Overview of the framework for promoting physical activity

Aims

We aim to enable and encourage people to lead active lives, in line with the West Suffolk Strategic Plan 2014-2016. This strives to create “resilient families and communities that are healthy and active”, achieved through a thriving voluntary sector, improved wellbeing, and access to open spaces.

West Suffolk – what the data is telling us about the local area (see Appendix A of the framework for further details):

Forest Heath

  • 50% of wards in Forest Heath have a higher than expected death rate from coronary heart disease in the under 75s.
  • 50% of wards in Forest Heath Have a higher than expected death rate from coronary heart disease in all ages.
  • All wards in Forest Heath* except one have a higher rate of obesity amongst year 6 children than the Suffolk wide rate, whilst only two wards have a lower rate of overweight year 6 children than the Suffolk rate.
  • 9 wards in Forest Heath have a higher percentage of obese adults than the Suffolk wide rate.
  • 33% of 16+ year olds participate in at least 30 minutes intense exercise at least once a week.
  • Less than a quarter of 16+ year olds participate in intense exercise at least three times a week.

St Edmundsbury

  • St Edmundsbury has a higher rate of obese adults than the Suffolk rate.
  • 20.1% of children in reception are of excess weight, with a further 7.3% obese.
  • Less than 40% of 16+ year olds participate in at least 30 minutes intense exercise at least once a week.
  • Less than a quarter of 16+ year olds participate in intense exercise at least three times a week.

It is clear that more can be done to tackle issues created by a lack of physical activity and we want to encourage people to improve their health and wellbeing.

What is currently happening across West Suffolk?

We have worked alongside  other partners across Suffolk to create the Most Active County initiative, which aims to:

  • develop community led participation in physical activity
  • improve the use of existing assets and the environment for recreation
  • address sport and health inequality
  • deliver the national governing body plans for an active lifestyle
  • increase activity amongst young people
  • develop Suffolk as a host for mass participation sport events

The Suffolk Health and Wellbeing Board encourages integrated working between various partners such as healthcare and the police to improve health and wellbeing in communities and decrease inequalities in health.

Who can West Suffolk help?

We want to help everyone in the community to lead a more active and healthier life.

We will help sports clubs, community groups and any other organisations involved with physical activity developing an action plan  for each of the following major centres of population and the surrounding rural areas, namely:

  • Brandon
  • Bury St Edmunds
  • Clare
  • Haverhill
  • Mildenhall
  • Newmarket

Each action plan will look holistically at the locality, identify gaps and opportunities and prioritise actions in line with our priorities.

You can also find funding sources on our webpages.

Outcomes

We would like to see social, economic, personal, and health benefits across communities and by individuals. These include, but are not limited to:

  • self sufficiency
  • an improved quality of life
  • maximise local facilities
  • create a wider value for money
  • provide for accessible, inclusive, welcoming, and convenient opportunities for participation in exercise
  • focus on activities which prevent health problems
  • promote natural exercise as well as just sport

How will participation in physical activities be increased?

We will:

  • plan for future involvement in physical activity at all levels
  • provide areas where natural exercise can occur
  • support groups who are looking to promote activity in line with our priorities
  • enable local communities and individuals to participate in actives appropriate for them
  • promote local opportunities