Interim Director Update
Reflecting on 2018-19
I really can’t believe it’s been almost a year since we launched SASSOT’s new Strategy, at an event for our current and potential stakeholders at the Kingston Centre, Stafford.
Our Strategy, which runs from 2018-2021, identifies four strategic priorities which we are focusing on, under four key themes:
People – Residents, from all socio-economic backgrounds, enjoy the physical and mental health benefits of an active lifestyle
Place – Our communities are places where being physically active is an easy choice
Economy – Our sporting economy is thriving, providing employment and training to an active workforce
System – Strong strategic leadership ensures that physical activity and sport become a core feature in local policy and practice, creating communities which are inherently active
As a team, and with the involvement of the Strategy Advisory Group (one of the Board’s sub-groups), we have been reflecting on our first year of delivery against our new strategy and identifying our priorities for the new financial year. This has been a key year of learning and of laying the foundations for success – our new strategy, influenced by the heavier emphasis on targeting inactivity in the Government’s and Sport England’s strategies, has required us to work with new partners, focusing on new audiences and through new ways of working. While it’s fair to say that not everything has moved forward at the pace we originally envisaged, we have certainly begun to make clear progress in the majority of the new areas of work that we have prioritised.
A few examples of successes from 2018-19, which illustrate this change in direction of travel compared to our previous work, include:
- Safer Together Through Sport – SASSOT is a key member of the Staffordshire Youth Justice and Sport steering group and has been instrumental in bringing the right sport and physical activity partners around the table at a local and county level to create a referral pathway for Youth Offending teams and Early Help teams to use with their young people
- Clinical Champions – SASSOT has co-delivered eight workshops, giving over 140 frontline medical professionals the tools and capacity to advocate for physical activity as a prevention tool and as a treatment for some health conditions.
- Community Consultation – Through our Place-Based Approach, we have carried out facebook-led consultation and commissioned face-to-face consultation to help us understand our target audiences, their lives and their relationship with physical activity. This has been invaluable in helping us and our partners to shape the local offer
- Mental Health – The Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent School Games Local Organising Committee (LOC) engaged teachers from over 50 schools in an event exploring the relationship between physical activity levels in young people and their mental health. This will be complemented by follow-up activity later in the year to measure impact and share good practice
- Links with Public Health – SASSOT remains the STP physical activity lead for Staffordshire and is also now a member of the STP Social Prescribing Advisory Group, providing the opportunity to influence this emerging workstrand and associated investment. Additionally, SASSOT is recognised as the expert advisor regarding physical activity and sport for the Families Executive Partnership Group
- Marketing and Communications Support – we have supported two Local Authority leisure / health teams to review their current marketing activity and to implement changes for the future
For those of you who have worked with SASSOT for a number of years, I’m sure you will agree that the above has a very different ‘feel’ to the work we were doing a couple of years ago. SASSOT is fully committed to working with partners to reduce inactivity across our area, and we believe this new way of working is the key to success. Our focus for 2019-20 will remain the same, with the groundwork we have done over the past twelve months standing us in good stead to make real progress this year. We have some exiting plans to build on our current work areas, which we will be sharing in due course, but in the meantime I’d like to thank each and every one of you who has worked with SASSOT during the past year, and here’s to another successful year!
Jane Kracke, Interim Director
Upcoming safeguarding and first aid workshops
SASSOT work in partnership with Sport Structures and Newcastle-Under-Lyme College to deliver safeguarding and first aid workshops for coaches and volunteers. The courses are an essential part of training and our learners rate the workshops at an average score of 9.5 out of 10 with comments including, “Valuable information for anyone coaching or involved with children or vulnerable adults” and “Found it invaluable. Instruction nice and clear. Well done”.
The next courses coming up are:
Thursday 16th May 2019
Newcastle-Under-Lyme College from 18:00-21:00.
Cost is £38 per person and you can book your place here.
Thursday 23rd May 2019.
Stafford Borough Council Civic Offices from 18:30 – 21:30.
Cost is £45 per person and you can book your place here.
Further information and other courses can be found on our workshop page here.
Lee Booth, Workforce Manager