Nearly £7million across four years has been awarded to further the work of Doncaster Council’s ‘Get Doncaster Moving’ approach, which aims to tackle inequalities by supporting people to be more active.
Doncaster was one of just 12 areas awarded Local Delivery Pilot (LDP) status by Sport England in 2017. Since then, work undertaken has included furthering in-depth insight in to Doncaster’s communities, understanding the barriers to leading active lifestyles that people face and putting more resources in to areas within the borough where people find staying active is difficult.
Get Doncaster Moving helps to improve the health and wellbeing of residents, including the provision of Active Community Grants to support community driven projects and initiatives to support physical activity.
A strategy for the future of Doncaster’s parks is being developed which explores how we can use major events to engage and benefit residents socially and physically. A communications campaign that will support residents to overcome barriers to moving more is also due to launch later this year.
Get Doncaster Moving (using LDP funding) has also supported a response to Coronavirus (Covid-19) through the delivery of 20,000 printed resources at the height of the pandemic to advise and encourage vulnerable residents to be physically active.
The funding secured over the next four years will further this work by supporting residents and communities to design and develop their own solutions to the barriers that get in the way of being active. These include providing greater access to dance opportunities, use of bikes or walking as methods of active travel and helping enhance Doncaster’s 15 major parks.
Central to all of this, ongoing community engagement is allowing residents to input on the ways in which they can be physically active close to where they live.
Director of Public Health, Dr Rupert Suckling, said: “We know that a third of Doncaster residents currently do less than 30 minutes exercise a week. That number unfortunately rises to two thirds of “inactive” people in some of our most deprived communities and is something we want to help combat.
“The impacts of low participation in physical activity and sport are far reaching – of course we all know the health benefits exercise brings – but low participation in exercise also has negative effects on overall quality of life, economies and the environment.
“Working with Sport England will allow us to continue and increase our ability to address this imbalance by working closely with Doncaster residents from various backgrounds. We want to resolve the very real barriers that people have to being physically active which can make it very hard for more people to lead an active lifestyle.
“As we move forward as a borough through the pandemic, our work to support the health and wellbeing of residents takes on an even greater significance. And, therefore, we must do more to provide the right environment and opportunities to be physically active.”
Commenting on the funding awarded, Sport England’s Executive Director of Local Delivery Chris Perks, said: “Doncaster Council is one of the Local Authorities leading the way by placing a priority on helping local people get active so they can reap the physical and mental health benefits it brings.
“We’ve been working with the Council for a number of years as one of our Local Delivery Pilots and they’ve been an important player in efforts to bring together local residents and community organisations to ensure we have a joined up approach to promoting physical activity and put the community at the heart of decision making, building on existing strengths as well as offering more opportunities.
“We’re delighted to be able to offer further National Lottery funding – which couldn’t have happened without the money raised by players of the Lottery – to provide more opportunities whether that’s building local community spirit through activity, better opportunities to walk and cycle, to enjoy dance or socially distanced activity in some of Doncaster’s 15 parks.”