Image of Making our Move title

Our shared vision for Uniting the Movement in Notts and Derbyshire.

Together, we will address inequality and empower everyone to be active in a way that works for them.

Our shared vision informed by hundreds of people and organisations in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. It sets out an approach that will help us to focus our efforts and resources on where we can make the biggest difference; empower our communities; and shape action.

Empower relates to unlocking community potential. We are all respected and confident within our communities and we have power and control over our own lives.

When we say 'we' and 'our', we mean everyone who has been involved and contributed to the vision so far.

Our Vision

It doesn't matter how we're active - everything from walking to gardening to sport counts. All those things contribute to a healthier life. What's really important is helping people and communities to be active in a way that works for them and addressing the barriers that might stand in the way. That's what Making our Move is all about.

1) Working together
By focusing our collective efforts and resources, and each playing our part, we can make the biggest difference – and we'll start where we can make the most impact.

2) Local action
Everyone and every place is different – there's no one-size-fits-all solution. Working with our people and communities, we'll use a local lens to understand what's right for them and tailor our approach and action to fit.

3) Creating lasting change
We'll continue working together to understand the factors behind inactivity; find ways to connect and encourage people to be active; and help people form active habits for life — from small steps to big lifestyle changes.

We commonly use the terms 'moving more', 'being active', and 'physical activity', and essentially they all mean the same thing: moving our bodies and expending energy, whether that's by walking to work or school, climbing the stairs, or playing sport.

1 in 4 adults across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire are inactive. 1 in 3 children and young people are inactive.

Being active

Why it's important and what gets in the way?

Being active helps more than just individuals. It benefits communities and wider society, and has a knock-on effect on the environment. Through physical activity:

  1. People become healthier, happier and more fulfilled
  2. Communities feel safer, inclusive and connected
  3. Society is more equal, with money invested and saved in the right places
  4. Environments are less polluted, and better appreciated by communities

However, there are lots of blocks and barriers that mean some people are less active than others. By understanding those challenges, and how to address them, together we can decide how best to make a difference.


Inactivity is a problem

1 in 4 adults across Derbyshire and Notts are inactive, which means they do less than 30 minutes of activity a week. And, less than half of children and young people are doing enough physical activity to benefit their health. Inequality can play a part in how active a person is:

  1. Adults living in our most deprived neighbourhoods are 75% more likely to be inactive than those living in our least deprived neighbourhoods.
  2. People from our Asian and Black ethnic communities are more likely to be inactive than other ethnic groups.
  3. People with a disability or long-term health condition are twice as likely to be inactive than those without.

Covid-19 has made things worse

The pandemic has made it more difficult for people to be active.

  • People have been asked to stay at home and, even when restrictions have eased, there's been a fear of going out.
  • People have struggled financially due to shielding, self-isolating and job loss.
  • Gyms, clubs and leisure centres were closed and sporting activities cancelled.

As well as adults and young people being less active overall, attitudes have changed, too. Recent research shows that young people feel less confident and competent about physical activity and are finding it less enjoyable.

Finally, existing inequalities have widened, particularly around disability and mental health. Infections have also been more widespread among groups like these, which means their communities have been disproportionately affected by ill health.

It will be some time before we can truly see what lasting impact this experience has had on us all. Even so, it's clear to see that the Covid-19 pandemic has made existing problems bigger — and the barriers harder to overcome.

Our journey so far

Our Journey so far...

The story, research, and thinking behind the vision

The benefits of finding a way through the challenges are clear. Through active lives, we can create a fairer, stronger, healthier and greener society for all — which is especially important as we recover from Covid-19, both locally and nationally.

Sport England launched a new national strategy, 'Uniting the Movement', in January 2021. It sets out a 10-year vision to transform lives and communities through physical activity, and its mission is clear – to tackle the deep-rooted inequalities and unlock the advantages of sport and physical activity for everyone.

We're proud to be supporting and playing our part in Uniting the Movement. In essence, this shared vision is our local response, setting out the future priorities and actions needed at a local level from us, our partners, and for people and organisations in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.

