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Ground-breaking investment to build healthier communities

05 December 2017 @TeesUniNews


Teesside University is involved in an innovative, multi-million pound Sport England scheme to help build healthier and more active communities across the country.

Around £100million of National Lottery funding will be invested in 12 pilot schemes over four years, to create innovative partnerships that make it easier for people in these communities to access sport and physical activity.

By focusing intensely in 12 areas, Sport England and the local partners want to identify better ways to address these stubborn inequalities and break down the barriers that stop people getting active, such as poor transport, safety, cost and confidence.

Redcar & Cleveland and Middlesbrough Borough Councils, which share a joint Public Health department, have been chosen by Sport England as one of the pilot areas and will deliver the scheme across South Tees communities.

They will work with a raft of organisations and partners to get more people active in a bid to tackle inequality and poverty, and ultimately improve people’s quality of life.

Teesside University is one of the partners for the pilot scheme. Other key partners on the project are Middlesbrough and Redcar & Cleveland Borough Councils, NHS South Tees CCG, South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Everyone Active; North York Moors National Park Authority; Coast & Country and Thirteen Housing Associations; local School Sport Partnerships; Middlesbrough Environment City; Middlesbrough Football Club Foundation; Groundwork North East; Tees Valley Sport; Redcar and Cleveland Voluntary Development Agency; Middlesbrough and Redcar & Cleveland Colleges; Middlesbrough Voluntary Development Agency; and The Princes Trust.

The programme will focus on two elements. The first element will target specific 'communities of interest' and will focus on physical activity for prehabilitation, diabetes, weight loss services and engagement of healthcare professionals. The second element is a community-based approach and will focus on promoting physical activity in the most deprived areas of the two boroughs. Dr Liane Azevedo, Senior Lecturer in Physical Activity and Public Health at Teesside University, will be the trail manager of the programme and together with Professors from other Universities in the northeast will be responsible for monitoring and evaluating the programme.

This work supports the University's Grand Challenge Research Theme of Health and Wellbeing which is part of a wider aim to address some of the global challenges of our time through focus on externally facing research which makes a real, practical difference to the lives of people, along with the success of businesses and economies.

Regular access to sport and physical activity can bring so many benefits and increased opportunities and we are looking forward to providing specialist academic support and the use of our world-class facilities to ensure that this project is a success.

Professor Paul Crawshaw.

Professor Paul Crawshaw, Dean of Teesside University’s School of Social Sciences, Humanities & Law, said: 'It is fantastic news that this area has been chosen as one of 12 pilot schemes for this exciting and innovative project.

'Regular access to sport and physical activity can bring so many benefits and increased opportunities and we are looking forward to providing specialist academic support and the use of our world-class facilities to ensure that this project is a success.'

Councillor Lynn Pallister, Cabinet Member for Health, Housing and Welfare at Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council, said: 'We are delighted we have been allocated this funding which will go towards improving people's quality of life in South Tees. Sport and physical activity removes barriers and creates opportunities across health, education and employment, and we're very much looking forward to rolling out the project to our residents.'

Cllr Julia Rostron, Middlesbrough Council's Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, added: 'The project aims to tackle health inequalities in a number of ways through partnership working. We have been working for some time with Sport England to make a case for inclusion in this project so we are absolutely delighted to be named as one of the pilot areas.'

Jennie Price, Sport England Chief Executive said: 'We are delighted that Redcar & Cleveland and Middlesbrough will be working with us on this ground-breaking investment. We want to get to the heart of the issues that stop people being as active as they might like to be, and work alongside every part of the community and the groups and institutions in the South Tees area that support them.

'This is not all about sport - we're prepared to look at wider issues like transport, childcare, how easy it is to walk or cycle - whatever that community feels is most relevant to them. The process to be appointed as a pilot area for this work was incredibly competitive, and Redcar & Cleveland and Middlesbrough have emerged from a very strong field. I am really delighted to be working with them.'

In the News

Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council and Middlesbrough Council chosen to trail-blaze new ways of transforming the way sport and activity is offered in England
This is Redcar & Cleveland (Web),05/12/2017: Middlesbrough Council (Web),05/12/2017; North East Connected, 05/12/2017:
Teesside University supporting Sport and Activity project