Celebrating the power of getting active: FAST programme

Celebrating the power of getting active: FAST programme

Posted: Mon, 27 Jul 2020 13:15

Celebrating the power of getting active: FAST programme

Active Oxfordshire is very proud to be able to support Cherwell District Council's Families Active Sporting Together (FAST) programme, to help families in Banbury, Bicester and Kidlington get active. We are passionate about making sure that everyone in Oxfordshire has the same access to physical activity and sports opportunities, and the FAST programme is a fantastic way to engage families and create a happier, healthier and more active county.

About the FAST programme

This innovative programme first began in targeted wards of Banbury, Oxfordshire. The idea behind FAST is to break down barriers for families so that they can enjoy getting active together. The programme was so successful in Banbury that it has since been expanded to focus on areas of Bicester and Kidlington too. FAST is funded by Sport England and partnerships and supported locally by Active Oxfordshire.

The FAST programme is designed to provide free and significantly reduced physical activity opportunities for local families. Since the programme was launched, families have been able to enjoy a huge range of activities including bowling, swimming, clip n climb, football and gym sessions along with FREE multi-sport activities delivered in schools and community settings by FAST Activators.

Cherwell District Council's FAST programme has made a phenomenal difference to helping families get active - together. Here's a snapshot of the impact that FAST has made:

  • 5,563 participants and 1,547 families have taken part in physical activity & sports sessions
  • 30% increase in children's activity levels between July 2018 – March 2020
  • 100% of children either liked or loved taking part in FAST activities
  • 83% of children agree that FAST has helped their family become more active

FAST programme in lockdown

COVID-19 has posed unprecedented challenges to us all, but the FAST programme has managed to keep supporting local families, ensuring that they stay motivated and active at home. This has included setting up a Pick n Mix service, where families can email a list of equipment or household items they have available at home, and the programme's Youth Activators then send back fun suggestions of active games that families can try, using the items they already have.

On top of that, FAST is also using social media to make sure that families can stay active outside of sessions, including creating daily videos with physical activity challenges and ideas.

What families say about the programme:

"It's an amazing scheme, it's an opportunity for us to be active. We do lots of different activities and it's so much fun. We get to have an after-school club activity which is convenient because it's just down the road where the schools are. I would definitely say take advantage of it!" Freeman Family

"Love our FAST card. It's helped me to teach my children to swim and I'm very grateful" Shabena – Parent

"I was surprised by the variety of games and how involved my children have got - they love it!" Caz – Parent

Tom Gubbins, Physical Activity Manager at Cherwell District Council, says:

"We are really encouraged how the FAST programme has been received by families across Cherwell and how many are taking advantage of a range of physical activities on their doorstep. The programme is all about making things easier for families to access physical activity and the recent numbers and feedback show that this is happening. A big reason for the success of the programme is the collaboration of partners working together from making referrals through to evaluating and offering incentives for families.

Working in partnership with Active Oxfordshire has enabled the programme to be scaled up along with providing great insight and knowledge. This partnership is so important as we aim to keep families active in light of COVID -19 and make sure the most vulnerable families are able to access physical activity."

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