This is good opportunity to bring you up to date with all that has been going on with Sport Across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. Before I expand a little on our activities I want to go on record to recognise the hard working efforts of the staff team.
This has been a busy and complex time for them as they start to implement our new strategy through the Place-Based-Approach. This a new and innovative way of working and, to be successful, requires considerable in-depth knowledge and understanding of the communities and partners with whom we are working. Effective communication and excellent leadership in each place will be the key to success and I am confident that the team will achieve this with the full support of the new Board.
At Board level there have been a number of developments since my last item in the newsletter. These have included: the recruitment of two new Board members, Tim Clegg who is the CEO of Stafford Borough Council who keeps SASSOT in touch with the other Chief Officers in our sub-region and, Toyin Higgs who brings a wealth of experience in children’s services and safeguarding. Both are acting as Independent members.
The recruitment to the Board is now complete and comfortably meets the requirements of Sport England for a balanced Board. Recently the Board has approved the inclusion of Staffordshire Leisure and Cultural Officers Forum (SLCOF) as sub set of the Board, and I have had the privilege of chairing their last meeting. I look forward to a greater synergy between the SASSOT team and SLCOF; we all seek to enhance the lives of the communities and individuals who live in our county and city. In order to consider our long term Strategy, the Board has recently held its first away day in order to discuss a number of lines of development to ensure a bright future.
The SASSOT team have been grappling with a new Performance Management and Improvement Framework in addition to their day jobs. I am grateful to them all for their valuable and significant contribution to this work. We are being judged against our own self-assessment in mid December. So watch this space for news of the outcome! This will be an ongoing process and our improvement plan will endeavour to send us on an upward trajectory. The written submission has been carefully assembled with contributions form our partners, stakeholders as well as the team and the Board. We will have to wait and see if this new approach by Sport England will produce the outcomes they seek. Myself and the Senior Independent Director (Kimiyo Rickett) will be supporting the team during the two day assessment. We will also be at the a key Sport England meeting for Chairs of Board in late November as well as attending the CSPN national annual general meeting. Hopefully we will have a good insight into the national picture after all this!
Also, I want to add my congratulations to all the SASSOT Sports Awards winners as they represent some outstanding initiatives and people; well done and I look forward to meeting you all at the BBC Regional event in Birmingham.
I cannot end the newsletter without thanking all those of you who support the work of the team and to thank my colleagues on the Board for their input and guidance.
Finally, can I wish you all a Happy Christmas as this will be my last item in the newsletter until the new year.
Malcolm R Armstrong, Chair
Workforce Investment Update
SASSOT have recently submitted two funding applications to Sport England for workforce development that were available for county sport partnerships. The first application is for core workforce development and the purpose of this investment is to continue and grow the work that we have been doing over the last 12 months. The application is closely aligned to our place based strategy, aiming to support and develop our workforce in our focus areas. The application also outlines how we will continue to support our leisure facility workforce, the healthcare workforce and the continuation of our minimum standards education and training programme.
The second application is to the workforce ‘innovation’ fund and this aims to start some new work, testing new approaches in adding value and supporting healthcare professionals in promoting physical activity as a prevention and cure to illness. We are expecting to hear the outcome of the applications in early January.
Lee Booth, Workforce Manager