The Active Wellbeing Society: Outdoor Activity Update [September 15th 2020]

Following a surge in local cases, the Government has issued new lockdown rules for Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull, as well as reinforcing a strict rule of six in an effort to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Whilst this rule does allow for some exemptions, such as organised sport, it does not allow for activities in informal settings that are not governed by the sport’s national governing body, and strict covid safe protocols.

Like our communities, we are keen to resume our in-person activity sessions, and understand the value these sessions bring to the physical and mental wellbeing of our members.

The health and safety of our community is always our priority, and we want to ensure we provide sessions that are safe, friendly, and inclusive.

Therefore, we are reviewing our current offer, as well as the activities we had hoped to restart by this point.

We continue to have regular dialogue with participants, partner organisations and funders to try to find safe ways to provide informal activities in a community settings.

We also want to keep supporting people to become more active in their communities, including helping them to access and use local spaces, and get involved in initiatives such as low traffic neighbourhoods.

We are also working with Sport England and Public Health to try to find a way that our organised group provision in public spaces can be allowed, and are testing some small group walking and cycling activity within the safety guidelines.

Meanwhile, we are continuing our free online activity sessions, streamed daily on Facebook. A timetable for these can be found at: www.theaws.co.uk/virtual

We are also keen to support the community in other ways too, and will be launching a new phone support service soon.

Our work to distribute food to those in need is also ongoing, and we have recently moved our main distribution centre from Aston University Students’ Union to Bromley Street in Deritend. You can find an update on the food service at: www.theaws.co.uk/food

We are grateful and humbled by the hard work our partners are doing to feed the community throughout this challenging time, and appreciate their ongoing support. We are excited to develop the new Food Justice Network for Birmingham with them.

Thank you for your support during this time, and we will keep you updated over the coming weeks. We can’t wait to see you all soon, when we are allowed to do so safely.

Adeel Khan
Author: Adeel Khan