Active Communities Forest of Dean

Freedom Leisure’s Active Communities team works with local communities across the Forest of Dean to get people more active through a wide range of activities & events.

Active Communities FOD works with a wide range of local groups and national partners to get people of all ages and abilities more active across a range of programmes delivered in local communities and leisure facilities “Through our dedicated Active Communities services, Freedom Leisure aims to contribute to creating an active nation by working with our valued partners by developing bespoke local programmes to meet local need... where customers, clients and staff matter.

Hannah Gilday, Group Active Communities Manager.

Active Sport

In the Forest of Dean, we develop a wide range of sporting programmes, working with Active Gloucestershire, local clubs, National Governing Bodies of Sport and Activity Alliance. In FOD we sponsor the Forest of Dean District Council Sport Awards to recognise the Sportsperson of the Year and offer support with their training. We will be looking to develop a Talented Athlete Scheme to assist them further.

Active Young People

We work with children, young people and families across FOD of all ages and abilities to encourage them into a more active habit for life. We have a range of holiday activities including Xplorer and Family Fun Days. As well as a variety of 7-19 years activity programmes; learn to swim opportunities; inclusive youth programmes and much more.

Active Ageing

We encourage all people in FOD, regardless of ability to age well. We lead a range of programmes such as Walking Netball and Walking Football to encourage those aged 50+ to have fun, socialise and focus on improving mental and physical wellbeing. We are committed to improving opportunities for those facing dementia or who care for someone with dementia to remain active by supporting community groups with activities and making our own sessions more dementia friendly.

Active Communities

Across FOD we work with over 100 community groups and organisations to develop even more opportunities for local people to get involved in fun activities. We support annual events such as the Forest Activities Festival alongside local community events across the district. We aim to engage hard to reach groups from priority wards to deliver specific community-led programmes to help in making the most of where people live. Our activecommFOD Facebook page is where you will find us!

Active Workforce

We want to get all people more active, including those who find their working life in FOD a reason for not being as active as they may want. As ‘sitting is the new smoking’, we want to work with more local businesses to find out what their employees would love to do with us to get more active around their job. We work with Hartpury College and University of Gloucestershire to provide opportunities to volunteer with our teams and support projects.

Active Health

Health and physical activity come hand in hand and we know the importance of preventing health issues later in life. We offer local health programmes including; GP Referral, a Health membership and are developing Adult Weight Management classes. Our staff are trained to encourage everyone who wants to improve their health into an opportunity right for them.

For the Active Communities Team our focus for 2019-20 is still reaching those who are in disadvantaged communities and may be facing social and rural isolation. As well as working closely with our ageing demographic utilising community assets and resources to promote physical activity, health and well-being. This development plan outlines our vision for the Forest of Dean for the year, with our current community programmes we are committed to delivering and exciting new projects. We are really starting to see the impact we are having within the District but recognise there is still lots more we can do. Key programmes this year will include engaging more young people from targeted wards in Friday Night Projects, building relationships with primary and secondary schools to grow our activity programmes. In addition to, developing our walking sports opportunities and our outreach delivery with memory groups and we are looking forward to co-ordinating the successful community triathlon in Newent and the prospects of expanding the current exercise referral service. With the support of our partners and local stakeholders we feel fully equipped and excited for the year ahead. We will be capturing active participation and wider partner engagement throughout the year.

Steph Moreland, Forest of Dean Active Communities Manager