An introduction to the Active Villages Programme

This section of the website provides information on the project itself, the history, the background, the aims and objectives and our partners.

Devon Active Villages is a development programme which supports village communities in Devon to provide long term sustainable sports participation opportunities. The Active Villages concept is positioned in the introductory/informal sport segment of the market and is aimed at getting people into sports participation. Its main purpose is to offer people of all ages opportunities to experience the fun of sport. It is designed neither as a specific ’public health’ initiative to deliver health based physical activity interventions nor a ‘sports excellence’ programme aimed at identifying talented performers who wish to engage in serious competition. Although both of these may be incidental outcomes, the main aim is to offer people opportunities to experience the fun of sport and in so doing build a lifelong love of being active and healthy. The project therefore principally addresses Sport England's GROW objective.

The project will work by:

  1. Identifying what opportunities each local community wants
  2. Providing support to “kick start” activities
  3. Supporting people within their communities to sustain the opportunities

Whilst the primary objective is to improve people’s rates of participation in physical activity and sport there will also be a number of other outcomes such as developing strong, sustainable and cohesive communities, improving health and reducing health inequalities, improving the life chances and focussing the energies of children and young people, creating safer communities by reducing anti-social behaviour and increasing skills and prosperity.

The programme is planned to last for 3 years to September 2013.

The Active Villages programme has an offer for people of all ages from primary school children to adults. It is built around:

  • Specialist support to help communities identify those opportunities they would like and would be most appropriate.
  • Initial funding support to help in the establishment of activities (eg towards equipment, facilities, training etc)
  • Training programmes provided for volunteers within each community to enable them to sustain activities.
  • Initial promotion and provision of activities for a 12 week period – the Active Villages programme could typically comprise an after school club aimed at primary school children, a youth sports offer for young people of Secondary School age and then an adults’ programme
  • Regular mentoring visits to support communities’ volunteers
  • Access to bespoke ‘self help’ resources such as promotional support and materials, on-line tool kits and activity starter packs.
  • Potential links to 2012 Olympic Legacy programmes.