I think it’s fair to say that our first year as a system partner has been seismic for us at Intelligent Health. It’s been a demanding experience that has led to a new strategy and fundamental change in how we work with partners. We’ve used the opportunity provided by Sport England to understand where we can bring value to places and improve health at scale. This has helped us move from the delivery of a product to providing a platform that enables partners to connect better in a place through data, insight and engagement. Our role has shifted to us becoming a facilitator – it’s taken us out of our comfort zone, but it feels like the right direction.
We’re not doing this on our own, we’ve had a lot of support. Our new multi-sector Advisory Panel members have contributed their expertise and helped us be ambitious in tackling the big issues of our time around health, inequalities and the environment. Our partners have also helped establish what that means in a place. We’d like to thank everyone who has joined us on this journey including Sport England, councils, ICBs, the voluntary sector, Active Partnerships, NGBs and national partners such as the Youth Sport Trust and Canal and River Trust who have helped shape the new approach.
Partners can now deliver the Beat the Street programme and reap the rewards of behaviour change, increased engagement with audiences and stronger partnerships. Data and insight leave a legacy to deliver change.
It’s not a one-size fits all method, but the shift can already be seen through an average 16% increase in participation in 2023 and increased partner working at a local level.
In Bootle, the School Games Organiser led engagement while in Burnley, it was the Burnley Leisure and Culture Trust. In Leicester, an incredible 44,100 participants were supported through a strong steering group including Public Health, Active Together and the Canal and River Trust with multiple partners across environment, health, education and travel. In Merton, the ICB and council came together to use Beat the Street as a key programme to launch the Borough of Sport. Their legacy plans are embedded from the start with access to rich data and insight to plan further actions. A good example is Dudley Council who have focused on key communities to understand the barriers they face in active travel.
We are also grateful to SASP, Active Together and others who have helped build Beat the Street Compact – the hyper-local programme for Active Partnerships and trusted local partners. That collaboration is powerful and has helped build a more flexible model.
- A new 5-year plan aligned to Uniting the Movement
- Increased work in insight, policy and partnerships
- 7 submissions for evidence in consultation responses
- A new 14 strong Advisory Panel with thought leaders from key sectors
- Improved Beat the Street partner delivery
- A Parliamentary reception to celebrate 10 years of Beat the Street
- A new partner dashboard for access to richer data and insight
- 7 places have had over 400 schools and community groups engage with 94,000 adults and children getting active where they live, work and play
Challenges we have faced
Change is never easy! It’s still unclear how the ‘system’ should be working together and across sectors such as health, education and transport – we need better mechanisms to collaborate and provide a clear narrative. We also need to ensure the system builds capacity with other experts and doesn’t become insular. Our 3 key challenges remain:
- Time – learning how much time it takes to genuinely collaborate and ensure we can provide meaningful support
- Impact – ensuring we remain centred on impact at scale and sharing delivery so it helps embed system change in a place
- Communication – we need to do more to show how we are able to catalyse local work, reach key audiences and change behaviour at scale – all which supports place-based working
We’ve only just begun! Work planned for 2023 – 2024
We will continue our shift to becoming agents of change for a place. We will continue to build out the platform that provides partners with tools, engagement and insight to improve health by connecting people to each other and their place and providing purpose.
Our approach will continue to provide the means and the evidence to collectively tackle the biggest issues: increasing physical activity, decreasing inactivity, tackling inequalities and providing a positive experience for children and young people.
Have you signed up for our newsletter? Get the latest evidence and policy developments in the health, physical activity, and active travel sectors. Plus, shared learning from partners working across the UK and much more. Sign up here!