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Active Communities Programme

Rother District Council has successfully managed the development of the Active Rother programme since 2008.

Discussions in 2010 within Rother between the District Council, Hastings and Rother Primary Care Trust and other Local Strategic Partnership partners reviewed this work and looked at how it could be developed further, to ensure opportunities to maximise its impact were addressed. Key factors influencing this work included:

  • A need to ensure maximum benefit is achieved from previous investment (Play Pathfinder, Active Rother, Sports Facility Improvement, Open Spaces) by enabling increased use of facilities and participation
  • A desire to respond to the needs identified by communities through Local Area Planning (LAP) and other processes, although recognising that it is not feasible to effectively respond to all sectors and that priorities would need to be agreed based on the evidence of effectiveness
  • An aspiration to support community stakeholders to develop their capacity and stimulate volunteering

In 2011 it was agreed that there would be a greater focus on contributing to the development of a strategic framework and delivery plan for a programme titled 'Active Communities'. The focus was to continue to be on 'physical activity', but with an ambition of building capacity and capability across all sectors. This combined with the resources available within Rother District Council (Sports, Leisure, Culture and Amenities) would provide leadership to enable greater value to be gained from existing multi-agency resources and community assets.

Through the LSP, it was recognised that this work would require strong collaboration across the partnership itself and with other organisations such as Hastings Borough Council, Age UK, BTCV, Freedom Leisure and the County Sports Partnership (Active Sussex) in order for it to be effective. The outcome is that following a review of its work in 2010/11, the LSP has recognised Active Communities as one of its 3 priority areas for action.

As a result of a funding agreement with the PCT, RDC is employing an Active and Healthy Communities Specialist post on a fixed term contact (actual length of contract is 18 months) running until the end of March 2013.

The funding agreement sets out a number of milestones that will be delivered during this period. These include:

  • Production of an evidence base review and gap analysis report by January 2012
  • Develop and consult on a Strategic Framework during Jan/Feb 2012
  • Produce a Delivery Plan by end of March 2012
  • Implement the Delivery Plan throughout 2012/13
  • Develop, consult and agree Active Communities sustainability plan by early 2013
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