Strengthening Communities

Changing Lives

Providing physical activity to prevent anti-social behaviour

Changing Lives was established to increase physical activity in the community and prevent children and young people from the involvement in anti-social behaviour and gang activity through sports sessions.

Based in Colchester, the opening of the community hub has benefited local families with a wide range of free sports and physical activity. The hub provides a safe place where young people can experience new and different activities, and in return, gain confidence, inspiration and motivation.

AE Whos it for
Who's it for?
Providing free activities for children and families on low-income
AE Prime
Prime objective:
increase physical activity levels among the community
AE Second
Second objective:
prevent children from the involvement in anti-social behaviour and gang activity

Changing Lives welcomes young offenders, refugees, asylum seekers, migrants and supports the most vulnerable people in the community through different activities and courses, as well as access to their free gym. Activities enjoyed by young people include, football, cricket, tennis, gym activities and more, which has already made a huge impact with improvements in behaviour, attendance, and attitude.

Not only does the different physical activity support their physical health, but their mental wellbeing too, allowing children and young people to learn new skills, form friendships and gain qualifications.

young people attended (Oct-Dec 2022)
refugees supported monthly
young people aged 14-16 supported each week
Hear from the team and how they support the community

Active Essex has supported the community hub with new partners, funding and strategic development plans. The support from community partners such as Community 360 has seen Changing Lives grow rapidly and been able to offer vital services to keep beneficiaries healthy, active and happy by supporting the community with free activities, courses and new equipment.

Due to the success of the incentive, Changing Lives now work alongside other partners in Colchester including The Dementia Café, Community 360 and refugee hotels, offering support to more residents across the city.

I was referred by social services to attend Changing Lives, and at first, I wasn’t keen on getting involved in activity, however since starting I haven’t missed a week. I have been able to try new sports such as boxing. The hub is a great space to distract me from everyday life. I have a more positive outlook on life and have made better choices since joining.
Participant, Tom aged 14