Britain’s Active Parks conference announced

Source: Svend Elkjaer, Director, Sports Marketing Network

The Active Wellbeing Society are excited to be part of a new one-day conference that focuses on how parks can play an increasing role in getting people active and helping change lives.

‘Britain’s Active Parks’ conference will be held at Midlands Arts Centre, 24th October 2019, Birmingham and will feature real stories and successes, lessons to be learnt, ideas and experiences to be shared

This conference is aimed at representatives from parks, social and sports development and other departments at our local authorities, social prescribers, public health, trusts, social enterprises, community groups and health and wellbeing bodies.

Karen Creavin, Chief Executive of The Active Wellbeing Society will also be in attendance delivering a talk about ‘Working collaboratively with our communities to test out the ways to bring our parks into use as venues for physical activity’

Why Parks and Green Spaces are important….

There is an increasing focus on the importance that our parks and other green spaces can play in getting inactive people active.

There are many ways of motivating and taking physical activity specific to local people in their park. This may include different levels of physical activity which can be fit into a general walk or dog walking schedule, the use of new technology to link to further information or perhaps the use of augmented reality and games.

There is no generic template for a good park or green space. The connections between experiences of nature, including diverse trees, plants and wildlife and mental wellbeing are strong. A park that only serves as a children’s playground or a football training ground is not fulfilling its potential,

There is also a strong case for saying that using parks for people to be active supports mental wellbeing and social inclusion and contributes to a preventative health agenda.

Also, while green spaces are important we should also remember that ‘blue space’ matters too. Rivers, lakes and canals are all great places for people to enjoy paddlesports, swimming or just being near the water.

The possibilities for our parks as places where local people engage and are active are numerous and there is considerable scope for local residents to share their experiences of using the park, to help people come up with ideas.

It is also important to recognise that visibility in the park makes it easier to see people like being active – reducing social distance.

There are also a number of ways that local groups and community entrepreneurs can become involved and develop bottom-up initiatives which can have a real impact due to their understanding of local needs and people.

The conference presenters will be sharing sharing ideas, best practice and experiences such as:

The challenge of moving at scale while keeping it local Dr Justin Varney MBBS MSc FFPH, Director of Public Health for Birmingham City Council

Creating an accessible parthway for people on lower incomes to offer them free outdoor exercise classes Born Borikor, CEO, Our Parks

Working collaboratively with our communities to test out the ways to bring our parks into use as venues for physical activity Karen Creavin, Chief Executive; The Active Wellbeing Society

It’s all about the local community and award-winning green space management Paul Harper, Sports Development Officer, Glendale Lewisham

Designing our cities to be playful: beyond parks Dr Emmanuel Tsekleves, Senior Lecturer, Lancaster University

Actively to Nature – Devon Gareth Dix – Director Strategic Relationships, Active Devon in partnership with Sport England

Waterways have the power to make a difference to people’s lives Richard Preston, Partnerships and External Relationships Manager, The Canal & River Trust

Revaluing Parks and Green Spaces Angela Lewis, Head of Programmes, Fields in Trust

 Parks – our natural health service greenspace scotland’s newly appointed Green Health Programme Manager

You can find further information here

Svend Elkjaer, Director, Sports Marketing Network 01423 326 660

19th August 2019  |  Adeel Khan