If you’ve been out and about in Essex, Southend, or Thurrock lately, you’ve likely seen the “Find Your Active” banners and signs illuminating our local parks, schools, and community centres. This is more than just a campaign; it’s a community-driven movement to make physical activity a fun, inclusive experience for everyone.
Born from a year-long behavioural change campaign, Find Your Active celebrates the joy and inclusivity of physical activity. The campaign has inspired us all to appreciate the wide array of fitness opportunities right on our doorstep. Whether you’re a jogger in Southend or a yogi in Thurrock, Find Your Active encourages you to embrace activity that suits your lifestyle.
The Fit for the Future strategy is an ambitious follow-up, focusing on embedding physical activity into the fabric of our community. It extends into our schools, healthcare institutions, workplaces, and even our town planning. It aims to particularly support those in disadvantaged areas and those who’ve been traditionally inactive.
The pandemic showed us the incredible strength of active community participation. Neighbourhoods came together and hundreds of local organisations put their best foot forward to serve the common good. Fit for the Future plans to capture this newfound spirit and sustain it for years to come.
The campaign in action
Insightful research by Britain Thinks set the groundwork for a wide-ranging social marketing blitz. Here’s a snapshot of what’s been achieved:
- New Active Essex website: A hub that features an Activity Finder to help you discover new ways to get moving.
- Open week: Numerous clubs and organisations opened their doors for residents to sample activities.
- Household competition: Reaching 600,000 homes with 2,600 entries, this competition inspired families to get involved.
- Media campaign: A series of adverts ran across TV, radio and magazines, broadening the campaign’s reach.
- YouTube rebrand: A fresh new look on YouTube to inspire the online community.
- Find Your Active fund: A whopping 218 out of 232 applications have been approved, targeting a variety of community groups.
The fund has specifically targeted several community segments*:
- Individuals with disabilities or long-term health conditions: 177
- Deconditioned adults: 167
- Children and young people: 215
- Over 65s: 140
- Ethnically diverse communities: 167
- Women: 183
- Lower socio-economic groups: 210
*Note: some applications have multiple targeting of specific community groups
So, what’s next?
Find Your Active and Fit for the Future are not just campaigns; they’re changing the culture of how we view physical activity in Essex, Southend, and Thurrock. With so many ways to participate, now is the time to find your active and join this vibrant community movement. Let’s move towards a fitter, happier future, together.