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Sign up to Birmingham’s biggest free summer holiday activities programme

Families across Birmingham can now register for Happy Healthy Holidays this summer, where kids and teens can learn to cook and get active.

This free holiday food and fun activity programme will be delivered at over 100 local venues in Birmingham. Sessions will include a healthy snack and meal, catering for all dietary needs.

If you are interested in the programme and want to join, visit: or register directly with the club providers. More details on the different providers can also be found online.

Children over the age of 13 who want to take part in Happy Healthy Holidays can register their details themselves. For children under the age of 13 a parent or guardian will need to register them.

Caroline Wolhuter, Head of Innovation and Impact at Accord Housing Association, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for families across Birmingham, particularly those who find summers challenging in terms of being able to access affordable nutritious healthy food and fun physical activities; they also provide a wonderful opportunity to learn new things and make new friends.

“If you’re interested in joining us, I would encourage you to sign up sooner rather than later to avoid disappointment.”

Happy Healthy Holidays secured £2million funding from the Department for Education earlier this year, and will be running activity days across all of Birmingham’s ten districts this summer aiming to help 18,000 children.

The programme aims to increase and improve the quality of holiday provision, and to help families access affordable food and activities during the school summer holidays.

The initiative forms the largest of the Department for Education’s Holiday Activity and Food Pilot Programmes this summer, and builds on Accord’s experience of taking action in this area over the last six years.

Tim Boyes, Chief Executive at Birmingham Education Partnership, said: “Birmingham should be thrilled with the opportunity this funding brings. There is compelling evidence for how positive engagement and healthy eating through the summer can make a big difference to our children. The ambition behind this project is great, and a testament to what partnerships can achieve.”

Mike Chamberlain Chief Executive at Sport Birmingham added: “Physical Activity levels amongst children and young people in Birmingham are below the national average, this investment will enable local communities to provide a great experience for Birmingham’s Children and families by offering fun, free, and accessible activity during the summer holiday period.”

This Accord led consortium is strongly committed to community wellbeing and children’s outcomes in Birmingham, and includes Birmingham Playcare Network, the Active Wellbeing Society, and Sport Birmingham. Accord is also supported by a wider network of partners including, Fareshare, Brakes Meals & More, Birmingham City Council, Severn Trent, Birmingham Education Partnership and the Let’s Cook Project.

3rd July 2019  |  Adeel Khan

BBC WM wants YOUR business to ‘Get Moving!’

On Yer Bike, Global Warming…(Guest Blog by John Nightingale)

Exciting New Community Action Officer roles at The Active Wellbeing Society

The Active Wellbeing Society are looking for passionate and enthusiastic individuals to help inspire and encourage communities in Birmingham to become more active.

The new roles aim to organise and motivate people to get involved with local community activities, including social, civic and physical activities. As Local Community Action Officer you will be leading on and helping communities bring about social change and improve the quality of life in their local area.

Four Local Community Action Officer Roles have been created with recruitment deadlines as soon as this Monday! The first two roles with deadlines on 8th April include work in areas such as Sparkbrook, Alum Rock, Bordesley Green, Heartlands, Small Heath, South Yardley, Tysley & Hay Mills, Yardley West & Stetchford, Washwood Heath and Balsall Heath West, Bordesley & Highgate, Ladywood, Nechells, North Edgbaston.

The Active Wellbeing Society are looking for individuals with creative ideas, diverse range of community connections and the ability to motivate and inspire communities.

The roles have been created in order to deliver the ambitions of Sport England’s Active Communities Programme. Birmingham and Solihull are one of 12 Local Delivery Pilots across England that are looking at innovative ways to reduce the levels of inactivity in our most disadvantaged communities.

The postholder will be employed by The Active Wellbeing Society (TAWS) which is an independent community benefit society and works with some of the poorest communities in Birmingham & Solihull to improve people’s health and wellbeing through physical activity.

Deadline for receipt of applications is 9am on Monday 8th April for the following two roles:

Local Community Action Officer for Sparkbrook, Alum Rock, Bordesley Green, Heartlands, Small Heath, South Yardley, Tysley & Hay Mills, Yardley West & Stetchford, Washwood Heath. Assessment days and Interviews will be held on 23rd & 24th April.

