We can move Gloucestershire - event resources

You can find all of the presentations, session summaries and resources from the we can move event here.

Lizzie Homer

16 Mar 2023

Collage of photos from the event

On Thursday 9 March, we held the first ever we can move event. What a great day it was! Thank you to all those who came and took part in the sessions, especially or speakers.


It felt great to be able to welcome so many people to the event and meet so many of our incredible changemakers face to face. There were so many highlights and lots of learning and I’m really looking forward to seeing the impact the event has made on those who came.


If you missed the event or would like to see the presentations again, you can find them all on this page, along with a summary of each session as well as the resources from the day.




Below you will find the welcome presentation which includes our vision and values as well as our latest we can move hero video.



Welcome presentation




Adapting to the new normal: the post-pandemic funding landscape for physical activity in Gloucestershire


Gaining insight into the current funding landscape within the county via a panel conversation and audience Q&A with funding experts from Gloucester Cathedral, Barnwood Trust, National Lottery Community Fund and Gloucestershire Community Foundation.


Summary of key learning/discussion:

  • Funders are sympathetic to the issues organisations are facing in terms of pandemic recovery and the cost of living crisis
  • They are encouraging projects to build in additional contingency to help address significant overhead increases, such as utility bills and staff wages
  • Developing a ‘relational’ approach by working closely with applicants and funded organisations to best develop and deliver projects
  • Working to ‘flex’ with projects as they begin to deliver and find they need to adapt to the quickly changing needs of their beneficiaries
  • Diversification of funding sources for projects is key – don’t just rely on a small number of sources or methods of fundraising
  • Funders are still happy to support good quality new initiatives alongside sustaining existing successful projects


Take action:

  • Panel members are available for discuss potential projects – contact them via their organisation’s websites
  • Join us for our we can move / Active Gloucestershire Advice Clinics. They take place on the first Thursday of every month – if you would like to discuss your physical activity project go to our website and book an appointment
  • Sign up to the we can move funding bulletin




Bottoms Up! - Exploring how bottom up consortia and plans can work best for residents and help build community capacity for the long term


In this session we explored how bottoms up consortia and plans can work best for residents and help build community capacity for the longer term.


We heard from a panel of changemakers with experience of this approach.


Panel included:

  • Mark Gale, Gloucestershire Gateway Trust
  • Dawn Barnes, The Venture, White City
  • Reyaz Limalia, Fair Shares / The Friendship Café







Summary of key learning/discussion:

In this workshop, our panellists shared reflections on their respective work and communities and showed some examples and benefits of developing community plans around a collective vision.


Common themes included:


  • Developing community plans requires time but experience has shown the strategic benefit, if they are based around a collective vision.
  • We need to change the narrative from “disadvantaged communities” to “we know what we want and this is our collective vision for our future”
  • Purposeful connection is developed through shared purpose and values. An example shared was people who know and trust each-other working together to deliver food to the community post Covid
  • Collaboration is not always easy but if there are shared value and honesty, the benefits can be significant
  • Examples of what capacity building looks like – for example, development of skills
  • Current challenges for capacity building include the development of physical resources in the community


There were many varied questions from the audience, which led to a range of discussion which included:


  • What is the success criteria for community consortia around the county?
  • How can we apply resources in a different way?
  • How can be leverage more investment into capacity building?
  • What are the advantages of devolving budgets, with communities at the heart of decision-making?
  • How can we connect budget holders to communities more effectively?
  • What would help you help us?


Take action

All those who attended the workshop were asked to share an action / personal takeaway from the session. These can be seen here. Key themes included:


  • Review the application of resources/funding – devolution of budgets to communities
  • The importance in taking the time to build trust and relationships around a shared purpose
  • Community connections – let’s build better relationships with the community
  • Working in a consortia is a radical change
  • Let’s change the narrative




Commissioning: what can we learn from different approaches to commissioning


Session led by Tom Beasley, CEO at Active Gloucestershire, supported by a number of speakers.


