The 'Active Towns' pilot project - launched in the East Riding last October - is now in full swing. It's aimed at encouraging and supporting communities and residents to be more physically, mentally and socially active in Pocklington, Market Weighton, Goole and Howden. The next phase of the initiative will be launched shortly.
Active Towns is working closely in the community with residents, local clubs, groups and organisations to expand community resources, and increase the number of wellbeing activities for local residents.
One of the highlights of the initial launch was the rollout of the "Love Exploring" app which created bespoke walking activities in the four towns around a Hallowe'en theme. The use of technology provides easy to follow walking routes and augmented reality games for all ages. The trails created for each of the four towns focus on getting more people out walking. All activities are free, and most will show people something about their home town that they may have missed.
Following the success of the Halloween trail, each town had more fun trails added, such as an animated Dinosaur Safari or an enchanted walk with fairies - a range of walking trails that caters for all abilities, young and old. For more info, download the Love Exploring app or visit the Active Towns website to check out routes in your local area.
An opportunity for new and existing community groups to gain extra funding will be launched on 5 April with the rollout of the Community "Small Grant Scheme". The Active Towns team will be working with local organisations to distribute grants between £200 and £2000 aimed at supporting groups to develop strong governance, restart following lockdown and helping to start up new activities that support physical, mental and social wellbeing.
It is hoped that April will see the introduction of Bike Libraries in each of the four Active Towns. The project will provide the opportunity for residents to loan bikes free of charge on short to medium term loans. Bikes will cater for all terrains, from a leisurely ride into the Wolds on a road bike to a casual ride with the family along the riverbank in Goole on mountain bikes. Each Bike Library will run weekly and will have experts on hand to provide cycle maintenance training, covering safety checks, puncture repair and adjusting gears and brakes, as well as encouraging active travel with cycling and walking guides in each of the towns.
The team will begin consulting with residents from 26 April to gauge their views, which will hopefully shape the future of the Bike Libraries and allow the team to gain some understanding of local need and demand in each of the towns. The timing of the Bike Libraries launch will depend on the COVID-19 restrictions in force at the time.
In late Spring, it is hoped to develop local infrastructure Cycle Codebreaker trails within each town to increase locations to lock bikes up and provide residents with easy access to fun bicycle wall anchors, and encourage active travel for cycling, scooting and walking.
The Active Towns Team and Road Safety hope to work with local business and community groups willing to have the permanent cycle bike locks fixed to their premises to form part of an exciting cycling trail through each of the four towns and encourage town centre shopping.
Councillor Richard Burton, leader of the council, said: "Active Towns is a very exciting project, and I am delighted that we have been able to make so much progress, despite the pandemic. This will make a real difference to the lives of residents in the four towns."
Plans also include:
A pilot scheme for dementia suffers is currently underway which includes an activity bag for residents living with dementia within the four towns, including an activity book, quizzes, scented items plus lots more. Over 200 activity bags will be delivered soon.
Active Towns will continue working with local sports clubs to develop a "Play Sport" fun campaign in the future, whilst supporting local community assets in getting re-started once it is safe to do so.
For more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org and visit www.activeeastriding.co.uk/ active-towns/