We're not starting from scratch. Together we have already been working in collaboration with lots of people and organisations to spark the changes needed to make physical activity accessible to all.

All of this work has been gathered together and sense-checked by many different people and organisations, with over 700 people joining our discussions about the findings, opportunities and next steps needed. That's why we call this a shared vision: it's built on the needs and contributions of hundreds of people across Notts and Derbyshire.

We're not starting from scratch. Together we have already been working in collaboration with lots of people and organisations to spark the changes needed to make physical activity accessible to all.

All of this work has been gathered together and sense-checked by many different people and organisations, with over 700 people joining our discussions about the findings, opportunities and next steps needed. That's why we call this a shared vision: it's built on the needs and contributions of hundreds of people across Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.

What we've heard

Through a wide range of discussions, conversations, meetings and events , we've gathered the opinions and feedback and this is a summary of what we've heard.

By talking and listening, we've gained a greater understanding of our collective strengths, opportunities and challenges, all of which have provided the foundations for what's needed over the next ten years. It's from this work that our shared vision, aims, and approach have emerged.

Our shared aims

Why they're important and what we hope to achieve?

Our insights, experiences, and conversations have highlighted some clear opportunities and areas of focus, and these are our shared aims. They're the areas where we believe we can make the biggest difference, addressing inequalities and enabling everyone to be active.

While we're working on more detailed implementation plans, for now we have used our conversations and findings to set out the rationale for each of these aims along with what we're seeking to achieve.

As you read on, you'll notice there are cross-cutting priorities and there's not a linear path to creating change. That's because our aims are all interdependent, with interconnecting themes. It's complex and we need to understand and embrace this.

Our shared aims:

  • Creating a culture where everyone can be active and move more.
  • Enabling children and young people to have positive experiences of being active throughout their childhood.
  • Working with people and communities who experience the greatest inequality.
  • Maximising the potential of physical activitybeing active to improve physical and mental health.
  • Creating accessible, safe, and inclusive places and environments for physical activity.

1. Creating a culture where everyone can be active and move more...

We want to create a culture where everyone can be active in a way that works for them – whether moving more on a daily basis, attending activity sessions, walking for travel or leisure, or playing sport. All are important. It's about normalising being active as part of everyday life.

We can do this by firstly raising awareness, so people can relate to and understand our message. Then, by encouraging and motivating people and communities to be open to change and make choices that involve moving more, rather than being sedentary. Alongside this, organisations need to plan together and make decisions with physical activity in mind, so that it becomes the easier, cheaper and more obvious choice for people and communities (e.g. it's easier to choose to walk or cycle than use the car for short journeys).

It's then important to connect all this to local opportunities in an accessible way, making it as easy as possible for groups, clubs, partners and local people to share and find what's in their area. Using new technology can also help us communicate more effectively with those wanting to embrace these opportunities. And for those not connected to technology, we need to find ways to spread the word in other ways to their friends, family and support systems.

What are we aiming for?

  • Being active is the easier and obvious choice for more people
  • Clear and consistent messages around moving more and being active
  • People find it easy to connect to opportunities that are right for them – recognising that all movement counts

2. Enabling children and young people to have positive experiences of being active throughout their childhood.

Establishing early habits, developing movement skills and enjoying being active are so important for children and young people. We know that the earlier these attitudes are developed and maintained, and the earlier these skills are learnt, the more likely they will become a lasting part of people's lives. In addition to the physical benefits, the mental health benefits are huge; being active can help build self-esteem and resilience and instil a sense of belonging. Being active and playing sport also has a role in preventing anti-social behaviour and reducing violence.

However, Covid-19 has exacerbated the barriers for young people. Many children and young people weren't active enough before the pandemic, and now they are even less so; this is particularly true for those from our ethnically diverse communities and for children with health conditions or disabilities. Young people's mental health has also worsened during the pandemic, so we need to look at the role physical activity might play in preventing, and treating, mental ill health.

To understand this better we need to hear from young people themselves. We need to understand their motivations, experiences, and challenges and use this to inform work with partners including early years providers, schools, further and higher education, youth services, and the numerous charities and community organisations working with young people across Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. We'll also use this understanding to shape the environments where children and young people can be active and redesign the services and opportunities available in schools, parks, clubs and community settings.

