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

Birmingham’s Markets Valued

Active Communities Pilot in Birmingham and Solihull awarded £9.72* million national lottery grant from Sport England

An innovative partnership involving a range of organisations across Birmingham and Solihull has secured £9.72m* of National Lottery funding from Sport England to deliver Active Communities a new vision to tackle physical inactivity in Birmingham and Solihull, reaching the population of over 450,000 people.

4th February 2019  |  Tina Bold

Hope & Change in Sparkbrook & Balsall Heath

Community Fun Day

Come and join us for free family fun at Highfield Farm Recreation Ground. Activities will include games, litter picking/clean up – hot food is available.

Everyone is welcome and there are fun free activities for all ages

Date:Sat 9th Feb 19

Location: Highfield Farm Recreation Ground, Highfield Lane, Quinton, Birmingham B32 1QX

30th January 2019  |  Tina Bold

Local Community Action Officer


The Active Communities project is looking to employ a Local Community Action Officer to work in and with the citizens of Shard End, Smiths Wood, Kingshurst, Fordbridge, Chelmsley Wood, Glebe Farm and Tile Cross.

Salary – £22,000 – £25,000 a year (36.5hrs a week/flexible/secondment)

21st January 2019  |  Marcus Belben

Meriden Park – A place where children can do their thing

A chance to deliver summer holiday activities & meals

The Department of Education has announced grants to fund the local co-ordination of free holiday activities and healthy food for disadvantaged children during 2019 summer holidays.  The aim of this is to support local organisations strengthen both the quality standards and quantity of free holiday activities with healthy food available to low income families.  

Evidence suggests that attending holiday clubs can have a positive impact on children’s attainment, health and wellbeing. This is especially true of clubs that provide enrichment activities as well as meals – and that involve children and parents in preparing healthy food.

A Birmingham consortium with experience in supporting children, young people and families enjoy healthy active lifestyles have come together to apply for this grant.

We are now looking for partners who would be willing to work with us and help deliver 300,000 fun activity days with meals in the summer holidays.  If you are interested to play a part, supported by some level of grant if necessary, please could you complete the following form before Friday 25th January 2019:

Click here

Please note that we are only at the tendering stage so are not able to make any firm commitments to organisations about summer delivery at this stage, but we hope to be in touch with you by early April to confirm next steps.

16th January 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

Wishing you a happy, healthy New Year!

This is our first year as the Active Wellbeing Society – here’s a quick review of what we’ve been doing:

The Active Wellbeing Society is a Community Benefit Society. We recognise that the parts of our community who are most in need are often most excluded from influence, and will be working to change that for our Citizens.

Recent research conducted by University of Birmingham and Birmingham Race Action partnership showed how we have been able to reach a diverse audience, a sense of combined community purpose and create a fertile space for working together.W

The Big Birmingham Bikes programme has been recognised for its environmental impact in reduction of the effects of congestion and pollution as well as its health benefits. Programmes like Active Parks, Active Streets, Run Birmingham are bringing opportunities to be active into places that otherwise would have not been considered spaces where such opportunities existed.

We want to change hearts and minds on bigger issues like impact on Air Quality and people’s rights to breath clean air in the communities. Many of our interventions are achieving economic impacts by bringing people closer to and into the work. Our Active programmes have opportunities to volunteer, gain skills and employ people to work directly in our own communities where it is needed most.

Wellbeing activities have health benefits, and we will continue to innovate with communities to develop new activities and programmes to develop social prescription and targeting access to opportunities to be active supporting health and wellbeing.

Here’s wishing you all a happy and healthy new year!