Local Community Action Officer for Balsall Heath West, Bordesley & Highgate, Ladywood, Nechells, North Edgbaston. Assessment days and Interviews will be held on 2nd & 3rd May.

If you would like to apply, please submit a video (no longer than 3 minutes) to that gives us a flavour of how you would work to improve the happiness of local people and shows how you have the skills and connections to answer the questions below (the more creative the better!)

For any queries please contact or phone 0121 728 7030.

For other roles visit:

3rd April 2019  |  Adeel Khan

Easter Activities

HFE and The Active Wellbeing Society working together to make exercise inclusive for everyone

HFE are the UK’s leading provider of personal training courses and a wide range of fitness qualifications including sports massage, GP referral, Pilates and yoga. This year, they have launched a new programme, the much-requested Level 3 Award in Programming and Supervising Exercise with Disabled Clients, or simply Level 3 Exercise for Disabled Clients. Recognised and supported by the fitness industry’s original awarding body, YMCA Awards, this qualification has the potential to positively impact countless numbers of lives.

12th March 2019  |  Tina Bold

Canal & River Trust’s Birmingham & Fazeley open day is packed full of fun things to do and see

A great free day out for all the family this winter. The open day in Birmingham is packed full of fun things to do and see.

The gates at Locks 1 & 2 are being replaced, and repairs to the masonry in and around the lock are works that are part of their winter maintenance programme. So over two days, you’ll be able to see the brand new hand crafted gates, made at local Bradley workshop, as well as the inspect the old gates.

A heritage working boat will be moored close by for visitors to learn about how life was for families who lived aboard, and there will be old photographs of the lock, free activities for children and a chance to get involved with Greening Birmingham, a volunteer project to grow and protect Birmingham’s plants and wildlife.

You will also be able to enjoy some towpath walks and talks and hear about why canals in central Birmingham are such a great place to spend time, and how Canals and River Trust are working with in partnership with the National Trust.

More info visit:

7th February 2019  |  Adeel Khan

The little things that can make a big difference…

One of the things that I love about my job is hearing the different ways that people support each other. This morning at we had a lovely walk-run-talk at Pype Hayes Park. Karen, one of the newer members of our Run Birmingham family and I were having a chat and she told me about her Friday evenings.

Karen and a couple of friends have decided that they all want to try and become a bit healthier. This can sometimes be difficult to maintain on your own so having supportive people around you can help massively.  Karen has created a safe, non-judgmental space at home for a quick weigh in before a lovely healthy meal together.

The weigh in is just to keep track and support each other on the journey. Sticker rewards are given and it’s a light and fun atmosphere. The meal is the main event of the evening. Each week the group decide on what they would like to eat the following week, looking through healthy recipes online and in cook books. So far, no two meals have been the same and the group have been well up for trying new things and treating the taste buds. The group pop £2 into the kitty each week which pays for the ingredients for the following week so everything is shared.  Sitting down to eat together and chat about anything and everything is a wonderful way to spend an evening.

Karen supplements her healthy eating routine with getting more active and has been coming along to weekly Run Birmingham sessions as well as going back to parkrun once a week (At both you can walk, jog or run). In just a couple of weeks she is running more and walking less which was one of her goals so it’s onwards and upwards. Having things to look forward to in your week can make the world feel like a much brighter place. I loved hearing Karen say that she feels so much lighter already after only a few weeks. This was both in the physical sense as she has lost weight and emotionally. It’s wonderful to see and hear how that positive effect of being active has a knock on effect on other aspects of life.

I felt inspired by hearing about Karen’s Fridays so wanted to share as it’s a lovely idea that’s not too difficult to try for yourselves. You could do this just within your family at home if you wanted to, deciding on a day to try something new and healthy and commit to sitting and eating together, sharing conversation. Then perhaps go for a walk or check out some of The Active Wellbeing Society’s activities and join a group to help you get active. Start small and you will be surprised by the results in no time!

Please do remember that the scales at home do not necessarily show you the whole picture. If you have started exercising, you are likely to be building muscle so may not see the numbers come down in the way that you anticipate with the increased activity. Don’t get disheartened. You will start to see the changes in your physical appearance over time; you may notice your shape changing or a change in the fit of your clothes. Hopefully you will also feel better within yourself too and that is much better to focus on.


Run Activator


7th February 2019  |  Adeel Khan

5 Steps to wellbeing

What is the difference between health and wellbeing?