For many young people, school is the place they are most active. We can work with schools to find new ways for pupils to be active during the school day, and to influence curriculums to develop skills and make physical activity more enjoyable.

However, we need to consider more than just the school environment. It'll be important to continue developing a variety of ways to be active – for example, we know some children and young people have enjoyed (and want to continue) virtual forms of activity, while others prefer face to face. We can also do more to engage parents and support families to be active together, building on behaviours that emerged during the pandemic. And finally, we need to join the dots between schools and the wider neighbourhood to better connect the work being done and to help the young people in those communities, in and outside of school.

What are we aiming for?

  • More young people enjoy being active
  • Young people are involved in developing opportunities that are right for them
  • An early focus on developing the skills and confidence to lead an active life
  • Resource and capacity is proportionately focussed on young people experiencing the greatest inequalities

3. Working with people and communities who experience the greatest need.

Significant inequalities exist across Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, and there is widespread commitment to addressing these through working closely with the people and communities who have the greatest inequality.

Inequality occurs in society, neighbourhoods, and in physical activity itself, and these are interlinked. For example, ethnically diverse communities, people living with a disability and people from the more deprived areas of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire are more likely to be inactive — and the pandemic has made this worse. In many cases the work has already started and is ongoing, but it takes time, and we have to learn and adapt our approach as we go.

We will continue to work with our more deprived neighbourhoods; this is where the need is greatest due to intersecting inequalities across income, employment, education and health. And we must also work with existing support networks and organisations to look at how to reduce the barriers for people with long-term conditions and/or a disability, who live in all parts of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.

Whether we're concentrating on inequality within part of society, a particular neighbourhood, or in specific groups, in all our work, we must empower our people and communities to be involved – owning and shaping their future and the change that needs to happen. All partners, organisations and those responsible for providing services must listen, understand and be prepared to work together, maximising the impact of their combined resources to build on the strengths and assets that already exist. Critical to this will be developing capacity, capability and leadership in community and voluntary sector organisations – particularly amongst those who have struggled during the pandemic.

We shouldn't underestimate the challenges that come with working in this way. It takes time and requires capacity which is often limited. Competition for investment can get in the way of working closely together and it can be hard – requiring a mindset and willingness to change and adapt along the way.

What are we aiming for?

  • People with lived experience are involved in developing opportunities that are right for them
  • The importance of being active and moving more is embedded in wider inequality work
  • Resource and capacity is proportionally focussed on people and neighbourhoods experiencing the greatest inequality

4. Maximising the potential of being active to improve physical and mental health

It's widely understood and accepted that an active lifestyle is essential for both physical and mental health; inactivity is estimated to cost £7.4 billion a year to the NHS and Local Authorities*. The pandemic has brought the health of our nation into sharp focus and renewed emphasis on the importance of being active. Now is the time to build on this, looking for ways physical activity can improve the physical and mental health of our local population and reduce the cost pressure on health and social care services.

As part of the Covid-19 recovery we have to bring physical activity to the fore, empowering people to take responsibility for their own health and wellbeing. It's essential that we work to embed physical activity in emerging integrated health and care systems, ensuring it's recognised, prioritised and supported by healthcare professionals, commissioners, and carers alike. We must focus on the role of physical activity in prevention and personalised care, with a long-term aim to improve population health and wellbeing and reduce inequalities between different groups. But we also need to recognise that moving more will benefit everyone, at all stages of their lives and whatever their health. That of course means working with health and social care organisations, but also considering how wider education, planning, and transport policies might promote physical activity and contribute to greater overall health and wellbeing.

Using the compelling evidence of the health benefits of being active, we can influence commissioning processes, health and wellbeing strategies and strategic needs assessments to recognise the importance of physical activity; this will help to ensure it's embedded into care pathways, service delivery and wider community work such as social prescribing, weight management and mental health services. We also want to speak to patients and those living with health conditions to understand what they need to be more active, and use this knowledge to shape joined-up services where they live.

