It is my privilege to be able to write the occasional forward to our newsletter and to record all the recent activity at Sport Across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. The team have been very busy delivering our new strategy and it is good to see progress being made with the development of the Place-Based Approach. This is still work in progress as we are learning new ways of working in order to meet the challenges set out by Sport England in association with our many stakeholders. We held a very successful Stakeholder Event at the Stone House Hotel and I was delighted to see so many of you at that event. We will continue to hold these on a regular basis in the future as communication and collaboration will be the key to transforming lives in our sub-region.
The task ahead is challenging. A recent study by Dscout found that the average person taps, swipes, texts or phone calls 2617 times a day during a total of 76 different access sessions in that day. They stare at a screen for about 145 minutes per day! Just imagine if we could get physical activity levels to half that amount! Another study by the University of Michigan has found that replacing face to face conversation with emails, texts messaging etc. doubles the risk of depression in people whereas regular physical activity reduces the risk. It is our mission to do something about this in our sub-region.
On another note entirely, there have been some staff changes at SASSOT. In this newsletter I am able to formally thank Chris Milward for his substantial contribution to our work since starting in September 2012. He has developed an excellent relationship with many partners and we are going to miss his sense of humour in addition to the outstanding work he has achieved. We wish him well in his new role developing cricket.
Other internal news is that we have had our round table meeting with Sport England following our designation as “Good”. We have agreed our key themes for development in the coming months based on the evidence that is being gathered. As Chair of the Board I am confident that together with the team and our stakeholders/partners, we can achieve great things in the future.
In the meantime, I hope everyone gets a good break over Easter and we can look forward to a bit less swiping and staring and a bit more activity!
Malcolm R Armstrong, Board Chair
Workforce Development Application
SASSOT have recently been successful in securing a continuation of funding to deliver our workforce plan. Over the past 12 months we have been developing new approaches to deliver against Sport England’s and SASSOT’s workforce priorities. A recent application process has seen us secure a continuation of Sport England funding to develop and scale up this work over 2019-20 and 2020-21.
This funding will enable us to land Sport England’s national workforce priorities outlined in national volunteering, coaching and professional workforce strategies as well as helping us to achieve our place-based approach strategy.
We will be working with a number of key stakeholders to help us deliver our plans; a key part of this will be delivering a training offer that will empower our workforce to develop their ‘softer skills’ and be responsive to the needs of the community.
Lee Booth, Workforce Manager