People and Places: The story of doing it differently

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Helen-Louise Smith, Marketing Communications Manager
15 Feb 2021
Walk for Health 0020 1 190703 110300

As Sport England publish the story of the local delivery pilots, ‘People and Places: The story of doing it differently’, covering the period from concept in 2017 through to the vivid realities of the current pandemic, People and Places there's a moment to reflect on our own GM Moving learning journey.

When we began our GM Moving journey with our system partners and the 10 GM pilot areas, we didn’t know what the answers would be but we’ve learned a huge amount about the conditions, principles and practical considerations needed to influence positive change at every level of the systems we live in.

We were sure that local people held the keys to unlocking long-lasting, positive change in their communities and we have charted the GM Moving journey and learning here.

The collective story of the 12 local delivery pilots and will resonate with anyone who is wrestling with the challenge of tackling inequalities through ‘system change’ in places. Our video about working in complex systems is a helpful resource for anyone grappling with system change.

The main findings of People and Places are:

  • The need for change – to get a different result we need to change what we were doing – we cant solve problems with the same mindset that created them
  • Ensure a place-based systems approach – no top down solutions or silo working – start with questions and not answers
  • Hard wire physical activity across different systems – don’t just focus on sport and leisure
  • Leadership needs to be shared – across systems and up and down systems
  • Progress can only move at the speed of trust
  • Empowering communities and changing systems is complicated and takes time – hold your nerve and say ‘yes to the mess’
  • Empathy is crucial – it is important to understand the lived experience of local people
  • Don’t keep knocking on closed doors – go where the energy is

In Greater Manchester we have embedded process learning in our approach to understanding how to enable people to live more active lives. Our latest process evaluation captures five priorities of system maturity and describes theories about how they might enable support for physical activity.

To find out more information about the collective pilot learnings and read the Sport England documents, see the links below.

LDP Narrative Key Messages

Summary People and Places: The story of doing it differently

Must be an identifiable need supported with an evidence base Targeting the physically inactive ensuring a focus on population health interventions and targeting the most at risk proportionately Must align to
LDP Ruth A