In all of this, there will be a need to support the workforce. That could mean connecting those working in health with those working with sport and physical activity, or enabling those delivering services — allied health professionals, nurses, paediatricians, social care workers, GPs and educators — to have conversations with those they support about moving more.

* This includes both the direct costs (treating major, lifestyle related diseases such as heart attacks, strokes, diabetes and falls) and indirect costs (sickness absence and the costs of social care arising from loss of functional capacity).

What are we aiming for?

  • Health and care systems and strategies recognise, support and prioritise moving more - including population health, prevention and personalised care
  • Physical activity is integral to covid recovery work
  • Person-centred approaches consider what's needed to be active for people living with long term health conditions and disabilities

5. Creating accessible, safe, and inclusive places and environments for physical activity

Across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire we have a variety of environments; providing great choice and opportunity to be active; green spaces including woods, parks and gardens; blue spaces including rivers and lakes; built infrastructure such as local buildings and facilities; and public rights of way.

But, just because these things are there doesn't mean we are all able to access them easily, equally, or even feel they are for us.

We know that most sport and physical activity takes place outdoors, within 20 minutes of our homes. And that all population groups walk more than they do any other type of activity (whether to keep fit, for leisure or for travel). But until all our neighbourhoods feel safe, accessible and welcoming — and until we address the underuse, unfair distribution and accessibility of many of our assets — we're unlikely to reduce the inequalities many in our communities face.

In some of our less active communities there is a lack of space, together with underused assets, like buildings and green spaces. Poor street lighting, cars and traffic can also make moving around on foot or in wheelchairs feel dangerous, while neglected areas (rubbish, dog fouling etc.) make it uninviting to venture out.

Working with communities themselves, we need to design, develop and adapt – creating safe, inclusive and accessible spaces and places that encourage and enable active lives. Then we need to connect people to them, allowing us to maximise the use of our parks for play, recreation and leisurely walking; encourage active travel to school and work; and provide welcoming leisure centres, clubs and other community facilities that offer active choices and opportunities for the whole community.

Important in this will be adopting the principles of 20-minute neighbourhoods* and testing and learning from initiatives such as Active Towns** that aim to create more active and connected communities that also benefit from reduced traffic, improved air quality and thriving local shops and businesses.

In addition to the imbalances and inequalities of covid, there are two themes that cross through all of the above aims: the potential of walking in a way that's accessible to everyone; our carbon footprint and impact on the environment. These considerations feed into almost all of our aims and actions.

What are we aiming for?

  • Greater understanding of how the local environment influences being active
  • Local people and businesses are engaged in the co-design of their local places
  • Places are walkable and connected, making it easier and safer for people to move more

*A 20-minute neighbourhood is another way of describing a complete, compact and connected neighbourhood, where people can meet their everyday needs within a short walk or cycle. The TCPA, together with Sport England have been working with a range of partners to look at how the idea could be introduced in the context of the English planning system.

**Active Towns is an initiative which aims to 'Help Communities Create a Culture of Activity' by supporting 'communities wishing to establish inviting, invigorating, and inclusive "All Ages & Abilities" people-oriented places which promote active living and enhance quality of life measures, while reducing climate and environmental impacts'.

Maximising the potential of walking

We've seen that walking contributes to the vast majority of physical activity - on average, half our time spent being active is walking, whether that is on foot or in a wheelchair. Walking can be available and accessible to everyone, including wheelchair users and people with limited mobility. When accessibility and access is considered, it is an undaunting entry into physical activity and potentially easier for people who are inactive to engage in.

We all approach walking differently. Some of us are functional walkers – walking for work or travel, and some of us walk for pleasure. Given the enormous significance of walking, it's vital that our local environments enable and encourage walking so, across all of our shared aims, we need to incorporate a focus on walking.

Moving more and the impact on climate change

Generally speaking, moving more — particularly outdoors — can help us to reduce our carbon footprint, providing sustainable forms of travel, reducing our energy use, and lessening our dependence on services and products to stay healthy.

