A pilot project to encourage local families with young children to be more active has been launched at the popular Odd Down Sports Ground here in Bath.
Jointly funded by Bath & North East Somerset Council’s try active project and a Sirona Health Visiting bursary, the scheme aims to connect families and improve their health and wellbeing through therapeutic movement, play and wheels-based activity on the impressive cycle circuit in Odd Down.
Families are identified by local health visitors and invited to attend.
Robyn Pound, Health Visitor and member of the project team, said: “This course is valuable in providing opportunities for families to experience the benefits of physical activity, use local leisure facilities and really connect with each other through fun, informal play.”
Therapeutic movement sessions are provided by local charity Make a Move, who have a wealth of experience working with children through to mothers with post-natal depression and adults with dementia.
Michelle Rochester, founder of Make a Move, said: “This is a new venture for us, and builds on the work we have been doing with mums suffering with low mood, by creating a pathway for them to connect their mind and body first, and then to work on their responsiveness to their children.
“Inviting the family helps strengthen relationships and gets everyone up and moving through creative play and movement to music. The energy and vibe has been fantastic!”
Alongside the therapeutic movement sessions, families are offered free access to the cycle circuit through the Council’s Try active project.
A range of wheeled equipment is available including bikes, scooters, bike trailers, balance bikes and adapted bikes.
Two parents from Bath have attended together with their young daughter Bella. After the first session Dad commented: ‘I really enjoyed the calm of the session and a break from the usual parenting routine.
“I can’t believe I have danced and cycled and how good that felt.”
Cllr Vic Pritchard (Conservative, Chew Valley) Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care & Health, said: “The Council is committed to getting more people, more active, more often and what better way to do this than getting the whole family involved at a local leisure facility such as Odd Down Sports Ground?
“The vibrant playing fields with newly developed pavilion with cafe, cycle circuit and 3G pitch provides plenty of opportunities for all ages and abilities to get moving and participate in sport or physical activity.
“This project takes advantage of local facilities to improve the health and wellbeing of our residents.”
If you would like to find out more about this project, contact Jess Brodrick at Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Active Lifestyles and Health Improvement Team on 01225 396271 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.