The Active Londoners Pilot from Versus Arthritis is designed to support people living with arthritis and other musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions to achieve more movement in their lives. It provides tailor made sessions delivered by skilled physical activity practitioners, making activity accessible for more people.
Move Consulting were commissioned by Versus Arthritis to support the physical activity professionals who sit behind the Active Londoners Pilot to better understand how behaviour change theory connects into practical delivery, and in turn how it can support those engaging with the pilot to develop sustained behaviour change.
At Move we often start projects with the end in mind. Taking this strategic approach helps everyone to understand what success can look like and highlights what steps may be required to achieve it. Working with the team at Versus Arthritis, we sought to understand the proposed plans for the Active Londoners Pilot, to get under the skin of how the overall programme was being evaluated. Using this insight, we developed a logic model and evaluation tool for this facet of the project, dovetailing this in with the wider planned evaluation work. The logic model and evaluation tool provide two essentials to help us to understand the impacts of the work, once completed.
Next up was to get under the skin of the workforce. This was made up of two component parts; Physical Activity Champions - a cohort of qualified physical activity professionals who deliver the activity sessions, and Fitness Mentors - health and care professionals with expertise in working with people with Arthritis and MSK Conditions, each to provide specialist support to the Physical Activity Champions to grow their knowledge and confidence in working with this audience. Understanding the dynamic between the two strands of the workforce, Move Consulting designed two bespoke learning and development pathways focusing on the identified priorities for the programme.
Pathway one focused on the Physical Activity Champions. Providing a structured learning offer introducing learners to behaviour change theory through a series of practical examples, opportunities to reflect on current behaviours and a chance to review - with their peers - after having put their new skills into practice. Pathway two provided support for the Fitness Mentors. Providing key guidance on evidence-based approaches to mentoring, giving the opportunity for people to share their experiences as a Mentor and to identify possible common practice and practical approaches to support the champions. This pathway also provided review sessions, through which a community of practice is to be developed.
The team at Move Consulting will deliver these two pathways to the Active Londoners Pilot workforce across a series of online webinars throughout 2021. As identified, the aim of the programme is to support the workforce to better understand how to put behaviour change theory into practice through their respective roles, and to support each other.
The Active Londoners Project launched to the public in August 2021. The first phase of the pilot is being delivered by Versus Arthritis until December 2021, when the initial evaluation will be completed.
Physical Activity Manager from Versus Arthritis, Ashleigh Ahlquist said,
"It has been a pleasure to work with Craig and Elaine from Move Consulting on our behaviour change training for the Active Londoners Pilot.
Craig and Elaine have been working with us to develop a bespoke behaviour change course for the fitness professionals who are delivering physical activity sessions as part of the pilot and the fitness mentors who are supporting the professionals throughout. They have truly listened to the needs and expectations of the pilot and have seamlessly incorporated our insights, resources, and existing learning.
They are passionate, knowledgeable, and adaptable. It’s been great to work together and there’s no doubt we will be working together again soon!"
You can find out more about the Active Londoners Pilot from Versus Arthritis here.
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