betteshanger active mobs
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Active Betteshanger Community Project (ActivMobs)A Reconnected Community
ActivMobs Activmobs is a scheme for everyone. The scheme helps people to include
physical activity as part of their everyday life.
Anyone can get together a group of friends, family or colleagues and start and 'activmob
Activmobs don't have to do things that would traditionally be called 'sport'.
Activmob aims to build on what people already do or would like to do.
Builds on the assumption that activity is most effective when driven and sustained by individual motivations.
Social Marketing Is Person centred Is about behaviour and behavioural goals Uses a mix of different interventions and shared knowledge to influence a
positive change Understands what is expected of people and considers the real cost or benefit
to the individual. Discovers and appreciates the factors that have an effect on people and that
vie for their attention
Low levels of activity Underused and negatively viewed Social Club Fractured Community, lack of social cohesion Land ownership Relationship with District Council and other stakeholders
Betteshanger and ActivMobs
Door to door surveys Questionnaires Children's Forum Young Peoples Forum Open and honest meeting with Community Centre Committee and frank
discussion on the perception of the centre Young Peoples Film Welcome to Betteshanger its a ghost town Open Forum and community film viewing
Promotion of physical activity can be viewed as a way into thespirit of a community. ActivMobs came to Betteshanger as anon threatening concept; and it not only encouraged people to become more active it also helped unlock some barriersimpeding the community from moving forward.
Betteshanger OutcomesIncreased physical activity and new activities
Over a hundred members involved in new activities.
Reconnection of club to community
Positive response of Community Centre committee to community criticism. Membership up by 50% shows a change of attitude to the Community Centre Mob Motivators prepared to work for the good of the wider community and
stand on the Community Centre committee
Betteshanger OutcomesSocial and Community Capital
Community spirit and the social cohesion. Intergenerational dialogue is now possible. Young people are now involved in decision
making. A change of attitude regarding resources Increased confidence in the club and community has seen a 375% success rate of grant
Empowered and active community able to identify issues. Preparedness to re-engage with the District Council and other stakeholders
Land ownership disputes. The setting up of positive activities for the youth of the area and dealing
with the issues of anti-social behaviour by youth from outside Betteshanger.
Fishing area accessibility.
Active Betteshanger Community Project (ActivMobs)
Gives us the opportunity to be involved and motivate others... General Overview The activity project in Betteshanger began with a request from a local county councillor to the Kent Public Health Department at the later end of 2007 to promote and encourage more healthy living in the village of Betteshanger. The main goals were to increase overall physical activity in the community and grow the use of the Community Centre and its reach into the community. A social marketing approach was taken. Social Marketing combines marketing techniques from the private sector with research and knowledge from the public sector and uses a person centred approach to appeal to the target audience with the aim of instigating and maintaining changes in behaviour. ActivMobs became the way into the community and the project locally titled ABC (Active Betteshanger Community) was born. Go to the people. Live with them. Learn from them. Love them. Start with what they know. Build with what they have. But with the best leaders, when the work is done, the task accomplished, the people will say we have done this ourselves. Chinese Taoist philosopher Lao Tzu (600 531BC).
Bettershanger Although the Parish of Betteshanger has existed since the Doomsday Book it was the opening of the Betteshanger Colliery the really put Betteshanger on the Kent map.
The colliery opened in the late 1920s and was the largest of the Kent collieries. The lure of well paid jobs encouraged miners from Yorkshire to leave home and come to work at Betteshanger Colliery.
Betteshanger Miners c.1955. Picture from Coalfields Heritage Kent
These miners came from a proud tradition of history, comradeship and union solidarity. Betteshanger miners were involved in many bitter disputes over the years and despite their efforts to keep their jobs, and the Kent mines open, the Betteshanger pit closed down four years after the Miners Strike. It was the last working mine in Kent and its closure left many of the community feeling betrayed and without employment.
Betteshanger only really consists of three streets, Circular Road, Northway, and Broad Lane. Circular Road, often known simply as 'the Circle' is an oval shaped one way street. Houses have even numbers on inside of the circle, and odd on the outside. It has been said that The Circle is the same size as a greyhound track and was used by the residents to race greyhounds and whippets.
Arial view of Betteshanger showing the Circle. Picture from BBC Kent. website With the closure of the mine the community lost its sense of identity. People moved away looking for work, new people moved in who had no real idea of the history of the area and the village became fractured between ex miners and non miners, young people and the older generation. The village had no shop, no school and the only community facility was the old miners social club building which was only used by some of the community
Time Line April 08 Community engagement - leaflets, one to one questionnaires and mini forums. June 08
Community Centre committee receive feedback from community about Community Centre.
Walking into the club it feels private Community Centre open only at certain times Is the Community Centre only for ex miners? Community Centre feels old fashioned and outdated Tea dances sometimes cancelled maybe due to private bookings Perception that residents in the circle cannot hire the hall Difficulties in having access to the Community Centre keys
The Community Centre responds positively and write letter to community. Aug 08 Youth film made, facilitated by Social Innovation Labs for Kent (SILK). This film was made in response to issues that were highlighted by young people; it gave young people the opportunity to show on camera what a young persons life in Betteshanger was like. It also provided them the opportunity to speak to other members of their community, learn about their lives and to make connections to and with their community. The film and its aftermath created a new, much needed, dialogue between the older and younger generations of the village and a valuable channel of communication was opened.
Conversations wouldnt have happened without the film The film became part of the open forum and received lots of accolades. The open forum was also considered a success with many ideas coming out of it. The importance of the Community Centre was recognised as well as including young people in decisions which affected them. For further information see appendix 1 Betteshanger a different approach to community engagement
Evaluation Activities During the evaluation process the following areas were identified to have had significant developments.
Increased amount and participation of activities Community Centre and surrounding developments Improved social cohesion of the area
With the assistance of ActivMobs members of the community were able to take an idea and turn it into an activity that others could share.
Gardening Club Coffee Mornings
Kickboxing ClubKarate Club
Cooking ClubCooking Club
Many of the activities involved the Community Centre which helped with the revenue of the centre. In a community so small the fact there are eleven activities still running is a great achievement. A toddler group was started at the Community Centre which has developed into a weekly coffee morning, a chance for all members of the community to meet and chat. The centre is also used by the local PCSO to hold open meetings and discuss any issues. This type of meeting shows that people living in Betteshanger are willingly becoming active citizens and want to be more involved in all aspects of their community. Activities continue to be developed and it is planned that a not for profit slimming club and aerobics class is started in the Community Centre which continues to build on the active community theme. More recently a pre and after school club is being set up which will have a focus on exercise and healthy eating. By creating activities that appeal to everyone, different members of the community were/are able to come together and increase the social cohesion of the area. For some of the community it was the first time they have been inside the Community Centre and their experience there overcame some of their preconceived notions. The club has also benefited with income from hiring of room and new members.
Approximate membership and help received
Coffee Mornings: 15 members
Dog Agility : 10 M