The Watford FC Community Sports & Education Trust undertakes a range of fantastic work aimed at improving the lives of people in the local area and beyond.
One such programme that has contributed to this goal is Active Watford and Three Rivers, which is focused on working with inactive people in Watford and Three Rivers, who are at risk from cardiovascular disease and/or mild to moderate mental health issues, helping them become active.
As part of Active Watford and Three Rivers, each participant receives:
- A consultation, which creates a personalised plan to help them get active and signposts them to suitable activities
- Twelve months of nudge text messages to encourage them to be more active
- Access to supported/tailored exercise classes
- Contact points at two weeks, one month, three, six, and 12 months
- Re-engagement events
- Signposted to other services, e.g. Herts Help and Weight Watchers
The initiative – which began in January 2019 – received national recognition when it featured on BBC One’s ‘The Truth About Improving Your Mental Health’ earlier this year, which followed the journey and success of participant Brenda.
The episode effectively showcased the mechanics of the Trust’s programme, which enables people to get more active.
Since launching the programme has enjoyed fantastic success, with the figures below demonstrating how important it has been to its users:
- Over 1200 referrals into the scheme
- Delivered over 900 consultations either face-to-face or online
- 96% of people are classed as Active at three months
- 88% of people are classed as Active at six months
- People’s life satisfaction ratings increased 125% after taking part in the programme
- People felt that their feeling of worthwhileness had increased by 107% after 12 months on the programme
- People’s happiness ratings increased by 112%
- People felt that their anxiety had decreased by 15% after completing 12 months of the programme
Participant Robert, aged 51, said:
“After my consultation, I was signposted to Man On. I have since been attending on a weekly basis. I have seen an improvement in my mood and lost weight. If anyone is thinking about having a consultation just give it a go!”
Sarah, aged 41, added:
“After the lockdowns, I was looking for something. I was invited to an event at Watford Woodside, which meant I could try the toning suite before committing to a membership – this is a huge benefit of being part of Active Watford & Three Rivers.”
Project lead, and Trust Health and Wellbeing Project Manager, Alison Goodchild said:
“The importance of physical activity for physical and mental health has long been known, and it’s never been so important as in the last two years. That’s why it’s been great that Active Watford and Three Rivers has been able to support so many people.
Although the last two years have presented challenges, it has been great to think of ways to overcome them and reach out to people. For example, hosting webinars, delivering consultations online and fitness.
“Active Watford and Three Rivers has a number of different partners in the programmes which allow different parts of the community to come together and access a variety of different activities.
“We know that the programme is effective but it is amazing to see the difference the programmes makes to individuals, especially when things like their happiness and life satisfaction goes up.”
Active Watford & Three Rivers wouldn’t have been possible without the funding it receives from partners the Premier League, PFA, Herts Valley CCG, Watford Borough Council and Three Rivers District Council.