However, across our county, stark health inequalities, increasing mental health challenges and rising obesity amongst young people are contributing to physical inactivity levels. Today, nearly 1 in 4 adults are not moving enough to benefit their health.
It’s therefore clear that despite some of the great work we have been involved in, too often discrete, short term physical activity programmes aimed at getting some of the least active groups in our county moving more, have proved largely unsuccessful in delivering long-term, sustainable change. We needed to try something new.
Over the past three years, we have been testing a new whole systems approach to tackling inactivity in our county, based on a theory of behaviour change: a social movement, called we can move. At its core it acknowledges that many factors influence how physically active someone is and that no single organisation can effectively change the status quo on their own and all of these factors work together as a ‘system.’ The movement unites people behind its mission to get the least active people in our county moving more. By addressing all aspects of our daily life, it aims to create an environment in which everyone can become physically active. This approach is far from straightforward. It can feel messy and difficult and often lacks clear and obvious solutions.
As the supporting body for we can move, we recognise that we need to work differently and that we now have a role to play in harnessing the power, resources and capabilities of others in
the system. As such, we have stepped away from directly delivering projects and transitioned into a backbone organisation that connects leaders from across all levels of the system and inspires and enables them to get more people moving. Our main functions include driving systems change, influencing vision and strategy across different levels of the system, strengthening partnerships, relationship building, mobilising funding and supporting aligned activities.
These reports tell the story of the different ways we and those in the we can move network generate impact to inspire, connect and enable individuals, communities and organisations across Gloucestershire to help the least active move more.
Read our impact reports here, or access further research and evaluation reports on we can move in our Insight Hub
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