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Celebrating Active Places!

We recently enjoyed hosting the Active Places Celebration and Legacy Event in Shildon as the pilot comes to an end. Active Valleys and Active Shildon partners got together to reflect on the learning and impact of Active Places, celebrate our work, and discuss how it’s legacy can continue.

Following the opportunity to chat with partners over a cup of tea or coffee (and a mini burst of activity!), the day began with a presentation of the Active Places Interim Learning Report. Eddie from Wavehill provided a comprehensive overview of the pilot and its whole-systems approach, as well as key learning and recommendations. In addition, actions within the partnership that have influenced and changed the system were highlighted. It was great to see how our collaborative work has influenced change!

The event also provided a brilliant opportunity to celebrate the amazing people and organisations involved in Active Places. We were lucky enough to have Su Madden in the room, who told us all about her physical activity journey. We loved hearing the meaningful impacts that physical activity has had on her own life as well as others in her support group, Durham’s Haven. Our Partnerships Manager, Katy Thompson, also shared examples of great collaborative working through Active Places, including Livin and Wellbeing for Life’s much-loved chair-based exercise sessions.

County Durham Sport valued the chance to chat with partners at the event about their involvement in Active Places. We spoke to Christian Taylor, the PlayLeader at Shildon ParkPlay, who loves being a part of this community activity: “through ParkPlay, I’ve had the opportunity to develop strong, friendly relationships with families across the town who attend our sessions”. We also caught up with Durham Woodland Revival’s Community Engagement Officer, Kath Marshall-Ivens, about the benefits of Active Valleys. Kath told us that, “seeing the coordination of all the partners” and “not seeing the duplication of services” is a valuable part of being involved in the pilot.

Next came legacy discussions! We considered what partners most valued about Active Places and what we would like to see continue. It was widely agreed that the continuation of information sharing is important. To support the legacy of Active Places, partners pledged to continue to help people in their area to live active lives.

Active Friends will play a key role in this legacy. Packs of Active Friends cards, full of ways to support and inspire communities and workplaces to move more, were given to everyone at the event. Partners could take inspiration from these cards when making their pledge and use them in future work to get people moving. The event concluded with an brilliant Active Friends presentation from County Durham Sport’s Workforce Development Coordinator, Amy McCarthy. Amy did a great job of encouraging partners to become Active Friends, and to share Active Friends with a colleague, friend, or on social media.

It was fantastic to bring so many partners together in one room to reflect on the work that has been completed throughout the Active Places pilot. We look forward to exploring how the legacy of Active Places has continued at our final Ripple Effect Mapping sessions in 6 months’ time!