Reflecting on the last six months of Active Calderdale: April 2022

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Twice a year, Dr Alexandra Potts, our evaluation lead from Leeds Beckett University, reports back to Sport England on the learnings, progress, and challenges we have experienced over the previous six months in our bi-annual Process Evaluation Report.

This bi-annual milestone offers a point of reflection and an opportunity to help shape the next six months of Active Calderdale and the direction we take.

With the focus on three main points we want to celebrate, share, explore with others, and what we’re focusing on next, this blog is going to focus on what we want to celebrate over the last six months.

First, we want to celebrate the Green and Healthy Streets Policy. This has been approved through cabinet in February 2022 and is aligned with the climate emergency. This means all big and small projects and interventions must prioritise walking and cycling and will work to build a network of green infrastructure. Education sessions will be delivered to support proposed changes.

Through this process, we have learned it has been important to gain influence through senior leaders (e.g., officers and local politicians) to help progress the work. There has also been significant engagement with senior staff at the council across different directorates (e.g., transport, highways, public health, street scene) to ensure the approach is collaborative.

Next, we want to celebrate our approach to change with St. Augustine’s Centre. St Augustine’s is a specialist centre and independent charity for people seeking asylum, refugees, and local people seeking support. Their vision is that asylum seekers and refugees become part of Calderdale life and, alongside the local community in Park Ward, are able to feel safe and empowered. St. Augustine’s have been working with Active Calderdale since June 2021 to re-design their organisation and embed physical activity promotion and opportunities as part of how they operate.

Through this process, we have learned it has been important to develop connections and build relationships with community physical activity and sports providers to enable St. Augustine’s members to access community provision and ensure the activity offer meets the needs of members. Furthermore, physical activity and sport has been built into assessments and individual support plans with newly arrived people into Calderdale. Over 100 adults have been involved in sports and physical well-being activities through St. Augustine’s and over 130 children were involved in physical activity through Healthy Holidays. St. Augustine’s have also established a bike library to support members to access bikes as a means of transport. Families have been provided with Bikeability and maintenance training.

Here's some more of the impact they've had to date:

From May 2021 to Jan 2022:
18 plus types of activities provided, 20 plus connections with community physical activity and sport providers, 86 plus active and wellbeing opportunities/sessions, 136 centre members engaged in sports and wellbeing.
When we move we're stronger.

Finally, we want to celebrate our approach to establishing networks and mobilising assets. This has been reflected in and refined through the work of the Community Engagement Coordinators. For example, a Lower Valley network has been established to identify assets in the community and develop working groups who enable physical activity and moving more as part of how these assets work. A place-based investment approach has been taken where assets are identified and a relationship established and then assessed with the community to see what they could do to enable people to be active. Volunteer outreach and visits to local areas occur before identifying potential areas for investment. Examples include Cromwell Bottom Nature Reserve and The Space @ Field Lane.

Through this process, we have learned that most organisations value moving more, and the objective is to put it on their agenda and the rest follows. Asking organisations to make a pledge during networks allows for accountability. Finally, often there is a drive from an asset to embed physical activity into their offer, but it is important they own this change and there is guidance and investment from Active Calderdale where needed.

While these are just three examples of work we want to celebrate at Active Calderdale, there's loads more going on. Keep up to date with our blog and social media to see what else is happening!

If you want to find out more about the Process Evaluation Report, please email