Agenda item

Children and Young People - Mental Health and Physical Activity - Stuart Rogers - Senior Public Health Officer (Sac.24.06.2022/7)


Stuart Rogers, Public Health Practitioner was welcomed to the meeting and provided members with an overview of physical activity undertaken by young people in the South Area and how to take forward a proposed partnership project approach to tackling the issues set out in the presentation.


Members were informed that around 45% of adults in the Barnsley area were fairly inactive/inactive with 38.4% of those being in the most deprived communities.  Physical activity for children and young people averaged around an hour a day split between school and out of school activities but that the vast majority of children did not meet that requirement. 


Active in Barnsley 2022-2026 is a collection of partners and officers that collaborate on ways to improve active living in Barnsley as part of everyday life for everyone.  Some examples were provided of ideas such as building the school run into the day and walking or cycling to the shops.  Members were informed that it had been carried out in other areas of the Borough so there would be a blueprint to take forward to follow those successes.  The process involved identifying the need in order to rectify the issues rather than just mask over them and to not just look at young people being inactive but also how to use physical activity in terms of mental wellbeing. 


Discussions held with the South Area Team had resulted in the Game Changer Project being proposed which would develop an action plan by looking into understanding problems and issues that sit behind the problems.  It would scope providers and provisions in the area to see why things are happening and where the gaps are.  It would be a consortium approach of external partners, local members and Officers to develop an action plan and would be externally funded with partner contributions.


Members commented that it would be key to engage with clubs already established such as cricket and football clubs and would be worthwhile trying to involve all the family in various activities. 


Members raised concerns around the lack of exercise in schools and academies and whether anything could be done to encourage schools and academies to increase physical exercise in their curriculums.  It was reported that work was being undertaken to create an after schools framework, how to use physical activity in schools to improve attendance and how to support Head teachers to make decisions around physical activity. 


Concerns were raised around the provisions offered and costs involved as an offer of only football would not engage with all young people.  It was reported that football was an example of a project and that a variety of activities would be offered to scope out an appropriate project. 


Members queried as to what the exact ask was and it was reported that this was a suggestion of how to take forward a co-ordinated approach in connecting various agencies and to look collectively at what investments would be available, what needs fixing, how to fix it and what steps would need to be taken.  Once a plan for approach is completed it would then be reported to a future meeting of the South Area Council. 


RESOLVED that thanks be given for the presentation.


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