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How Fit and Active Barnet promotes a more active and healthy borough

Blog post   •   Dec 06, 2019 16:21 GMT

Last week, Strategic Relationship Manager Lorna Leach outlined some of the factors she sees in boroughs that create increases in physical activity levels in their residents, though there is no magic methodology.

This is the first of our reflection pieces from the boroughs successful in encouraging residents to increase their activity levels up towards and beyond 150 minutes of physical activity per week.

Barnet has seen a 7.2% increase in residents doing 150 minutes of physical activity per week since 2015, meaning that 64.3% of the population are achieving the Chief Medical Officer recommended levels of activity per week.

This means nearly two thirds of Barnet residents are benefiting from the physical and mental wellbeing improvements that come with leading an active life.

Courtney Warden, Sport and Physical Activity Service Manager at Barnet Council, writes about some of the work they have done in the last three years to achieve this shift in behaviour…

The Fit and Active Barnet (FAB) Framework’s vision is to ‘create a more active and healthy borough’.

Our strategy highlights the importance of physical activity and its synergy with local policies across public health, children and young people, adult social care, regeneration and environment.

All of these strands contribute to achieving the outcomes below that are reflected in the Barnet 2024 Corporate Plan:

  • A pleasant and well-maintained borough that we protect and invest in
  • Our residents live happy, healthy and independent lives with the most vulnerable protected
  • Safe and strong communities where people get along well

The success of delivering the FAB vision relies strongly upon working with partners to foster a shared commitment in improving the health and wellbeing of residents in Barnet.

In partnership with stakeholders and a vibrant third sector (voluntary, community and faith groups) the council established a FAB Partnership Board as a strategic network to facilitate, develop and deliver improved outcomes.

Additional operational sub-groups were initiated including the ‘Barnet Disability Sports Network’ which has a collaborative approach to enhancing disability and inclusive opportunities.

Partnership working across these networks provides the benefit of promoting and enhancing existing service provision, identifying gaps and opportunities for joint working, and celebrating successes - all with residents and local need at the very core.

In July 2018, the Partnership developed the FAB campaign, an insight and target-driven approach with personalised communication material (digital and printed) reflective of the local community.

A key aspect of the campaign was promotion of the FAB Card (delivered through Better) – free to Barnet residents offering a range of benefits including; free swimming for under 8s and under 15s swim for £1 across Better Leisure Centres and free taster sessions and discounts across club and community-based activities.

A FAB Hub was also developed providing a ‘one-stop-shop’ for all things sport and physical activity in the borough including; FAB Card registration, an activity finder and physical activity guidance.

Since launch of the FAB campaign over 23,000 residents have signed up for a FAB Card which has been reflected in levels of engagement.

This number continues to grow through targeted sub-campaigns, development of an app that promotes active travel through behaviour change, and the variety of interventions delivered across the borough through the FAB network.

A full report on FAB achievements through effective partnership working (inclusive of the development and launch of two new leisure centres in the borough), can be found here.

Barnet Relationship Manager David Gentles said:

“It’s great to see that when a borough aligns its strategic priorities, that include prioritisation for physical activity, underpinned by a successful activation campaign such as a Fit and Active Barnet, the outcome is a significant increase in physical activity levels in the borough.

“London Sport is looking forward to working with Barnet Council and other stakeholders in the borough through 2020 and beyond, to continue to develop effective partnerships that will help sustain these increases”

Get in touch with our Relationship Management team here

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