SASSOT Updates

Tuesday 20th August 2019

Director Update


I hope this newsletter finds you well and you’re finding time to enjoy an active summer (despite the hit and miss weather)!

It might be the summer holidays but the wheels keep turning here at SASSOT. From a staff perspective, we are delighted to welcome Hazell Thorogood, our new Office Manager; Hazell joins us from Staffordshire University. Elsewhere in the organisation Naomi Bird moves from her current position as Insight and Marcomms Manager to Data, Insight and Engagement Manager. Naomi will lead the engagement of our leisure trusts and shape our Open Data offer (exciting news on this coming soon) in addition to her current insight portfolio – good luck Naomi!

Our theme this month is ‘active travel’. Walking or cycling short distances as a part of your day to day life is a great way to increase your levels of physical activity, and of course, is the greener and cheaper way to travel. In Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent we are blessed with miles of canal paths, disused railways and green spaces, which are fantastic places for a bit of self-propelled travel. That said, at SASSOT we are trying to support local authorities in designing public spaces which support active travel options.

I have recently discovered the Getoutside website, founded by Ordnance Survey. The “explore near me” function allows you to discover local walks, bike rides and green spaces, both by postcode and how much time you have. I found it really useful when on holiday or away with work – a quick and easy way to build some physical activity into your day. Particularly handy if like me you couldn’t navigate your way out of a paper bag!


Jude Taylor, Director


Smiles and laughs all around at the very first This Girl Can Festival!


Friday 28th June 2019 saw over 2000 kids take over the Keele University Sports Centre in the 8th instalment of the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent School Games! Arriving from the far reaches of the county, the children were buzzing with excitement, raring to get the activities underway. In the midst of all the competition, 76 inactive girls from across the county were trying out the activities that they had co-designed; testing their skills in Tennis, Football, Dance and Boxing.

With the help of the School Games Organisers, SASSOT had been working closely with each of the girls to find out what the girls enjoyed in order to help them to create their own fantastic opportunities. These were based on their core-beliefs, interests and values. The girls came up with some exciting ideas and  creative adaptions of the activities which were driven by a motivation to have fun and be around friends.

Supported by Stoke City, Queensberry Boxing Club, All-Stars Tennis and UDOIT Dance, each of the girls shone throughout and grew massively in confidence as the activities went on. By the end of day, all the girls were smiling and laughing about the memories that they had taken away from the day!

Dave from the SASSOT team said, “It was great to see the girls interacting so well with each of the activities. They co-designed them and the girls have seemed to come away from the day with beaming smiles on their faces. Each of the schools and deliverers have been fantastic and supportive to the girls which has helped to make this pilot a real success. Looking back at the event, it just goes to show that empowering inactive girls and providing ownership can allow ideas to stem and confidence to blossom!”


David Richards, Communities and Insight Officer