Speakers included:

  • Hannah Norman, Voluntary, Community & Social Enterprise (VCSE) Impact Manager at NHS Gloucestershire ICB
  • Caitlin Lord, Project Manager – Personalisation, at NHS Gloucestershire ICB
  • Will Chapman, Senior Programme Manager (Self-care and Prevention) at NHS Gloucestershire ICB
  • Suzie Lane, Public Health Manager (Public Mental Health and Voluntary & Community Partnerships) at Gloucestershire County Council



The session covered key topics such as traditional commissioning, why do we need to commission differently? What are the key ingredients? How do we commission differently? Social Design Methodology, The Men’s Table Project and key learnings.


The aim of the session was to help attendees understand the drivers for commissioning differently & gain knowledge of an example method. To feel encouraged & curious in exploring alternative approaches to commissioning and to make connections with others and continue the discussion.


Take action:

Talk to the new connections you made in this session and continue discussions.




Are we there yet? The past, present and future of Active Travel


By making it easier for people to walk and cycle, by better design and using the built and natural environments we can help people to move more and improve their health and wellbeing. Colleagues from Gloucestershire County Council and their sustainable ThinkTravel team gave a presentation on the various active travel initiatives they are supporting, as well as an update on key active travel infrastructure development.



  • Sarah Williams , Principal Transport Planning Officer, Gloucestershire County Council
  • Jo Atkins, Thinktravel Co-ordinator, Gloucestershire County Council





Summary of key learning/discussion:

  • Active travel can play a significant role in our collective journey to Net Zero, as we look to reduce carbon emissions and increase cycling and walking to work
  • Travelling actively also has an important role to play in improving our individual and collective physical and mental wellbeing
  • Active environments enable us to better connect with one another, enhancing community cohesiveness, creating social connections and improving our sense of place
  • Investing in infrastructure and support for active travel can increase economic diversity and growth
  • Improving opportunities to walk and cycle will create places and communities that are more able to adapt and be vibrant, creative, enterprising and accessible


Take action:




It’s not just muddy puddles - How playful practice improve the physical and mental health of young people


A session for anyone interested in using playful practice and a young person led approach to support the wellbeing of young people.


Play is free, instinctive, rewarding for children and doesn’t require special skills. At a time when there are greater concerns than ever about the mental health of our young people, in this workshop we heard from a range of experts and explored how we can build playful practice into our communities, schools, families, work and everyday lives. This included a lot of play opportunities for our participants- chocolate pong!





Summary of key learning/discussion:

  • Parents need to feel brave and bold in their own play for the magic of playworkers to ripple out
  • Risk assessments can limit children’s opportunities for play and practitioners’ willingness for risk taking, we talked about the safety aspects of risk assessments but also the positive benefits of having elements of risk in play
  • Young people can be bubble wrapped and scared to try anything. This fear often comes from adults and not the children themselves.
  • Children often hear that no you can’t do something. Especially those with SEN. But when adults take can’t out of the equation and simply allow children to try they are often surprised with what emerges.


Take action:

Are you interested in a Community of Practice around play that could convene wider system changes that need to happen?




There is also a podcast with Ben Morris from Play Gloucestershire that you might like to listen to.




Live Longer Better Gloucestershire: Creative and collaborative approaches to active ageing and ageing well


This session was led by Chris Davies and Ben Langworthy.


An interactive and discussion-based session exploring what role people from across the movement can play in the Live Longer Better approach for Gloucestershire.





Summary of key learning/discussion:

  • Changing perception, culture and language around ageing
  • Viewing retirement as opportunity rather than burden
  • Exploring opportunities for intergenerational approaches
  • Importance of carer support
  • Influencing commissioning approaches around services for older people
  • Services (e.g. pain management) to be accessible regardless of age rather than ‘pain is to be expected at your age’.


Take action:

Join our CPD and support series which is being launched later in the summer via we can move

Book on to our next event on 25th April: Live Longer Better Gloucestershire – active ageing partnership network Book here

Join the Live Longer Better Gloucestershire strategic group which will be launched in summer 2023


For more information, contact:

Sarah Haden-Godwin

Ben Langworthy:




Taking collective action towards an inclusive and active county


Bringing people together around a shared vision for making physical activity inclusive and accessible for everyone, and what collective action we can take to reduce/narrow the participation inequality gap we see across our population.





