Wirral Leisure secure £74,500 funding from Sport England
Wirral’s leisure teams today announce a successful bid application to Sport England’s national #WeAreUndefeatable campaign.
The borough is one of 10 local authorities to be awarded the funds as it was also revealed that more than 1 in 5 residents are living with a long-term health condition.
The grant will support a targeted programme to support people living with long term health conditions to become physically active.
Cllr Julie McManus, cabinet member for community services, said: “I am thrilled to be announcing this funding that will aim to reach out to residents who may struggle to get out and about or be physically active.
“While the project will increase activity, this funding will also be vital in decreasing social isolation across the borough. I anticipate the great impact this could in turn have on mental health in addition to physical health.”
Running for one year, the backing will see Leisure Services utilise ambassadors across the borough to support people with long term conditions in increasing activity, socialisation and looks to improve overall health and wellbeing. The programme, starting later this year, will look to run longer than the initial 12 months with the ambition of being sustainable beyond this period.
Complimenting the current care pathway in Wirral for this groups, the project will provide a quality ‘signposting’ opportunity for healthcare practitioners to direct and support residents to opportunities that could increase their physical activity.
Cllr McManus said: “The hope is that these ambassadors could come from a variety of backgrounds within Wirral’s vast volunteer pool. The volunteers may be people who have real life experience of overcoming barriers to being physically active, healthcare professionals as well as customer facing staff.”
In addition to signposting it is thought that the ambassadors will advocate for the project within the community, raising awareness of the project in addition to running drop-in sessions and feeding into pathways with local health services. Initial plans suggest that a series of local opportunities will be created both online and out in the community.
Sport England Strategic Health Lead, Sarah Ruane, said: “You’re twice as likely to be inactive if you have a long-term health condition. We would like to change that, because even small amounts of activity can make a significant difference to people’s lives including their health and quality of life.
"That’s why we’re proud to be investing National Lottery funding in Wirral Borough Council’s programme to support people living with long term health conditions to become physically active.
"It is work like this that goes a long way to ensure that people feel able and supported to get active or play sport in whatever way suits them.”
In addition to the ambassadors, a central depository of local opportunities will be created both online and out in the community.
The ambassadors will be upskilled through a specific training programme utilising current available resources to provide them with knowledge on behaviour change and motivational interviewing techniques that will support new participants to the project.