Supporting Staff to get moving
This project was designed to support staff across Castle Point and Rochford schools to increase physical activity levels, supporting wellbeing and reduce identified issues such as stress and anxiety.
Through a locally driven co-ordinated offer of physical activity and sport sessions, using the Deanes School Sports Centre in Benfleet, Active Essex worked in partnership with community providers and the School Sport Partnership team to ensure school staff had the opportunity to get active before and after work.
Characteristics of participants varied enormously, but the common denominator was that they led stressful and busy work lives and were struggling to find time to look after their wellbeing and get active. The Head Teachers within the Batic Trust identified an increase in mental health issues among staff since the pandemic, and therefore a reduction in physical activity levels.
Active Essex provided resource, funding and support to set this project up and identified a pivotal need to work with the Trust to establish sustainability and further funding sources going forward, due the success and feedback from participants.
By working with the staff at these schools to deliver and create physical activity opportunities, it has helped to understand the barriers and motivators for an active workplace. The ability for staff to access sessions at convenient times around school hours helped to ensure regular participation, and activities such as Badminton and Fitness Circuits increased socialising among colleagues. Creating a relaxed and informal atmosphere, where camaraderie and little competitiveness occurred, was key.