Included not Excluded: The Journey to making that happen
As stated in the Let’s Move Lincolnshire strategy, Active Lincolnshire believe that each of us should have access to spaces, facilities, services and support that empowers us to be active, fueling good physical and mental health, raising living standards and helping us feel part of our communities. Activity should be a natural part of our lives no matter who we are and not dependent on ability, background, gender, bank balance or postcode.
Sadly, this is not yet the case in Lincolnshire. To address this, we require a conscious effort to understand and address the inequalities faced by less active residents. While in reality, people aren’t just defined by ability, ethnicity, gender, income or anything else, there are clear patterns in the lives and backgrounds of people who feel social excluded from physical activity. We decided that we can’t look at any one factor in isolation, but instead must be prepared to embrace the complexities of people’s lives.
The past has taught us that we cannot do this alone, we must apply a user-led approach and bring the lived experiences of others to the table to enable us to remove barriers and create positive environments that allow everyone to be active in the ways they choose.
We have committed to working in collaboration with stakeholders, organisations, businesses, policymakers, statutory bodies, community leaders and residents to create the changes Lincolnshire needs to be equitable.
The start of making this happen is to bring together stakeholders to explore HOW we work together to ensure the work of Active Lincolnshire and the Let’s Move Lincolnshire partners is informed by, and representative of, the needs and experiences of the people facing the greatest barriers to accessing and participating in physical activity.
18 stakeholders, from organisations representing disabled people, ethnically diverse communities, women and girls, people with health conditions came together for our first Equality, Diversity and Inclusion workshop to debate three key areas.
- Establishing an advisory group to inform the strategic direction and prioritisation of the Let’s Move Lincolnshire strategy. We debated the remit, membership, deliverables, and structure to inform the coming terms of reference.
- Working together beyond the steering group to bring the knowledge and expertise of individual organisations and individuals to ensure the work better serves residents. The group identified ideas and actions to take across all layers of the system from policy to individuals, including advocacy roles, improvements to websites, communications, physical environments, recruitment and skills development.
- Identifying success. How we measure and evidence the impact of our work to tackle inequalities.
This workshop was the first time we’ve tried to work across all the protected characteristic groups and address inequality as a whole rather than group by group. We didn’t know if it would work, but we’re delighted that it did. We’re excited by the people in the room and those that want to be part of this group but were unable to attend this inaugural meeting. There is a real sense of common purpose with bold ambitions and simple but effective ideas being brought into the mix with a willingness to collaborate and build on each other’s learning, knowledge, and resource.
If you’d like to get involved please contact Ian Brown, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager.