County Durham communities are being supported to become more active and lead healthier lives.
Having received a grant from Sport England, Durham County Council plans to pilot a range of projects across Shildon and Deerness Valley to help keep residents moving.
It will work alongside its partners to find ways to help people fit activity into their lives in a way that works for them, enabling them to live happier, healthier lives.
‘Active Places’ is aimed at residents who typically do less than 30 minutes a week of sport or physical exercise to highlight fun, family-friendly opportunities to help people moving.
A pilot scheme has already been successful in bringing two programmes to Shildon and one to Broompark in Deerness Valley.
Parkletics combines the new outdoor gym equipment at Hackworth Park with a Parkletics app, which provides goals based on a person’s fitness and confidence levels to enhance their workout. Mobile Adventures is another app that helps people to get moving while they’re having fun and offers a free family game at Hackworth Park and Broompark picnic areas for the half-term holidays.
A number of improvements are also being made to various routes of the Deerness Valley Railway Park, making the routes more accessible to residents.
Katy Thompson, the project coordinator at County Durham Sport, said: “The Active Places pilot is an exciting opportunity to bring about real change. We are passionate about improving physical health and mental wellbeing and bringing people together. Through Active Places, we want to inspire people to be active and provide accessible, enjoyable and sustainable opportunities to participate.”
Meanwhile, the newly refurbished Shildon Athletics Stadium will re-open to the public later this month, featuring a resurfaced athletics track, refurbished stadium seating, a new hammer cage and improvements to the pavilion.
The project, which cost over a quarter of a million pounds, was funded thanks to a grant from Sport England, the council and contributions from local elected members in Shildon.
The stadium is already home to three County Durham based athletics clubs with over 300 members in total. It’s hoped the work will allow County Durham to host the North East Youth Development League (NEYDL) athletics events in the future and provide more opportunities for nearby residents to enjoy outdoor activities.
Cllr Carl Marshall, the Cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: “The reopening of Shildon Athletics Stadium will provide huge opportunities for residents across the county. As well as benefitting those who live nearby, the revitalised stadium will once again be able to play host to regional events and fixtures, serving as a strategic hub for the development of athletics in our region.
“Alongside Active Places, this will hopefully inspire more adults and children into leading healthier, happier lives. As we continue to feel the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, it is vital that we look to provide more facilities and projects that will improve the quality of life for our residents and allow them to benefit from outdoor activities at a local level.”
More information can be found on the Active Shildon and Active Valleys websites www.activeshildon.com or www.activevalleys.com. They can also be followed on Facebook and Twitter by visiting @Active_Shildon or @Active_Valleys.
Residents are also being asked to have their say on being active during the coronavirus pandemic. The survey is available via the Active Places websites until 30 November, with people having the chance to win a £75 voucher as a thank you for taking part.