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Live Longer Better: the revolution gathers pace

by | Jul 7, 2021 | News

County Durham Sport is proud to be part of the next phase of ‘Live Longer Better’, following a pilot phase led by Active Oxfordshire, Optimal Ageing, and Sir Muir Gray.

Co-ordinated by the Active Partnerships National Team, Live Longer Better unites 20 Active Partnerships and other national partners with a transformational shared purpose: to develop a new culture: from “care to enablement”. We want to use physical activity to create a culture where older adults live healthier, for longer.

To create this shift, three significant changes are taking place:

  • We are now realising and acknowledging the immensity of the consequences of COVID 19 and the necessary lockdowns. Long Covid, obesity, depression, anxiety, and a highly significant decrease in walking ability and balance in our older population (Age, UK).
  • The impending impact of an ageing population and social care costs is again in the headlines. The need for, and possibility of, prevention is at last being recognised.

“We need to reduce the need for social care by making the term ‘care’, meaning just doing things for people redundant and enabling people to achieve physical and cognitive development as they live longer” (Sir Muir Gray)

  • The NHS White Paper ‘Integration and Innovation’ (Feb, 2021) focuses on the need for a systems approach. The Live Longer Better system delivered by local networks is an excellent model – bringing together diverse stakeholders with a shared purpose to share learning and resources.

Collectively, we are fully charged and ready to lead this revolution. We are ambitious and determined. This is a strong unified movement, collectively utilising the power of physical activity. We will drive forward the transformational shared purpose – to develop a new culture: from “care to enablement”.

County Durham Sport are driving local change by engaging with the voluntary sector, academics, the NHS, and local policy makers. We are also working with Jo Edwards (Director, Lucidity Solutions) to:

  • map the local landscape (who is working with and for older people in County Durham?)
  • identify challenges and opportunities in local strategy (where is physical activity being promoted? and where is it missing?)
  • shift the culture from “care to enablement” by educating ourselves and others about the stereotypes and misconceptions which can hold back the Live Longer Better revolution.

“Health inequalities affect large numbers of people in County Durham and residents can expect to spend more years living in ill health than in many other parts of the country. As the UK population ages, we must work across the system to ensure that a healthy and active life is an easy choice for everyone (no matter what their age). We must also challenge the prejudice and inequalities faced in later life. As we live longer, those of us working in sport and physical activity need to promote movement and wellbeing throughout the lifecycle so we can Live Longer Better.” (Dr. Maxine Rhodes, Managing Director, County Durham Sport).

For more information about Live Longer Better, please contact