Agenda item

Active North Tyneside - An Overview

To present an outline of the Active North Tyneside programme, how it attempts to address health inequalities across the Borough and plans for future delivery of the service.


(The Chair explained that due to a previous commitment she would be leaving the meeting early and at that point the Deputy Chair would be in the chair for the remainder of business).


The Sub-Committee received a report outlining the work of the Active North Tyneside programme.


The Operational Manager, Sport and Leisure Services, and the Senior Manager, Public Health, presented an overview of the Active North Tyneside programme, how it attempted to address health inequalities across the Borough and plans for future delivery of the service.


It was explained that the primary purpose of Active North Tyneside was to improve the health and wellbeing of residents and to impact on these health inequalities across the borough. Programmes were designed to increase levels of physical activity, increase levels of healthy weight in children and adults and supported good mental health. The programme also aimed to enable residents and staff to support their friends, peers and families to make lifestyle changes which would have a positive impact on their health.


In the past two years, during the Covid pandemic, the full programmes of activities had not been able to be delivered. This however had provided space for a review in partnership with Public Health colleagues of what future priorities may be in advance of a new service level agreement from 1 April 2022.


During the pandemic, North East charity RISE was successful in sourcing funding to create and develop some at-home activity packs to offer to people who had their mobility, confidence and isolation impacted as a result of COVID-19.  RISE donated 600 packs for people in North Tyneside, which were distributed by Active North Tyneside and partners across the borough.


The packs contained simple equipment, instructions and prompts to encourage basic activity, exercise and movement from the comfort of people’s homes. One of the avenues the packs were distributed via was through North Tyneside Living, rented accommodation schemed for tenants aged 60 and over. The residents at a number of schemes were a fan of using them as a way to stay active, and when coronavirus restrictions lifted, Active North Tyneside and Housing Officers worked together to plan and deliver some classes using the packs, which now took place weekly.  A short YouTube video was shown to demonstrate how through collaborative working a number of older people were enjoying and benefiting from some gentle exercise. 


In terms of next steps, these would be based on co-production and collaboration – development of a Healthy Weight Alliance and Healthy Weight declaration. 


·         The Authority would re-focus its efforts of Active North Tyneside in line with the Health and Well-being Strategy to tackle inequalities and the drivers of those inequalities.

·         Develop new model for food and health team.

·         Continue bespoke development of weight management in target areas.

·         Commission services where appropriate e.g. universal weight management programme could be delivered by a third party.

·         Ensure programmes were delivered with and in the areas of most need.

·         Explore outdoor opportunities and how to maximise these.

·         Gap for preschool, to identify and develop opportunities to develop interventions and training for professions working with pre-school.

·         Skills audit in the team and were they still confident to deliver brief intervention for wider public health messages e.g. alcohol / smoking.

·         Explore model for community health checks – how to incorporate blood pressure and Atrial Fibrillation checks.


Food Active UK originating in the North West of England in 2013 to tackle increasing levels of obesity, Food Active supported local authorities across the region in taking a collaborative approach to promoting healthy weight. 


Local Authority Declarations were a ‘whole system approach’, focusing on population-level interventions which take steps to address the social, environmental, economic and legislative factors that affected people’s ability to change their behaviour:


·         Strategic leadership: creates an opportunity for senior officers and politicians to affirm their commitment to an issue.

·         Local awareness: shines a light on importance of key activities internally and externally.

·         Driving activity: a tool for staff to use to create opportunities for local working.


The sub-committee welcomed the positive work being done to improve the health and wellbeing of residents, together with the plans for future delivery of the service and how it attempted to address health inequalities across the Borough.


Clarification was sought on how veterans and those with long-term injuries could benefit from the programme. It was explained that there were possibilities for other groups to be involved and officers would definitely want to look at the options to support injured veterans, including the work being done by Age UK regarding the local authority declaration on healthy weight.


Reference was made to the two New Mams North Tyneside venues and why they were close together, and if there would be further programming. It was explained that feedback had identified those geographical areas where mams had wanted to take up exercise and learn about a healthier lifestyle for mam and baby. Where feedback from other communities in the borough indicated a need for facilities, these could be explored.


Clarification was sought on the feasibility of introducing a better health app via an NHS diet package, sports plans, steps etc., and encouraging better choice of foods in Hospital vending machines.  It was explained that there was opportunity to explore areas through exploring models for community health checks.


Reference was made to wagonways, cycleways and walking and how people could be encouraged to take more exercise.  It was explained that wagonways were an asset and the challenge was how to deliver projects to encourage individuals / groups to use facilities, which could include e.g., a cycle buddy scheme not always Authority driven, but instead a local community led option.


Reference was made to the 12th Man Programme to be delivered by Newcastle United Foundation (NUF) and whether anything else was in the pipeline. It was explained that the NUF were looking at a culture and leisure network e.g., North Tyneside arts studio classes, North Shields masterplan and to exploring other opportunities in tackling mental health and social inclusion.


The Deputy Chair thanked officers for their presentation and report.


It was agreed that the report and presentation on Active North Tyneside be noted.



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