However, we have to acknowledge the fact that physical activity and sport both have an impact on the environment and on climate change. We often travel by car to activity, for example driving to the gym to exercise; Facilities demand resources to build and energy to run; kit and equipment is often disposable or quickly replaced, and made of plastic; and even single use plastic water bottles used by people during activity have a negative impact on the world around us. It's essential that, in all our aims and actions, we consider sustainable solutions, looking at ways to minimise environmental impact and encourage environmentally friendly behaviours.

How will we Make Our Move?

The power of a united approach

This is a systems-based, collaborative approach with everyone leading and participating together. Partners and communities uniting around a shared vision and adopting shared outcomes so that we are aligned and working towards the same things. The power of our collective work is in the sum of the parts, including integrated health and care, voluntary and community organisations, young people services and education, wellbeing, sport, leisure, transport, housing, environment, community safety and planning, to name but a few.

At the heart of this united approach is people and communities 'owning' the change they're trying to create by being involved and feeling empowered. Everyone and every place is different, and it's important to understand and appreciate individual and local circumstances that influence people and communities to be active.

How we work to achieve this is key. We're learning that it will take a commitment to:

  • Growing our insight and understanding of people and communities by working closely with lived experience and listening carefully to resident voices.
  • Supporting and developing people who can lead and influence others to move more
  • Working collaboratively across and between partners and sectors
  • Focus on learning and adapting, understanding what works as well as what doesn't and applying it to our work on an ongoing basis
  • Advocating for and influencing policy and practice
  • Targeting and aligning investment to where it's most needed

We've already started our journey towards a united approach, and are already growing the movement. And while we're not starting from scratch, we do recognise that there are ways we can better come together and unite to encourage physical activity in Notts and Derbyshire.

Insight and understanding

First and foremost, our work starts with people. We need to listen and understand behaviour, experiences of being active or inactive, motivation, and whether the opportunities we have to be active are the right ones.

We also need to understand environments and people's lives and explore the things that prevent us from being active or moving more. There may be wider influences at play, like feeling unsafe in their community, or unemployment. Often, it's these wider influences that impact on activity that we need to change, rather than creating more opportunities for people to be active. Physical activity can also be part of the solution to changing some of these wider influences, for example, improving health.

Being open to and valuing different perspectives and the lived experience of communities is crucial in building our understanding and insight.

United in our approach, we will:

  • Develop a deeper understanding of people and neighbourhoods experiencing greatest inequality
  • Listen to different perspectives and engage with people who have lived experience of inactivity
  • Share our collective insight and understanding to inform our work and the decisions we make

Supporting and developing people

There are lots of people and organisations who have the opportunity and ability to influence or help people to be more active. This is our workforce, and many of these people may need support themselves.

There are lots of current and new leaders both within communities and across a range of partners and sectors. These might be community activists — whether leaders, stewards, or simply people empowering others — or residents creating change in their own communities. They may also be emerging community organisers and planners. Whoever they are, we need to develop and support our leaders to understand and adopt these ways of working and to lead across all levels and areas.

If we want to increase the capacity and capability of our workforce, we need to consider how we might expand, diversify, develop and support people who encourage and enable others to be active, which will take a range of different means and methods.

United in our approach, we will:

  • Engage a diverse workforce that is reflective of the people and neighbourhoods we are working with
  • Enable and empower people and communities to influence others to move more
  • Support the development of collaborative leadership skills throughout our workforce
  • Be open to change and working in different ways to meet the needs of people and communities.

Collaboration across and between partners and sectors

This is key to the success of Making our Move. It's easy to say but harder to do in practice. We need to be open and willing to combine our strengths, insights, capacity and resources in working towards our shared aims, and we may need to flex and adapt together as the work progresses. Leadership and decision-making needs to be collaborative too, guided by the collective shared vision rather than our organisational needs or boundaries.

The evidence is clear – working in this way will require time and capacity to build strong relationships, make connections and develop the skills to work collaboratively. We will also need to invest in a way that enables rather than hinders collaboration, sharing resources and risk in relation to our shared aims.

