The Hull FC Community Foundation has released its 2021/22 impact report from the Teaming Up For Health project, working in collaboration with the NHS Hull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and the Hull KR Community Trust.
If you would like to read the impact report in full, please click the link below.
As communities continue to recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown, the Teaming Up For Health partnership has sought to achieve three key objectives over the last twelve months; to tackle obesity, mental health issues and loneliness.
To tackle obesity, the Community Foundation has created rugby-inspired activities that engage people from all walks of like in bespoke programmes that get them active and improve their understanding of healthy eating. So, for example, the recently-launched Energise Club engages 25 children each session in physical activity, nutrition and mental resilience activities.
One of the key challenges for Teaming Up For Health is tackling mental health issues, given that the Covid-19 pandemic exacerbated mental wellbeing inequality, with certain groups in the community facing even worse outcomes.
Thankfully, the Community Foundation has connected more people than ever before in the last twelve months, through a number of varying projects on the Teaming Up For Health partnership, whilst utilising the reach and profile of Hull FC’s media channels to raise awareness of campaigns, including World Mental Health Day, which aims to de-stigmatise the condition.
Similarly, tackling loneliness has seen the Community Foundation support groups affected by loneliness and social isolation to form new social friendships and connections through the power of rugby league. The launch of ‘Our Best Years’, in particular, has brought older people closer together to engage in activities such as reminiscence, physical activity, group quizzes and games.
Maisie Malton, Head of Health & Wellbeing, said: “Early on, it was clear that focused interventions that supported children and young people, women and girls, and older people to lead healthier, more active and socially connected lives was required.
“I am proud that our participants have got involved with the design of our interventions, ensuring that they are truly needs-led and entail activities they want to engage in.
“A large part of our success is down to our committed partner organisations who I have enjoyed working with to shape interventions to ensure they meet gaps in provision or complement existing offers.
“Energise Club, Unite Fitness and Our Best Years will continue to grow in future years with their support.”
Through the impact report, we reflect on how projects through the Teaming Up For Health partnership have remained accessible to those most in need with the support of staff, volunteers and new partners who collectively came together to ensure no person was left behind.
Amongst other projects that launched in the summer/autumn of 2021 was Set Restart, supported by a £210,000 grant from the National Lottery Community Fund.
Set Restart, which received significant backing from Dame Diana Johnson MP and the NHS Hull CCG prioritises support to Orchard Park Estate residents aged 14-29, providing a range of activities and exercises throughout the week to not only enhance physical activity to reduce the risk of obesity, but also support mental wellbeing and employability outcomes.
A Friday evening multi-sports session using the state-of-the-art University of Hull facilities has proved particularly popular, with participant Innocent saying: “Normally, we don’t have facilities such as this to play games. It’s something good for us to blow of some steam after school with all of my mates and we get to choose which sports we can play, which helps keep it fun for all of us.”
Just a month after the launch of Energise Club in autumn, the Unite project was set in motion. This project encompasses all three primary objectives of the Teaming Up For Health partnership, helping local women foster better lifestyles for their physical and mental wellbeing.
29-year-old Hannah Williams, who takes part in the Unite sessions to improve her fitness, said: “Unite has given me a more positive mindset and increased my knowledge of health and wellbeing, which I have been applying to my own life. Not only have I been taking part in the fitness activities at the sessions, but I have also felt more motivated to go on bike rides and practice yoga outside of the sessions.”
The Community Foundation has also engaged with older people post-lockdown, perhaps some of the most vulnerable people at this time.
Working in partnership with Age UK Hull to establish Our Best Years, fans of both Hull FC and Hull KR have united to build new friendships to prevent feelings of loneliness, whilst promoting better physical wellbeing by offering light, appropriate exercises, such as tai chi.
Margaret, a regular attendee of Our Best Years, said: “It’s the first time I have done anything like this but it’s been absolutely brilliant. It’s the social side of things I enjoy most because I live on my own, and although I have good neighbours, it can get quite lonely, so I love coming here and chatting to everyone.”