Cherwell's FAST Programme

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 access physical activity and sports opportunities. 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.

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

FAST Lockdown Survey

This report highlights physical activity levels during lockdown and some of the issues that FAST families experienced over the last few months. The findings from this report will be invaluable to help shape delivery going forwards:

Find out more about the latest updates and developments from the FAST Programme in their latest newsletter: