Active Neighbourhoods is a concept aimed at empowering residents, in particular social housing tenants, to develop and run a programme of activities that increases use of local green space to improve physical and mental wellbeing, combat social isolation and create community cohesion, and our pilot project took place in four wards in Birmingham (Ladywood, Lozells, Sutton New Hall & Alum Rock and Shard End) over two years.
We delivered healthy outdoor activities in each neighbourhood over the two years of the project, all of which was free to participants.
We worked with a broad range of physical activities – some recognisably “sporty” and others more about “fun”. Each activity had the potential to be tailored for groups and for additional elements to be added in e.g. if we had helped to set up a running group, we could organise a fun run and add in some “healthy energy on the go” / power food preparation sessions.
Our goal was increased levels of participation in physical activity among target communities and improved mental well-being through involvement in healthy lifestyle activities that boost self esteem and confidence. There was also a commitment to supporting older people to remain independent and we’ll promote walking as an intervention linked to a reduction in falls and as a tool for reducing isolation.