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

Festivals for all our Futures

‘Festivals for Future’ takes place this Saturday 29th June at Kings Heath Community Centre 10am to 8pm and is a collaboration between many organisations interested in how we can work together to tackle global problems locally.  Bringing people together, this event looks at how our local community centre can work for all our futures.


Run Birmingham Recognised as Cross City Heroes

Today our Rookery Runners, from Erdington came together to celebrate the Run Birmingham group being recognised as Cross City Heroes. The team came together for the unveiling of the special plaque that has been placed up in Chester Road Station this week. 

25th June 2019  |  Lavanya Asirvatham

Clean Air – more than a Zone or a Day

Co-operating Well – Free Family Fun Events this Summer

Did you know? The Active Wellbeing Society is part of the co-operative movement.

Co-ops make a difference to people’s lives right around the world. Every year hundreds of co-ops and organisations across the UK work together to promote co-ops during Cooperatives Fortnight.

The Active Wellbeing Society are taking part in Co-op Fortnight 2019 (24th June – 7th July) to share the power of co-operation and celebrate what we can achieve when we co-operate.  We will be working with Co-operative Futures and other local co-ops to promote the impact of co-ops in Birmingham and spread the co-op word.

We are holding 4 Family Fun Days on Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th July to showcase our work and share our Co-op story.  We’d love you to come along and join us!

Come along and join us for local park based activities and games, food, arts and crafts, food, kids workshops, cycling and much more.

The events take place at:

Ward End Park – Sat 6th July 11am until 1pm

Pype Hayes Park – Sat 6th July 1pm until 3pm

Calthorpe Park – Sun 7th July 1pm until 3pm

Handsworth Park – Sun 7th July 1.30pm until 3.30pm

For more information email or call 0121 728 7030

17th June 2019  |  Adeel Khan

Let’s Ride!

Humans on the Heath

It’s the people that make an area – and in Balsall Heath and Sparkbrook there are some wonderful people from all walks of life, who have plenty of stories to share! Inspired by the Social Media phenomenon ‘Humans of New York’, we’ve collated some portraits of people living, loving and working in our neighbourhood – Humans on the Heath from our launch event at City Farm, Balsall Heath:


The difference between a game and a sport

How about a relay race to the top of Mount Everest?

The Active Wellbeing Society is embarking on our very own stair-climbing expedition this week.  Five teams of intrepid mountaineers will compete to climb the equivalent height of Mount Everest in stairs – going to and from our third floor office in the Custard Factory.  

There is increasing evidence that our physical and mental health both improve when we’re more active in our daily lives.  By choosing to take the stairs rather than the lift, we will boost the condition of our hearts, lungs, muscles and bones, we’ll help manage our stress and anxiety during the day and we’ll save the energy and carbon emissions involved in running the lift.  What’s not to love?

The team whose stair-kilometres reach the equivalent height of Everest first – that’s 8,848 meters – will win the race to the summit.  Our worthy winners will receive a little prize fund as a celebratory ‘high-five’ for being so dedicated and speedy.  But it’s not all about winning, right?  The other teams may choose to continue to the peak so they, too, can bask in that (imagined) Himalayan vista!  We’ll cheer them on in their final steps to the top.

The Active Wellbeing Society’s commitment to supporting residents and employees in Birmingham to be happier, healthier and more active, starts with ourselves.   To our neighbours in the Custard Factory, keep an eye out for the posters in the stairwells.  If you’d like to join in – or adopt our Everest ‘kit’ – drop by our office at #309 for a chat.  To everyone else, wish us luck on the adventure! 

24th May 2019  |  Adeel Khan

British Cycling and HSBC UK to provide over 600 bikes to children in disadvantaged communities in Birmingham

Olympic cyclist and West Midlands Cycling and Walking Ambassador, Shanaze Reade, hands over first free bikes to local children as part of scheme to encourage cycling.

A programme that will help hundreds of children from across Birmingham onto two wheels by providing free bikes and equipment, has been launched by HSBC UK and British Cycling, alongside The Active Wellbeing Society.

The programme aims to reach children within the top 10% most disadvantaged communities of the city, to ensure that, regardless of their background, children have access to a bike and can embrace the joys and health benefits of cycling.

This programme comes hot on the heels of the successful Velo Birmingham and Midlands event where 17,000 people rode up to 100 miles, and in advance of the Birmingham Lets Ride event that will see a 4km route around Birmingham City.

The Big Birmingham Bikes programme is being rolled out to children aged 15 or under A Bikeability session will be running for pupils and recipients of the first tranche of bikes being given out.

The scheme, which is funded by HSBC UK and British Cycling, is delivered by The Active Wellbeing Society and will provide hundreds of children aged 15 or under. In and around Birmingham with the basics to get them onto two wheels; a bike, helmet and a pump.

Shanaze Reade, Olympian and cycling world champion and West Midlands Cycling and Walking Ambassador said: “Initiatives like this are fundamental to ensuring that children – regardless of who they are or where they come from – are given the opportunity to learn how to cycle.

“It’s easy to forget that a lot of kids simply don’t have access to a bike and schemes like this help to break down these barriers and ensure that cycling is something that can be enjoyed by all, no matter what your background.

“There are so many benefits to riding a bike – from physical and mental health, to the environment – and by providing hundreds of free bikes and equipment to children across the city, HSBC UK and British Cycling are contributing towards a healthier, fitter and greener nation which is something that should be applauded.”

Luke Harper, HSBC UK’s Head of the British Cycling partnership said: “Our partnership with British Cycling is particularly focused on grassroots participation, encouraging and supporting communities, colleagues and customers to get onto two wheels, contributing to greener, fitter, healthier Britain. This fantastic scheme that will make a real difference to youngsters in disadvantaged communities in Birmingham who might not have the opportunity to own a bike of their own.”

Nick Hayes, Head of Commercial Partnerships at British Cycling, said: “Our partnership with HSBC UK intends to make a real impact on society and ultimately create a shift in culture towards a greener, fitter healthier nation. This initiative in Birmingham will ensure that 500 bikes are given to children at schools and communities in some of the most deprived areas of the city and is a shining example of those values coming to life.”

“In a year where Yorkshire is set to host the UK’s biggest sporting event of the year – the UCI Road World Championships – we want to ensure that every child in Britain, regardless of their background, is given the opportunity to ride a bike. And this programme is just one of the ways that we will make this happen.”

Karen Creavin, Chief Executive at The Active Wellbeing Society said “The Active Wellbeing Society has established networks of community cycle collaboration in the most deprived communities throughout Birmingham, working hard to build a pathway for children and families to get into cycling. We aim to improve the health and wellbeing of children, young people and families by removing the barriers that prevent them being active and we aim to particularly encourage uptake from the communities in most need. We are delighted to work with HSBC UK and British Cycling to bring this vital project to life, and we look forward to lots more people in our city enjoying the freedom and joy of riding a bike”.

Bike Banks will be free to use for anyone aged 15 and under (with parent or guardian’s consent).

For more about Bike Banks contact

20th May 2019  |  Adeel Khan