An EPIC challenge along England’s Physically Inactive Coast
Active Lincolnshire is one of 6 Active Partnerships that operate along the North East coast of England from Gibraltar Point in Lincolnshire to the Scottish borders (Rise, County Durham Sport, Tees Valley Sport, North Yorkshire Sport, Active Humber, and Active Lincolnshire). We have formed the North East Coastal Active Partnership (NECAP) because as an area we collectively face significantly worse health inequalities in the coastal parts of our regions than most of England, and that is compounded by communities that are more likely to be physically inactive.
We believe to address these issues we will not succeed by acting as individual Active Partnerships but need to work as a collective as the most efficient way forward, due to the finite resources that each Active Partnership has, and our drive to work closely with our partners along the coast. This area is co-terminus with the North East region of the Coastal Communities Alliance, the body that looks after coastal matters across England.
Working together, we are collaborating in a way that reflects the shared purpose that the NECAP group has; to turn the tide on physical inactivity along the North East coast.
We have come together to produce the report:
This outlines the very real problems we face and seeks support from bodies, and specifically Sport England to help us turn the tide on the low physical activity rates we face in these communities. We feel that by working together as a collective, we can show that the issues we face are not unique to our own individual area, and together we can have a much greater impact.
50% of the most inactive counties in the country are along the North East coast. Even when looking at activity rates for those who do meet the recommended physical activity levels, four of our Active Partnerships are in the bottom eight on that measure. We truly are an inactive place compared to other parts of England. Lincolnshire is the least active county of the coastal areas in the partnership.
Physical inactivity rates are just one of the many issues and inequalities where our coastal communities score poorly in comparison to other coastal areas of England and especially to non-coastal communities.
By seeking to address the underlying low levels of physical activity levels in our communities, we aim to ensure that we see longer term improvements across a range of other health and wellbeing inequalities. There is good evidence that partnership at community level in places of greatest disadvantage can yield positive outcomes.
Covid-19 has hit us hard and our coastal towns have regularly been at the top of the worst affected places in England. Whilst the impact of Covid-19 has been felt in all areas of society, many of our coastal communities have faced the brunt of this crisis due to the existing inequalities that were already embedded along the North East coast.
We have identified three recommendations to help drive our ambition over the long term and have asked Sport England to support us with these recommendations:
Sport England and other national agencies recognise the high levels of inactivity along the North East coast of England and the need to address this long-term situation to effect wider societal change.
As it reviews how it will best fund organisations to tackle inequalities over the next 4 years, Sport England discuss with the 6 North East Coast Active Partnerships how that funding approach could best help to increase the activity rates along the North East coast.
Sport England and the 6 Active Partnerships work together over the next 12 months in a collaborative way, like the ‘core cities’ model, on what can be done now to improve activity rates along the North East coast.
The report sets out our rationale on why we think a new approach is required; this is not a simple bid for cash but much more about changing the way we all work in a collaborative way across an area that has largely been ignored by a whole variety of Government and national agencies. The area has struggled to make its voice heard on the challenges it faces.
Active Lincolnshire want to work with local stakeholders, the wider NECAP partnership and Sport England to understand how together we can solve this EPIC challenge we face.
The last ten years has seen the North East coast go significantly backwards, in terms of wealth, health and activity and we remain a resolutely inactive community and place – quite simply our collective efforts over the last decade have failed to make the required impact in our coastal communities.
By learning from the experiences of the last decade and collaborating as Active Partnerships we can find new and innovative ways to drive significant change (if not to remove all inequalities) to support the communities we serve to see physical activity as part of the solution.
If you’d like to discuss this report further or work with us to increase levels of activity in Lincolnshire and specifically the coastal areas, please contact:
Emma Tatlow, Chief Executive: