Social cohesion is integral to building active communities. Through encouraging people to get active, go outdoors and connect to their neighbourhood, Intelligent Health’s programmes create stronger, more resilient communities.
Beat the Street connects individuals to their community. Beat Boxes are strategically placed in green spaces, points of local interest and community hubs to encourage players to get outdoors and explore their local area. With up to 39% of the population taking part, Beat the Street encourages social activity whether it is families spending time together, parents and teachers going on joint walks or neighbours meeting each other.
Terry in Hounslow was left socially isolated after losing his wife to leukaemia. However, Terry was introduced to Beat the Street by his daughter and found the game helped him gave him the sense of purpose to get outdoors, meet new people and improve his wellbeing.
The Beat the Street schemes in North Lanarkshire, Rhondda Cynon Taff and Nottingham 2017 were used to explore the potential benefits of Beat the Street on social cohesion and mental wellbeing. Registered players answered a series of questions on their attitudes towards their neighbourhood and sense of wellbeing before and after playing Beat the Street.
The results revealed an increase in social cohesion following Beat the Street, most significantly for inactive players (0-1 days of physical activity per week).
Changes in physical activity and social cohesion score for inactive Beat the Street players in North Lanarkshire, Rhondda Cynon Taff and Nottingham.
Beat the Street in Dumfries saw huge levels of community engagement with close to 1 in 3 residents taking part in Autumn 2017. The entire town was transformed by the game with radio stations giving daily updates on the game, police seen cycling around town and tapping Beat Boxes, and one supermarket even offered free fruit and vegetables to Beat the Street players.
Not only did Beat the Street help residents get much more active, but it also strengthened community cohesion. At the start of the game, 68% of registered players agreed or strongly agreed with the statement “I belong in this neighbourhood” – at the end of the game this had risen to 79%.
To find out more about how Beat the Street can increase social cohesion in your community, get in touch.