Find Your Active

Developments of the Essex Behaviour Change Campaign

This year has seen Active Essex further develop their Find Your Active campaign, with help from partners, system leaders and stakeholders across the county, to create opportunities and support residents to lead more active and healthy lifestyles by finding the activity that’s right for them.

Find Your Active (FYA) is Essex’s largest behaviour change campaign, launched in the summer of 2021. It is a fascinating blend of responding to Covid, to the latest behaviour change ideas, and most importantly, utilising the latest evidence of how vital an active lifestyle is to everyone’s physical and mental health in Essex.

A film to launch the campaign and show relatable 'people like me'

The Marketing and Communication Element

FYA is a highly visual and story led behaviour change campaign, with videos and relatable content being integral in helping relay stories from individuals, groups and organisations. This has successfully ensured FYA can be adopted by everyone in their own way. Active Essex have tested multiple marketing methods using ‘faces’ of the campaign across TV commercials, street ads and direct mail.

The FYA website has been rooted as the call to action, providing a central hub of information, signposting people to physical activity opportunities, and sharing relatable stories. Specific pages such as 'how do I get started' have been particularly significant in supporting residents who are inactive or returning to physical activity.

unique views to the Find Your Active webpages to date
unique views to the Find Your Active for Free webpages
views to the Find Your Active YouTube Channel (Apr 23-Mar 24)

In addition, the activity finder is a key function, helping residents to find activities locally. As one of the top 10 viewed pages, the number of sessions uploaded to the finder has more than quadrupled since launch. To ensure FYA stays relevant, and in light of the cost-of-living crisis, the activity finder now has new filters where users can search for free or low-cost activities near them.

With a smaller budget this year, the Marketing and Communications team wanted to explore snapchat to preempt for a new children and young people campaign that was going to launch late 2023. Targeting young people aged 13-25 through messaging around mental wellbeing, and socialising through physical activity. Both performed well, particularly among the 13-16-year-old aged group.


Move With Us

By being data and insight led, Active Essex identified that they were not engaging as many young people as they had hoped through Find Your Active messaging. Therefore, research was undertaken to dive deeper into motivators and barriers for young people to be physically active.

Move With Us is a campaign, led by Essex children and young people, pioneered by youth voice. Very much still encompassing the Find Your Active ethos of it's about finding what's right for you, the newer developed campaign resonated much more with this younger audience.

Explore the journey of developing Move With Us

Children and Young People

Essex's new children's campaign

Supported by the Essex Children's Partnership board, read more about Move With US

Move With Us Header 2
Our monitoring of FYA against the COM-B model has shown that through activities where participants have felt confident to participate, the target audiences now believe they have the capability to remain active for the long term, therefore benefiting their physical and mental wellbeing. This is mostly due to the engaging and informative campaign materials, as well as the continued support of the Community Connectors and ambassadors.
National Social Marketing Centre

By capturing the attention of key stakeholders, local authorities and NHS Integrated Care Services (ICSs), the innovative Find Your Active messaging has become embedded across the system, changing the mindset of these organisations. Similarly, Active Essex have evidenced a major shift in the adoption of Find Your Active across Essex County Council services, with the branding and messaging particularly used by the services of active travel and sustainable transport, public health, and social care.

Since July 2021, Find Your Active has grown into a recognised brand, whereby the brand’s management team has responded quickly to the many challenges and opportunities presented. These include the impact of the cost-of-living crisis, heightened anxiety levels, and seasonal influences, to successfully manage Find Your Active to become an outstanding success story.

A significant development over the past year, has seen Active Essex rename their local Active Networks, to Find Your Active Networks, being driven by the campaign messaging, ensuring it lands locally, and truly reflects the places residents live within. Find Your Active Basildon have been particular key players in this shift, as they found that this messaging resonates more effectively with local individuals, compared to the Essex Local Delivery Pilot.

Investing into Community Activity

Since receiving £1 million from the London Marathon Foundation (LMF), as a result of RideLondon-Essex 2022, last year Active Essex received an additional £750,000 from LMF to help fund and support local organisations to activate communities. Learnings were taken each year on challenges and successes of holding small grant funding pots, and have firmly built cemented themselves as a key organisation offering vital funding to the sport and physical activity sector.

Read more about our partnership with London Marathon Foundation

Inspiring activity across the county

From small grants programmes, to creating more active environments!

London Marathon Foundation

Importance of Evaluation

The design of the evaluation framework was a new approach to collect real time data through a new digital impact tool, collecting vast amounts of quantitative and qualitive data. This was in addition to the deep dives carried out by behaviour change specialists from the National Centre for Social Marketing. Both of these avenues have provided clear evidence of the ongoing success and impact of Find Your Active, and has brought about transformational changes in the way that Essex County Council Public Health team, and other services now design their own data collection and evaluation.

Continually being led by insight and data has helped the brand management team to constantly adapt the campaign, and ensure sustainable behaviour change is implemented across the residents in which Find Your Active engages with. Looking forward, a key focuses will be on the target audience over Over 65's, as research has informed Active Essex that further work to influence this cohort of residents is needed, especially in a digital led society.


Key Learnings

It's important to take time to reflect and understand the learnings from work undertaken, in order to focus on ways to improve in the future.

Social Movement

Social movement

Encouraging others to own the brand has led to it becoming a social movement.



Find Your Active brand has been trademarked to keep slight control.

Icon evaluation reports

Key to evaluation

Evaluation is pivotal in steering Find Your Active in the future.

Social Prescriber

Social prescribing

FYA bridges the gap between socially prescribed residents with physical activity projects.