Suffolk Fit Villages

Physical activity using village facilities.

Fit Villages - exercise class
  • Involves: county community sports partnership, village facilities, individuals
  • Cost: £

Fit Villages brings people together through setting up physical activity sessions in rural communities. It is a popular, well-established project run by Suffolk Sport across the county. The project is supported by Suffolk County Council and Sport England and is part of Suffolk’s aim to be the Most Active County (MAC).

As the project continues to grow it is always looking for new villages to get involved, or new activities to be introduced, like Walking Football or Beginners Running. Key outcomes include:

  • Increased levels of vigorous and moderate activity and walking
  • Reduced amount of time sitting
  • Increased connection of participants to their community
  • Reduced social isolation
 

90%

of participants are female

 

Living in a rural location should be seen as an opportunity rather than a barrier to participating in sport. Fit Villages’ gives local communities the chance to run subsidised sporting and physical activity sessions from local facilities such as village halls, community centres and recreation grounds thanks to support from local funding bodies.

Fit Villages project

Suffolk Sport

How it works

  • The project’s success is built upon a collaborative approach with local communities.
  • The Fit Villages Co-ordinator contacts Parish Councils, Village Halls or other community groups in small villages, to offer them the opportunity to access Fit Villages.
  • A local volunteer “Activator” is recruited to assist with the project in their village & we work with that Activator to help run a community consultation to establish popular activities and timings.
  • The projects are advertised through existing community groups, in local Newsletters, poster and flyer distribution, through social media and most importantly word of mouth.
  • The project responds directly to the evidence base, research and consultation that form the context for sport and physical activity in Suffolk.
  • 85% of activities continue to run on a self-sustaining basis long after the initial 6-8 week funded intervention, demonstrating a very high level of sustainability.
 

75%

of participants are aged over 50