United in our approach, we will:

  • Develop shared vision and purpose across and between partners and sectors
  • Establish open and trusting relationships and develop the skills and capabilities to collaborate effectively.
  • Hear diverse perspectives, promote collaborative leadership and devolved decision making

A focus on learning and adapting

Learning is important – it's the process of making sense of our insights, understanding and experiences and acting on our findings. We need to learn together about things that will help us to address inequality and empower everyone to be active. Reviewing our progress and impact and taking action as we go will help us to do this, and it's just as important to learn from what isn't working as well as what's successful.

There are lots of ways in which we can embrace learning. We need to create environments and spaces where we can honestly share our perspectives and experiences. We need to develop the resources, skills, capabilities and patience to learn, as well as the patience to see real results — as we know this won't happen overnight. It will take time and a willingness to try new things; an openness when things don't work (and the courage to say so); and ongoing communication so that we can flex, adapt and respond to our learning in a timely way.

United in our approach, we will:

  • Recognise the value of learning and allocate the time and resource to learn together
  • Develop the skills, behaviours and mindsets to learn and adapt – based on what does and doesn't work
  • Share learning in a timely way to influence and inform policy and practice

Advocating for and influencing policy and practice that enable people to be active

Sometimes, the barriers to moving more and being active inadvertently lie within policies that exist or the way services are designed and delivered. For example, do our leisure contracts consider their role in reaching people who are inactive, while addressing inequalities that may be a barrier to this? Do transport and planning policies prioritise pedestrians, cyclists and public transport over motorists and car usage? Does the way we invest enable collaboration between organisations rather than drive competition and reinforce organisational boundaries?

As partners, we can do more to ensure that our policies and strategies facilitate and support active lifestyles; our governance and processes prioritise enabling people to be active and allow us to cut through unnecessary bureaucracy; and the environments, services and programmes we are responsible for are safe, accessible and maximise the opportunity for moving more and being active in the way they are designed, planned and delivered.

This will require all of us, across the system, to use our insight and understanding of people and communities to recognise where change is needed and then to advocate and influence to ensure that change happens.

It all comes down to working with communities and partners to change policies, rethink services and structures, create opportunities and even design environments where people can be active safely, at the same time as developing a wider culture where being active is the norm.

United in our approach, we will:

  • Ensure our policies, strategies, governance and processes facilitate and enable active lives.
  • Ensure our environments, services and programmes are planned, designed and delivered to incorporate safe and accessible ways to be active.
  • Trust in people to co-design the services they use and commit to collaborative commissioning principles.

Targeting and aligning Investment

It goes without saying that investment and resources, both financial and human, are crucial to the success of Making our Move. But we don't just need more money. We have to pay attention to how we invest, what we invest in and where, and focusing our resources to where they are most needed.

Whether it be seeking new investment or aligning existing funding and resources, partners and organisations need to work together, spreading the investment and resources they have between them to achieve shared priorities and outcomes. This might also mean taking risks together and jointly investing money and resources. If we want to create lasting change, it needs to be long-term too.

What we invest our resources in is also important, and will vary from place to place depending on need. We might invest in developing people to work in the ways described above; building capacity and capability both within communities and amongst partners; or shaping programmes and initiatives. Led by people and communities, we would like to be courageous, supporting new ideas and trying new things to see what makes the biggest, most long-lasting difference.

United in our approach, we will:

  • Seek new investment and align our existing capacity and resources to support our shared purpose.
  • Proportionately focus our shared capacity and resource on the people and neighbourhoods experiencing greatest inequality.
There is not a single solution or intervention. Implementation requires a collective and co-ordinated response across all settings where people live, work and play - by all relevant stakeholders, at all levels to ensure a more active future.

Time to Make Our Move

Stepping in to play our parts

Making Our Move will require a collective and co-ordinated response by all relevant stakeholders at all levels. To address inequality and empower everyone to be active in a way that works for them, we all have a part to play.

The need is clear, the evidence is clear and the context is clear. Now is the time to build on where we are and act — together.

In many cases, we'll need to work out our roles together and be flexible to ensure we're responding to need and local context. We also have to be committed to generating lasting change.

Get in touch

We can all play our part to make physical activity the norm and we'd love to hear from you if you're interested in working with us to make that happen.

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