Active Oxfordshire launches 2022 Healthy Active Children Conference
Posted: Fri, 14 Jan 2022 15:34
As we launch our 2022 Healthy Active Children conference, it's clear that supporting Oxfordshire's youngest generations to be active has never been more important.
Recent OxWell Student Survey results have confirmed what many of us feared, that young people's mental health and wellbeing has been hampered significantly by Covid-19.
- Nearly 1 in 5 students are experiencing significant mental health difficulties
- Half of sixth formers find it more difficult to concentrate now than before lockdown
- Over a third of Year 12 students often feel too worried to sleep
Given that children who are more active experience more positive mental health and wellbeing outcomes, higher educational attainment and higher levels of self-worth, it is particularly alarming that in addition to these figures, recent physical activity data for Oxfordshire shows that only 51% of children and young people are getting enough physical activity to support their health and wellbeing.
Whilst there are still significant inequalities, there are also some green shoots of recovery. For example, did you know that girls participation actually crept up slightly during the pandemic? And that infants activity levels also increase?
Undoubtedly, there are still challenges ahead of us, but we know of much good work taking place in Oxfordshire and it is with this in mind that we launch the 2022 Healthy Active Children Conference, and we want you to join us.
Our key focus and approach for 2022
All of the sessions will focus on what is strong, not what is wrong, how can we apply successes into other settings and how can we best work together to ensure that EVERY child in Oxfordshire has the opportunity to be happy, healthy and active.
Whilst the conference will take place over Zoom, our commitment to you is that this isn't simply 'another zoom call' in a busy week.
Make the content dynamic and engaging
Give the platform to local young people, to those working with families in the county, to those engaging directly with young people and to national experts so you get up to date content and hear from those with lived experience
Invite you to shape what happens next as collectively we can make Oxfordshire a better place for young people to grow up, to learn and to play
Helping children and young people stay active: work in action
Engaging families is one way in which to encourage children to move more. From building connections through Active Travel projects and working with Cherwell District Council, their FAST bike scheme where used bikes are collected and refurbished by a professional then given to a family in need is a great example of why our Children and Young People work is so important. One family who has benefited from the scheme said:
"When we first received the bikes, my sons were unable to ride. The FAST Bikes scheme gave us a chance to change this - not just by gifting the bikes, but also helping to get the right sizes for the boys too - and just, in all, making it possible. We first took one of the bikes to our local path/field and together they took turns to learn to balance, then to ride a short stretch, then to set off, then to turn corners, then very soon they were soon doing laps! I can't express the feeling of joy they felt (or me!). They are great family memories and it didn't take them so long to learn at all. The smiles of achievement and freedom on their faces meant so much to me, and it really strengthened the boys' bond together. They then each took it in turns to do laps and encourage each other until they were confident, and then we brought the second bike out so that they could ride together - which they've been doing ever since! The boys always say that learning to ride and getting the bikes was one of the main features of our summer!"