We’ve just released our new Impact Report for 2022-23! Take a look here.

System Leadership: Children and Young People

System Leadership: Children and Young People

All children and young people have the right to be active, to benefit from being active in a safe and positive environment, and to have an equal chance to achieve their potential.

Our early experiences play a big part in shaping our relationship with physical activity throughout our lives. If we have positive experiences at an early age, then we’re more likely to want to be active in the future.

We work with groups and organisations who influence, support and guide young people’s lives. We want to provide our support and resources in order to improve the offer, remove the barriers, and promote opportunities to help children and young people lead active, happy and healthy lives.

Impact Report - Children and Young People - Our Work

Impact Summary

As a result of our strategic work, we hope to see a coordinated system response that uses physical activity as part of the approach to supporting social issues, whether through reducing physical inactivity to support health outcomes, or working with education settings or voluntary organisations to use physical activity to improve outcomes for the young people they engage.

“I have so much energy. Break time isn’t enough for me, but doing more activity helps me use it up so that I can concentrate later.”

Pupil, Year 6

In the last 12-months we’ve develop our capacity to help us achieve our wider strategic goals. With the Children and Young People (CYP) team almost at full strength, we will continue to engage education, families and communities to increase physical activity participation across the county, building strategic relationships to develop and embed approaches to do so.

With increased staffing for the Big Norfolk Holiday Fun programme, this has also allowed us to connect the scheme into our wider work, including developing specialised provision through trusted partners, identifying, targeting and engaging schools in priority communities, and linking into wider grant funding such as Opening School Facilities to provide pathways and promote sustainability.

We have renewed our relationship with the Healthy Child Programme, which will enable us to promote physical activity opportunities with Norfolk families. This partnership has also allowed us to engage with Healthy Lifestyle Coaches, offering them resources to help embed physical activity within their own approach as a prevention tool for the families they work with.

Partnership work with The National Child Measuring Programme, an NHS initiative which assess overweight and obesity levels in children within primary schools, has resulted in joint-delivered workshops to support staff to use data to inform decisions and information to encourage physical activity as a tool for positive change.

This year we also signed a FLOURISH pledge to embed youth voice into our work and that of our partners. This is part of a network of organisations, spearheaded by Norfolk County Council’s Children’s Services, that work with youth to provide the best opportunities for young people in Norfolk to thrive. We will continue to use this network to strengthen our connection to partners and advocate for the use of physical activity to improve the lives of young people.

We are continuing our commissioned work to coordinate the Active Lives Survey within Norfolk – a Sport England survey that measures sport and physical activity behaviours of 5-16 year olds. This data provides a bespoke report for the schools who take part, and we have used this report to support schools to interpret the data and implement change. We have integrated a new, digital platform to make the process as simple as possible for schools encouraging participation.

In the year ahead we aim to:

  • Remain a committed member of Norfolk County Council’s FLOURISH network.
  • Exploring how physical activity can be used as a prevention tool within children’s mental health services, whether it be upskilling workforces in primary care, or advocating for targeted investment into physical activity interventions.
  • Expand our school support and advice service, including bespoke support to empower schools to use physical activity to meet the needs of their school and their pupils, whether it’s improving attainment, attendance or mental wellbeing.
  • Commit to furthering our strategic work with families and the early years. With a renewed focus on targeting investment into family hubs and support services.
  • Work with system partners to convene a system-wide, strategic approach to active travel for children in Norfolk. Building on projects such as School Streets and Bikeability to coordinate a system response to supporting young people to travel more actively.