Earlier this year, we shared our impact report with Sport England. We would now like to share this with you. We hope you will enjoy getting an insight into our work and maybe even be inspired to collaborate with us on our mission to challenge inequalities and change lives through sport and physical activity.
What’s our challenge?
30% of adults in County Durham do less than 30mins physical activity per week (Active Lives Survey, 2019/20). Tackling inactivity in County Durham is a huge challenge, especially given the significant social, economic and health-related challenges we also face here. We believe that positive change is possible. But it requires a collaborative whole-systems approach, with a holistic understanding of people’s day to day lived experience.
How can we help?
We empower local people to be more active. We do this by working with local organisations and senior leaders to encourage a more equal, collaborative, and proactive approach to making a healthy lifestyle an easy choice for everyone.
What have we achieved?
In our short impact report, we highlight just a few of our proudest accomplishments through examples of where we have shifted mind-sets, system conditions, and ways of working.
- Partnership – Partners described their working relationship with us as: supportive, professional, positive, growing, collaborative, and friendly.
- Policy – We have secured influential positions in the policy areas of health, ageing, infrastructure, planning, and environment.
- People – We have created a team where curiosity, reflection, and honesty thrive.
- Place – Through our community connections, we have helped establish the largest number of ParkPlay sites in any area outside of London.
We have also had a particularly successful year in supporting physical activity for children and young people. Our new vision for the School Games is oriented around inclusion, diversity, and participation and partners have committed to working with us on a physical literacy-informed Active Schools policy.
Alongside all of our proud achievements, there remain challenges for us to tackle. We don’t shy away from this. For example, capturing and sharing our impact as part of a complex, whole-systems approach is not easy, and we are experimenting with techniques such as Ripple Effects Mapping to evaluate our Active Places pilot. We hope this will allow us to capture and share both intended and unintended impacts of this work in two County Durham communities.
What have we learnt?
Over the past year, County Durham Sport have been holding monthly success and reflection share sessions. This is a chance for the whole team to come together and reflect on what we have learned about being a system partner in County Durham. Our impact report covers our top five reflection themes, including: making time to reflect, living our values, collaboration, and communication.
How are we learning and improving?
We embed learning into both formal processes (like Quest Assessment and our Learning and Impact Framework), and our informal interactions and culture – which includes both our staff team and board members. Our Impact Report highlights specific improvements we are making in operational planning, equality, and safeguarding.