Health is a state of the overall mental and physical state of a person; the absence of disease. Whereas wellbeing is a way of life that aims to enhance well-being and refers to a more holistic whole-of-life experience which also includes emotional and spiritual aspects of life.

Can we tempt you to consider what they mean for you and what simple actions and changes you would like to make in your own life to improve your day to day wellbeing? They will make you feel good and feeling good about yourself and others which is a really important part of being healthy.

1. Connect…

With the people around you. With family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. At home, work, school or in your local community. Every friend you have stated out as someone you didn’t know

Invest time in developing new and existing connections, building these will support and enrich you every day.

2. keep Learning…

Ask yourself “if money were no issue, what would I want to spend my life doing? Try something new. Rediscover an old interest. Sign up for that course.. Fix a bike. Learn to play an instrument or how to cook your favourite food. Set a challenge you enjoy achieving. Learning new things will make you more confident as well as being fun.  Sure, you might feel awkward in the new environment at first, but great things never came from comfort zones.

3. be Active…

Go for a walk or run. Step outside. Cycle. Play a game. Garden. Dance. Exercising makes you feel good. Most importantly, discover a physical activity you enjoy and that suits your level of mobility and fitness. We have thousands of hours of free activities in our parks, open spaces and wellbeing centres so there is something for everyone

Find an activity near you

4. take Notice…

Be curious. Catch sight of the beautiful. Remark on the unusual. Notice the changing seasons. Savor the moment, whether you are walking to work, eating lunch or talking to friends. Be aware of the world around you and what you are feeling. Reflecting on your experiences will help you appreciate what matters to you.

5. Give …

Do something nice for a friend, or a stranger. Thank someone. Smile. Volunteer your time. Join a community group. Look out, as well as in. Seeing yourself, and your happiness, as linked to the wider community can be incredibly rewarding and creates connections with the people around you. Try something new

An Inside look into the Couch to 5K programme

By Run Birmingham Activator Sally Bynoe

As you may already know, a lot of the work that we at The Active Wellbeing Society is to do is with people starting out on their exercise journey. With Run Birmingham, we work to support those taking their first steps and often have Couch to 5k running programmes taking place across throughout the year. If you don’t know much about the programme, it’s basically a good introduction into running and you start with lots of walking and just a little bit of light running to get you going.

Running activity in the park for beginners

In those early weeks, it’s about using your legs in a different way and engaging different muscles. I’m not going to lie, it will probably hurt a little as you’re using muscles that you probably didn’t even know you had but it is well worth it!

Lots of things will probably come into your head, “my feet/legs hurt”, “I can’t breathe”, “I can’t run”, “what will people think if they see me out trying to run?”, “I’m too slow”. All of these things are absolutely normal and pop into most people’s minds. It’s something new and it’s ok to recognise there’s a bit of fear. Remember, when you start something new you need to learn how to do it. You’re not going to be a top athlete just because you’ve decided you’re going to run. Also look to the reason you decided to start, and try to see ahead to how you will feel once you achieve your goal.

Once you complete a session you will hopefully feel a sense of pride and satisfaction. You’ve just achieved something you didn’t think that you could. It’s your first building block, so the following session when you return, try to remember how you felt at the beginning of the previous session and remember, you can do it, you’ve done it before!

It can take a little while to settle in when you start running and it’s always ok to walk if you need to. The programme builds slowly so initially it’s about learning to use your legs differently, what to do with your arms and how to breathe when you have a slight bounce in your step. It can feel a slow process but I promise you, that you will be making progress.

It’s good to check in with your body from session to session. You’ll find that something that was hurting before might not be hurting as badly the next time or you go a little further or a little faster. This usually happens without you noticing and as a Run Activator I like to highlight this so you can see the changes are coming.

A great thing to do is to get a jar and fill it with notes of your successes. Don’t forget, you’re already winning by putting your trainers on and stepping outside of the front door intended to get moving. This is a great tool to keep motivated as when you recognise the small successes, they soon become big!

S from Shard End, Couch to 5k, week 4, run 1.
“I can’t believe I’ve just run for 5 minutes and my back isn’t hurting!”

If you are interested in opportunities to exercise The Active Wellbeing Society can help you, check out our activities here

21st December 2018  |  Adeel Khan