Summary of key learning/discussion:

  • Ensuring that the people we work with, and aim to work with are reflected in communications
  • Working together, standing ‘shoulder to shoulder’ and being ‘brave’ in our approach to try different things and learn from what doesn’t work
  • Connecting people to physical activity through social prescribing
  • Increasing diversity in the workforce and at board level
  • Learning from one another and creating the conditions to facilitate that


Take action:

Join the Gloucestershire Active Inclusion Network (GAIN) Book here

The next GAIN meeting takes place on Thursday 20 April, 10am – 12:30pm at Churchdown Community Centre, Parton Road, Churchdown, GL3 2JH




Building up the health and wellbeing of our community – session reflections.


A session for people interested in using an Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) approach we can use to support, build and nurture our communities without our neighbourhoods being overshadowed by people telling us what to do and how to think.


Summary of key learning/discussion:


  • Gloucester Community Building Collective introduced the concept of working in communities.
  • We first explored the person we are in our different settings a) in our communities, b) in our work and c) when we have our own agenda.
  • Matt Williams helped us to draw out people’s thoughts and ideas asking some people to share their thoughts with the group.
  • We finished this conversation by asking what was new about this for you and what the impact a community-based approach could have to your work.



Handout - Person illustration


Take action:


If you want to explore more about this way of working, you can connect with Gloucester Community Building Collective and discuss their awareness days which they can adapt this to your organisations design and needs.




Physical activity? That isn’t our thing: How to integrate physical activity and moving more into your existing provision or services, and why it matters so much.


This session was led by Kirsty Dunleavy- Harris (Director of Physical Activity, Active Gloucestershire)



  • Lela Thomas, Founder and fitness instructor, SOH Fit
  • Karina Burt, Art Psychotherapist, The Nelson Trust
  • Sue Martin, CEO, Fairshares
  • Video from Carina Sharpley, Volunteer, Barton & Tredworth Memory Café




Aims of session

  • Consider the experiences and perceptions of those who are less active (those who may consider ‘physical activity is not their thing’)
  • Meet and hear from changemakers sharing examples of projects where they have successfully integrated activity into a service or community provision
  • Hear about learning from these projects and explore what this means for them in their role/work
  • Take away one idea and one action they can do to integrate activity into a service or provision they are connected to


Summary of key learning/discussion:

  • Most of us in the room have positive personal experiences of physical activity and are “fairly active”; but this is not the case for many of our audiences. We need to stand in their shoes, listen and work with them 
  • Trust is key to encouraging behaviour change or implementing something new – the person leading the session or co-ordinating a group has a strong influence
  • To help people be more active, we don’t have to get them to “do” physical activity – it can be everyday movement that’s right for them
  • Physical activity by stealth; physical activity can be a bi-product from another activity or project i.e. art in nature, gardening, music and dance, a social group
  • Be open to trying, changing and adapting an offer; it may not work at first and that’s ok
  • Be inclusive to the needs of the group – varying abilities and experiences. Some may just watch at first; some may need a seat; others can do more – try to have a range of opportunities and for people to take part in a way that suits them
  • Social connections are often the start; use existing social groups to initiate activity or ensure that new projects feature opportunities for people to connect i.e. tea, coffee and cake or time for talking
  • Understand the groups motivation and use that as a driver; physical health, mental health, friendships, independence, to have fun.
  • They may seem like small steps, but for those furthest from activity, they are huge; leaving the house, walking, attending a new group etc. Take the small steps alongside people, and support them to keep putting one foot in front of the other, at a pace that suits them
  • There is a huge wealth of knowledge and experience across the network. The reach into communities and groups who are inactive is strong; how can we utilise this learning and continue to support people to be more active and move more?
  • Keep sharing stories and learning; the good and bad – stories, videos and talking about projects are powerful and helps others learn and have new ideas


Take action:

  • Reach out to any of the changemakers who spoke in the session to find out more about their projects
  • Follow up on your personal action noted at the end of the session 
  • Sign up to the we can move newsletter  
  • Follow we can move social media for more stories and examples of projects (see below)
  • Explore some of the online workshops and resources to build your confidence around engaging new audiences or co-designing projects with your community






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Lizzie Homer
16 Mar 2023

Communications Manager