Levelling Up Health and Wellbeing

Yard Fitness

Activity sessions for Rochford residents

Based in Great Wakering, Yard Fitness was set up during the heights of the pandemic to tackle inactivity in the community. Using the local recreational ground helped to activate the outdoor space, as well as support local residents to become healthier, happier and more active through different activity sessions.

The weekly classes were being delivered all year round and primarily aimed at adults, but through connecting with a local organisation, ATF (Achieve, Thrive, Flourish), Yard Fitness started to deliver a number of activity sessions for 11–16-year-olds.

AE Whos it for
Who's it for?
Ladies and young people aged 11–16 years
AE Prime
Prime Objective:
to increase the physical activity levels of local residents
AE Second
Second Objective:
to improve residents' self-esteem, mental health and confidence

In 2022, Find Your Active funding supported free Box-Fit classes at a fun and non-competitive level to local women and 11-16 years olds, helping with the cost-of-living increases. Over a 12-week period, with the aim to increase physical activity levels and improve self-esteem, confidence and wellbeing. Carolyn Beal, the Rochford Community Connector, also attended one of the sessions and provided engaging support online to show the Rochford community what was on offer in their local area.

participants engaged with the project
of participants were doing less than 150mins activity before the project
of participants are still attending at least once a week

Over the course of the sessions, a clear increase of confidence and skill improvement was recognised from the young people taking part, they also supported each other throughout the classes, with friendships also forming.

There has been a positive response from residents and the project has helped to introduce people who were not already participating or active to join. The success of the secondary sessions has also helped to raise the reputation of Yard Fitness as it provides new, positive activities in a safe, controlled and friendly environment.

It has helped strengthen the relationship and partnership with ATF and the Rochford District Council but has also provided wider opportunities where local schools have been in contact about delivering sessions in the future.

A really welcoming group of people. Like most newbies I was really nervous about being ‘watched’ by others whilst exercising, but the beauty of this class and its structure means that you’re too busy focusing on what you need to do, there’s no time to look at anyone else. The class also allows you to work at your own fitness level meaning you get out what you put in. Andy is a great motivator and encouraged me throughout the session. A great fitness class for all ages and abilities.

The positive impact of the relationship has led to more activity being delivered in the Recreational Ground at Great Wakering. This includes the delivery of the HAF programme for secondary school age children during the holidays. Current talks with Rochford District Council regarding the operation of the disused pavilion and tennis courts will enhance the offer for residents and also provide a dry/warm space during the winter months.

Oliver loved this evening! Full of enthusiasm on way home and excited to tell his dad! He’ll be there next week – thank you!