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The new role will be dedicated to shaping and transforming the lives of the people of Lincolnshire through utilising physical activity as a tool to achieve wider outcomes and create positive change. This starts with ensuring all partners from inside and outside the physical activity and sport sector recognise the role physical activity has to play in achieving wider outcomes across the county.
Lorna will be working to ensure the opportunity to access physical activity and lead an active life is available to all residents regardless of where they live in Lincolnshire, their background, demographic or ability.
This is the first blog of many in a series, documenting the journeys our exceptional workforce is making to introduce a movement inspired lifestyle across Lincolnshire.
Read about the journey Lorna has undertaken within her first month at Active Lincolnshire - a beginning not 'the' beginning.
It’s been a while since I started a new role and even longer since I joined a new company, but I vaguely remember feeling like the new girl for quite a while. Not so at Active Lincolnshire, firstly I am no longer the newest member of staff, but also coming from an Active Partnership into an Active Partnership comes with a 75% already gained knowledge on the Why, How and What of Simon Sinek’s ‘Golden Circle’.
The final 25% for me is knowing Lincolnshire and I have a lot to learn. I can, and have, spent time reading strategies and analysing data sets but these pale to learning about the place through the experiences of those who live and work across the county. As my visit to Gainsborough on Tuesday showed me, just from a few short hours I learnt about the social prescribing programmes, the health and wellbeing focus of West Lindsey Leisure Centre (and Market Rasen Leisure Centre) and the challenges facing active travel in the area, I can't do much about the hills but the infrastructure challenges are on the list!
It is this understanding of the people and the place that is the crux of my role. Without it, I can only have limited confidence in my ability to create positive transformation to the systems of Lincolnshire so that all residents are easily able to lead, and therefore benefit from, more active lives.
The starting point in Lincolnshire is different to London, and I welcome that, it shakes me out of applying the same options without being doubly sure they are right. There are two ‘rules’ if you will to my approach that I keep at the forefront of my mind.
This is not going to be a problem in Lincolnshire. There is so much willing from both physical activity and non-physical activity sectors, everyone is keen to utilise the power of physical activity to benefit the residents of the county, everyone is willing to share what they know, open their arms to collaboration and think about their role in a much bigger picture.
There’s also an evident gap in strategic leadership on bringing physical activity to bear as a tool for creating positive change for the people of Lincolnshire. We have only really just begun our journey towards creating a common purpose across the county as part of Let’s Move Lincolnshire but it's definitely wanted, and first on my growing to-do list. You can read more about common purpose in Putting it into Practice from Sport England’s Local Delivery Pilot programme.
My first task at Active Lincolnshire has been to get stuck into the Let’s Move Lincolnshire strategy refresh. The refresh allows us to sense check our 2018 plans against the world as it is now after two of the most disruptive years modern society has faced and put our work into the context of Sport England and their 'Uniting the Movement' strategy.
This refresh is providing me with a rich vein of opportunities to hear from the vast majority of stakeholders from across the whole system from residents through to policy powerhouses. This leads me nicely to my second rule to work by...
I love this idea because instead of feeling immobilised by the sheer amount of options and working out which one is the ‘right’ starting point I can just begin where we are and take it from there. For the curious, like me, this is the dream approach, it’s all about discovery.
I’m delighted by the places we’ve started across health, active travel, tackling inequalities and the work of partners who are rethinking their role within the system. One of my tasks in my second month is to draw out the learnings and recommendations from this so they guide the next steps of all within the Lincolnshire system.
I’ll be continuing to deepen my knowledge of the people, places and systems of Lincolnshire over the next 4 weeks, with visits planned to Boston and Grantham for work, and some weekend exploring along the coast, just as soon as the storms are gone.
I’ll be digging into the findings from the Let’s Move Lincolnshire participant and stakeholder surveys to understand key themes cut by communities (geographic, common interest and demographics). Also digging into the data coming out of Moving Communities and other localised datasets.
I’ll also be building on my picture of the system partners and structures across the county, so I can make informed decisions on how the new Let’s Move Lincolnshire strategy turns into positive actions owned and led by our diverse range of stakeholders, ably supported, guided and in some instances delivered by Active Lincolnshire.