Families with children on benefits related free school meals will be able to access a wide range of low cost and free activities, thanks to a new county-wide programme known as YouMove.
By signing up to YouMove, local families will benefit from low cost or free fun activities including swimming, badminton, activity packs and a wide range of community activities near to where they live. As well as being able to enjoy being active together, families will also be supported by local Activators in each district who will provide lots of advice, support and guidance about what’s on offer.
YouMove comes at a critically important time, with many Oxfordshire families hit hard by the cost-of-living crisis and post COVID concerns about both physical and mental health and wellbeing. Being able to get active in a way that works for them will help families to enjoy quality time together, have fun and improve their health and wellbeing, too.
YouMove is funded by Oxfordshire County Council and co-ordinated by Active Oxfordshire, in partnership with district councils. Local charities and community organisations will play a key role in referring into YouMove and providing many of the community-based activities on offer. YouMove builds on the work of Cherwell District Council’s FAST Programme and is set to make a significant difference to the health and wellbeing of Oxfordshire’s children in greatest need, and their families.
Councillor Mark Lygo, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health said: “Being active has both physical and mental benefits and can transform someone’s long-term wellbeing.
“I hope that YouMove allows us to break down some of the barriers and inequalities people face in becoming active and create a healthier county for all.”
Ansaf Azhar, Oxfordshire County Council’s Director of Public Health said: “YouMove is a fantastic new programme for Oxfordshire which will make a huge difference in breaking down barriers so that families can be more active together. As we recover and rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s vital that we can support families in most need to be more active, which of course has so many benefits for their health and wellbeing. Through YouMove, we can tackle inequalities, create healthier communities and give our county’s children the best possible active start in life.”
Paul Brivio, Chief Executive of Active Oxfordshire, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be launching YouMove across Oxfordshire. By working together with local councils, charities and community organisations, we can reach families in greatest need and provide easy, low cost and accessible ways to help them be active together. Wherever families live in the county, there will be a fantastic range of fun activities to enjoy together, and we can’t wait to get started. YouMove will make a genuine, lasting difference at a very difficult time for thousands of families in Oxfordshire.”
Families can sign up to YouMove themselves via www.getoxfordshireactive.org/you-move or local charities or community groups can also refer families into the programme. On Thursday 9 June, there will be a free webinar for anyone working directly with families who could benefit from YouMove. Details of the webinar are available at www.getoxfordshireactive.org/you-move