Sport England Chief Executive visits Together an Active Future
19th March 2020
Sport England Chief Executive Tim Hollingsworth recently visited Pennine Lancashire to find out more about ‘Together an Active Future’ (TaAF) and meet residents and partners who are all working together to learn how to improve physical activity levels.
Tim’s visit commenced at a community centre where a newly formed group of Rossendale residents were meeting to discuss how the great outdoors, in particular walking, can be made easier and more enjoyable for everyone.
We moved on to the Adrenaline Centre where Tim met with leads of Local Authorities, Leisure Trusts, Local networks, Active Lancashire and DWP.
Introductions were done in true TaAF style – each person had to describe themselves in just five words in five seconds!
Claire Ramwell, the Programme Lead for TaAF, described some of the complexities of Pennine Lancashire as a place and how TaAF are using the LDP to bring together residents, community groups, leisure, wellbeing, policy, evaluation and the third sector.
Claire then outlined how at the start of this journey, the TaAF Core Team were brave enough to admit they didn’t have the answers and needed help. So they enlisted the support of Professor Leon Cruickshank from Imagination Lancaster. Leon described how he’s helped TaAF to influence positive change in people and partners and how it’s vital to identify what success looks like in interactions, events and projects.
On the theme of plans, Ken Masser from the TaAF core team described how a pivotal point changed TaAF’s approach and led to the development of the life course approach. Everyone was asked to use a life course reflection tool developed by TaAF to consider how changes of circumstance in their lives had affected their level of physical activity and then talk to the person next to them about it.
Following lunch, representatives from each of the six districts gave a two minute video update on the progress being made in their place.
There was some time for questions and comments and it was clear that conversation could have flowed for hours, however there were trains to catch. TaAF thanked Tim, Chris and Justine from Sport England for visiting Pennine Lancashire to hear about the approach and learning so far.
Tim closed the session by thanking everyone for taking the time to attend and stated: “This visit has been different. Normally I visit project after project but today I’ve had the chance to learn from you all. Learning is in the work, this is new, unfamiliar and difficult to get our heads around. The old ways [of grant funding] were successful but not inclusive. No one really knows where this journey is going to take us. This is a brilliant conversation.”
The brilliant conversation continued as Tim had agreed to be a guest on the ‘TaAF Talks’ podcast. Hear Tim talk to Ken and Jamie about shifting organisational cultures, the values and skills we need leaders to have to drive change, what hopes does Tim have for LDP’s and how a Master’s degree in Drama qualifies a person to lead Sport England!
The podcast is available on all major podcast platforms – click here to listen now.