Work undertaken by Leeds City Council to ensure that residents were still able to participate in different forms of physical activity despite the many challenges of coronavirus, has been shortlisted for a top public service prize.
As part of the Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE) 2021 Awards which recognises and celebrates those councils achieving excellent results in different service areas, Leeds has been nominated with five other local authorities in the Best Service Team: Sports, Leisure and Cultural Service category. This follows the council implementing a wide-range of service changes and innovations during Covid-19 which included:
˖ Launching a new ‘Healthy at Home’ website just four days after the first lockdown in March 2020. The website provided residents with information, tips and videos on how to stay active and connected.
˖ Development and introduction of a dedicated Active Leeds online livestreaming and on demand activity and exercise programme.
. Play toolboxes created and distributed with the help of partners to residents in a number of communities to increase awareness and participation in a wide range of activities.
˖ Redeployment of over 100 leisure staff to other service areas in the council to meet the response of the pandemic and help ensure that key physical activity messages were incorporated where possible to encourage residents to exercise and be active.
. Over 30,000 telephone calls made to most vulnerable customers and follow up calls undertaken to ensure people had someone to speak to or had support to access services such as food parcels or additional help.
The experiences learned by the Active Leeds team and introduction of new ways to engage with residents proved to be a great success and have played a key part in how the council will communicate with individual communities and people of all ages in the future.
The winners of the award will be revealed this week on Thursday, 9 September. To find out more about the APSE annual awards, please see: https://www.apse.org.uk/apse/index.cfm/events/apse-annual-service-awards-2021/#
Councillor Salma Arif, Leeds City Council’s executive member for public health and active lifestyles said: “As a council we have worked tirelessly to tackle the many challenges that we’ve faced through coronavirus, and I am very proud therefore that our Active Leeds team have been shortlisted for an APSE public sector award, which is richly deserved.
“Trying to find new ways that we could encourage residents to continue to keep active and healthy, physically and mentally, during each lockdown was one of our key aims. The innovation and hard work shown by our team to ensure that options were available for residents to access information and classes online was tremendous and proved to be a real success. Being shortlisted for this prize is testament to their commitment and dedication in unprecedented times, and I would like to thank every person who played their part.”