Our collective highlights of a fantastic 2023

Our collective highlights of a fantastic 2023

Posted: Fri, 15 Dec 2023 14:30

Our collective highlights of a fantastic 2023

It's been an incredible year for the physical activity agenda in Oxfordshire. We've seen a real step change in awareness of the phenomenal difference that moving more makes – not just to our health and wellbeing, but on prevention, reducing pressure on health services, improving life chances, and connecting up systems and communities.  

We're pleased to share with you our ten key highlights from 2023. These have only been achieved thanks to the efforts of multiple partner organisations, working together as a collective towards the shared goal of transforming health and wellbeing through physical activity. Thank you to you all – please do read, share and here's to many more collaborations in 2024! 

1: Reaching over 3,000 children and residents through Opening School Facilities funding

Excitingly, this year we received a 3-year investment of £500,000 Opening School Facilities funding, which is delivered by North Oxfordshire School Sport Partnership. The funding has supported schools to open up their facilities to local residents and families. Since launching, 3,001 children and residents in Oxfordshire have benefited through a range of different projects. Schools have opened bike libraries, provided training on cycling and bike maintenance, purchased sensory play equipment, and transformed how children play to support their health, wellbeing and attainment.

2: Developing a whole systems approach to physical activity

Moving more can transform health and wellbeing, reduce the risk of multiple health conditions and relieve pressure on the NHS. In 2023, we've worked closely with BOB Integrated Care Board, Oxfordshire County Council Public Health, district councils and the VCS to develop a whole systems approach to physical activity. As a result, we are more connected as a system than ever before. 2024 will see significant new investment into physical activity for the county and a step change in how we work together.

3: Launching Oxfordshire on the Move 

In March we launched Oxfordshire on the Move across the county. This movement now has 110+ partners across 12 sectors working together towards shared goals, and forms a key part of our whole systems approach to physical activity. Together, we have helped 400+ children in highest priority areas to learn to swim; set up new bike libraries; launched a falls prevention campaign and so much more.  

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4: Embedding Equity, Diversity and Inclusion 

We've made some great progress on our equity, diversity and inclusion work this year. We've held training with MyVision Oxfordshire, Gendered Intelligence and the Three Hijabis to drive forward increased understanding across the team. We meet regularly with partners across the county to further EDI activity through the Inclusive Communications Network and EDI Peer 2 Peer support group sessions. We continue to champion lived experience and were really pleased to see local residents sharing their stories at our events in 2023. We've worked closely with organisations such as Oxfordshire FA as they develop their Diversity Inclusion Action Plan.  

5: Reaching 8,627 residents through YouMove

YouMove has supported 8,627 residents across Oxfordshire to enjoy sports, leisure facilities, and outdoor spaces, which they may not otherwise be able to access, creating opportunities to be active together. The impact on families has been incredible, from leading more active lifestyles, spending more time together, and seeing improvements in their mental health and wellbeing. Run in partnership with the county district councils, YouMove families have received free Blenheim passes, discounted memberships at leisure centres, opportunities to attend Have a Go days, and subsidised sports club memberships.

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"It's been so amazing to get out more with the family and do stuff I wouldn't necessarily have the money for."

6: Transforming health and wellbeing through Move Together

Move Together has had some incredible life-transforming impact on participants who have engaged with the physical activity pathway. Over 1,700 people with long-term and mental health conditions, as well as older people at risk of falls have been referred to Move Together, with the aim of improving physical and mental health and wellbeing by being more active. 63% have increased their activity levels by an average of 280 minutes per week.

"I feel so much happier in myself, and my outlook is more positive."

"Move Together really makes you feel better about yourself, and I am much happier."

7: Launching the Community Outreach Active Travel Programme 

We were thrilled to be awarded significant funding from Oxfordshire County Council to increase walking, wheeling and cycling across the county. We will distribute funds to priority areas across Oxfordshire and will work closely with community groups and organisations, helping them to use this funding to achieve long term changes in active travel levels.  

This investment into active travel comes at a perfect time and fully compliments our collective partnership working through Oxfordshire on the Move as well as our resident led Active Neighbourhood Scans.  

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8: Increasing disability inclusion across the county

We've made accessibility and inclusion a priority this year and have supported over 330 children and young people to access sport and physical activity. There has also been an incredible level of dedication from sports clubs to creating more inclusive spaces. 40 people from 20 different organisations and sports clubs have attended disability inclusion training to make their clubs more inclusive and accessible. 10 participants from 5 organisations have taken part in Makaton training, and 6 people joined us for an abuse awareness and trauma informed coaching training. We've also run two young leaders' courses, giving 17 young people in Banbury the opportunity to develop their leadership skills, and 3 clubs have attended a seminar around creating safer spaces for girls and women in sport.

9: Communities in the lead – Active Neighbourhood Scans

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This year, as part of Oxfordshire on the Move, we launched Active Neighbourhood Scans and held the first two sessions in Blackbird Leys and Banbury. Representatives from around 14 organisations, residents, and students from local schools, attended the sessions to share their experiences of being active in the local area, and gave ideas to make improvements and increase activity in the neighbourhoods. Participants shared with us over 400 comments and photos from each session and brought a wealth of invaluable knowledge and experiences with them. The scans have shown a huge collaborative effort between people and organisations dedicated to creating healthier active spaces for Oxfordshire residents.

10: Launching our new strategy

We launched our new strategy for 2023-2027, which reinforces our focus on health inequalities and being equitable in everything we do. This means using our energy in the places and spaces where physical activity can create most benefit and have the most transformative effect on people's lives in Oxfordshire.

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Tags: Oxford, Physical Activity, Sport