The report provides an evaluative review of ‘Bodyfit,’ a female focused physical activity programme collaboratively developed by Active Lancashire and Lancashire Women’s Centres. It is hoped that key learnings identified within the review can be used to shape and improve the Bodyfit programme moving forward and additionally; support the design and implementation of similar physical activity projects in the future.
A mixed research methods approach was adopted for the purposes of the evaluation as it was believed that by; combining both quantitative and qualitative techniques a more complete account of the Bodyfit programme could be produced. In particular, the research approach involved gathering insights via; registration data, feedback forms and semi-structured interviews with participants, project coordinators and volunteers.
The review reveals that having engaged 244 females who regularly attend Lancashire Women’s Centres, the Bodyfit programme has been somewhat of a success story. Feedback from over 50 participants demonstrates the positive impact that the programme has had upon different aspects of participants lives including; activity levels, overall health and wellbeing and developing new skills.
Courses subsidised through Bodyfit new leaders and volunteer included; Exercise to Music, Boxercise Pound, Zumba Gold, Safeguarding, First Aid and First Steps into Coaching. Factors found to be particularly enjoyable for participants were revealed to be; having a supportive and helpful leader, socialising with other ladies and experiencing an improvement in overall health and wellbeing.
Attendance at sessions was good at Accrington and Burnley Women’s Centres in contrast to Blackpool and Preston were uptake was low. The review suggests that a one-size fits all approach may be inappropriate due to the differing operational structures at each of the Women’s Centres. An important recommendation to emerge is the requirement for a more bespoke offer to ensure that the programme meets the specific needs of each individual centres clientele (particularly those with more complex needs).