are experiencing an increasing number of cases where people are getting active away from traditional settings such as the leisure centre, gym or sports club but in more familiar surroundings and with people they are more likely to associate with. That could be in their local park, in the middle of the housing estate, the community centre or the health centre.

Often these activities are provided by organisations that do not regard themselves as operating within the community sport and physical activity sector but these new providers often live in the communities they serve and have clear empathy with them. They see physical activity as a way to achieve broader goals, such as overcoming alcoholism or loneliness or improving educational attainment and social cohesion.

So, they could include staff and volunteers at housing, faith, social organisations, social prescribers, health organisations, men’s sheds, community organisations and carers to name a few.

Social entrepreneurs

The third segment we suggest that we serve is social entrepreneurs who want to, and can, make a real difference in their communities.

Most social enterprises were launched by people who have experienced or seen a specific need they want to solve and turned it into an opportunity.  They all struggled in the beginning and less able and determined people perhaps would have given up, but they persevered and have built some incredibly innovative enterprises getting tens of thousands of inactive people active, regardless of their age, weight or disability.

Initially, the programme will include six modules:

  1. Health Needs Assessment – Identifying priorities and those most in need of physical activity interventions
  2. Partnership working. Principles of project management and developing relations with key and innovative stakeholders

Physical Activity is secure mental health hospital units

Partnership Working 

3. Participatory approach to programme design – how to include the target population in the design of a service and why this is essential

All ability cycling since 2004 – Rides Outs, Cycling Holidays, National Standards Training, Parties, Fun Days, After Schools Clubs, Holidays Schemes, Parent and Toddlers, Local Events

4. Public Health models to physical activity promotion including the use of role models

 

Running with Dogs

5. Using digital marketing to engage and stay in contact – creating a community where people feel they belong

 

Burgess Sports, London – Changing peoples lives through sport around Burgess Sport in London

6. Program evaluation and reflection – Not only learning to measure the value in what you are delivering but how to develop evidence led programmes/interventions

Great takeaways from The Engage & Activate Programme

Participants will receive the following great takeaway resources from the session:

  • Core values for a positive experience
  • Tips to get participants talking in your sessions
  • The Welcoming Activator experience checklist
  • Physical Activity Health Needs Assessment Template

 

  • At the end of the programme, participants will have a clear idea and understanding of how to create welcoming experiences for everyone, regardless of age, gender, health, ability, level of commitment or background.
  • The Engage & Activate Programme is designed for practitioners who are involved or interested in community-based initiatives to promote physical activity, this four-day course will include one-on-one and small group interaction with leading experts.

At the end of the programme, participants will have a clear idea and understanding of how to create welcoming experiences for everyone, regardless of age, gender, health, ability, level of commitment or background.

The Engage & Activate Programme is designed for practitioners who are involved or interested in community-based initiatives to promote physical activity, this four-day course will include one-on-one and small group interaction with leading experts.

Format: (Remember, that we are flexible in the way we develop and deliver this programme)
The Engage & Activate programme comprises several elements, including:

  • Introductory half-day workshop
  • Introducing the ethos and ideas behind the Academy          
  • Two follow up half-day workshops
  • Getting started and all the practicalities        
  • Growing and developing your reach and impact      
  • A 24-page Guide
  • Three 30-minute webinars, supporting each workshop
  • Network with e-news and sharing of stories and lessons learned

We have had considerable success in developing and delivering this type of blended learning and information programmes, as we make sure the guidance is supported by practical case-studies. We are of course open to discussing your specific needs to ensure it aligns with your purpose.


Everyone is time-poor so the programme will focus on providing engaging and relevant learning in bite-size chunks, available for people at their convenience.

“Engage in Care” Activity programme

Remember, The Engage & Activate Programme is for anyone who is keen to get people more active, whether they are already involved in sport and physical activity or not. Accessibility to the material is crucial, so all programme resources are jargon-free, packed with case-studies and simple action plans.

If you want to learn more about the innovative and exciting The Engage & Activate Programme, please get in touch with Svend Elkjaer on either 01423 326 660 or email him on svend@smnuk.com