Alliance of Sport and NHS England visit pioneering projects in Lancashire
Senior executives from the Alliance in Sport in Criminal Justice and NHS England have visited Active Lancashire projects to see the positive change they are creating for individuals across the county.
James Mapstone, Chief Executive Officer of Alliance in Sport in Criminal Justice, and Andrew Nichols-Clarke, Senior Development Lead, Health and Justice Children Programme, NHS England and the National Lead for the Get Well Stay Well Agreement, joined members of Active Lancashire in visiting three of the organisation’s projects on Thursday 31st August 2023.
The visit provided an overview of the transformative effects of physical activity on individuals within the community through three projects – Pendle Yes Hub, Active Cycles and Active Seconds.
Pendle Yes Hub is an employability and wellbeing service tailored to young people aged 16 to 24 in the Pendle area. Pendle Yes Hub is a collaborative effort between charities Active Lancashire and PAC, acting on behalf of Pendle Borough Council. It operates as a lifeline for local youth, extending support in employment, education, training opportunities, and mental wellbeing.
At Pendle Yes Hub, the visitors were introduced to a diverse array of activities designed to empower young people in the region. One notable addition to the offering in Pendle is the launch of innovative boxing sessions, forged through a partnership with Empire Fighting Chance, a Bristol-based community boxing club.
This novel approach combines non-contact boxing with intensive personal support to instil resilience and inspiration in young individuals. The fusion of boxing and psychology creates a nurturing environment where trust is paramount, leading to impactful transformations in the lives of Lancashire's youth.
Following this was an introduction to the Active Cycles project. This initiative recycles donated bikes and parts from the community and local recycling centres where they are refurbished and tested by qualified mechanics. The result is affordable and certified safe bicycles that serve as sustainable transportation options for Lancashire residents.
The visit culminated with a stop at 'Active Seconds,' a charity retail shop and community hub in Accrington's Arndale Shopping Centre. Here, the team had the opportunity to meet the dedicated staff and learn about the diverse range of activities and initiatives undertaken. Active Seconds channels all proceeds back into the project to further support Lancashire residents in life-changing ways including providing upskilling and volunteering opportunities and integrating people into the community.
The visit was prompted by Active Lancashire's commitment to the 'Get Well Stay Well Agreement,' a pioneering initiative aimed at integrating physical activity and sport into the criminal justice system.
Jane Moodie, Operation Manager and CSI Project Manager at Active Lancashire, who attended the 'Get Well Stay Well Agreement' launch in December 2022, explained the significance of the visit in the context of their trauma-informed approach. " This has been a great opportunity to have two influential organisations see first-hand the impact all our hard work has on individuals and in the community. Hearing their feedback makes us more determined to continue to develop our offer through empowering others and changing systems."
James Mapstone emphasized the importance of the visit in light of their mission to promote such transformative projects nationwide. He said: “We were asked by NHS England to come up with a national plan that helped to increase collaboration and the joined-up use of physical activity in the justice system. Phase one included the launch of the Get Well, Stay Well agreement and we are now working on the Get Well Stay Well Charter.
“This is our reason for visiting Pendle YES Hub, Active Seconds and the Active Cycles shop today, as we look to learn more and share the ways that organisations like Active Lancashire are using physical activity to benefit people across the community, including those within the criminal justice system. We can then share this with our partners and gain support for more work like the projects I've seen today to break down the barriers and reach more people than ever before.
“The people in this organisation, many of whom I have met today with their own lived experience, absolutely get it. They also live it, breathe it, and inspire others. Great people make great organisations, one of which is Active Lancashire."
Andrew Nichols-Clarke summarised the visit, saying: "Going to the hubs today was brilliant, as it captures everything that we put out as a trauma-informed program and covers all six principles of the Framework for Integrated Care in one place. My takeaway from the day was how flexible and supportive the programme is as a whole around what can be complex situations, but the team here have developed a programme to overcome barriers to support those people who really need it."
To find out more about the work of Active Lancashire, visit www.activelancashire.org.uk
To view the Get Well Stay Well Agreement, visit www.allianceofsport.org