Activity Providers Introduction to Activity On Referral

Activity on referral within schools is a supportive programme that links young people to local activities to support their mental health.

Nicky Harverson

20 Oct 2021

Feet resting on a skateboard and a football

Activity providers supporting young people to be active for their wellbeing


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Active Gloucestershire have been commissioned by NHS Gloucestershire to work with Young Minds Matter to support young people to access physical activity on referral from their schools to support their well-being,


We all know how valuable being active can be for our mental health and finding an activity, that brings you enjoyment, a challenge or a simple connection with your friends is important. We take this ethos of being active into this programme.


This project aims to change the way we talk about and introduce activity to children and young people, to help them see that being active can be as easy as going for a walk or a kick about with their friends through to joining a club or a gym that helps them focus on a specific goal.


We are looking to work with activity providers who are welcoming, who feel they have the right balance of nurture and nudge to support young people who want to be more active for their well-being.


This document sets out how we aim to support young people to access opportunities and how you can be a part of that programme.

Activity On Referral Programme

The pilot starts in May 2021 with a small number of activities available for children and young people to access physical activity.


Activity on referral is a new service supporting young people to be more active to support their wellbeing. Our programme includes support for activity providers from signposting to courses, support with developing safeguarding processes and a learning exchange with other providers involved in the programme.


The service is set up to work with the schools in Gloucestershire signed up to the trailblazer program and only young people who are referred through those schools will be offered a funded place. Activity providers applying should be able to offer a young person a place in their sessions and provide an all-around experience that encourages wellbeing and includes a pathway to join regular sessions following their introductory 12 weeks.

What counts as physical activity?

We define physical activity as something that encourages a person to move more in their day and to move in ways that make them feel good.


Movement is different for everyone, some people only count exercise if they are hot and sweaty after a session but we want to change that narrative. Starting with small steps and developing a lifelong love of being active really does begin with finding something you like to do and switching the activity from a chore into a choice.


We advocate movement-based activity from walking in nature to teen couch to 5K, we encourage people to pick up their bikes, scooters and roller skates and head to the park, to join community clubs and sessions where you can take part in anything from judo and boxercise to yoga or Pilates. We are also looking for local gyms or sports clubs that can really give young people a sense of belonging.

How to become an activity on referral provider

In order to become an activity on referral provider for children and young people, you need to have the following in place:


  • UKCC qualified to Level 2 or above, or equivalent activity qualification for the activity you run
  • Valid safeguarding certificate where working with U18 or vulnerable adult groups
  • Evidence of attendance at a First Aid training course within the last 3 years to include basic life support.
  • Insurance cover including public liability (public liability insurance for the activity not less than £5,000,000.00)
  • Enhanced DBS certificate issued within the last 3 years where working with U18 or vulnerable adult groups or the ability to obtain one prior to any referral.
  • Have experience and/or qualification that support working with young people who experience mild to moderate mental health issues
  • Schedule regular sessions that are available for children within the age group we are targeting (at least 30 sessions a year)

If you hold the relevant qualifications and feel you can offer an activity suited to this programme then please complete the form below to express an interest. We will be in touch to work through the consultation process.


Complete the expression of interest to start the process.

Or book a conversation with one of our activity on referral coaches - BOOK HERE.

What do we expect from your commitment?

In addition to the commitment to welcome young people to your activity and provide a safe place for them to play, we also need some of your time supporting the wider process. Below are a few of our expectations and these will be explained further as we work through the process to set you up as a trusted provider:


  • Support young people with setting goals and progressing towards them
  • Be available to share the impact this work has through the following mediums - completing questionnaires, joining focus groups or providing case studies
  • Join the learning exchange to share your experience with other trusted providers
  • To commit to the continual development of your programme and staff involved in the sessions that you run

What does it mean to become a trusted partner?

As a trusted partner you are not only committing to the development of young people in Gloucestershire, you are also committing to the continued development of yourself and your team.


The following section identifies some of the ways you can do this, and should complement the qualifications that you hold in order to deliver your activity. We also cover less traditional ways to learn, such as resource guides, podcasts and recognising how to support your own wellbeing in the process.


We also host specific webinars and supervisory sessions for providers to share experience, talk about what we're learning and hold a safe place to ask questions. Invitations to these will be sent direct to trusted partners.

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Nicky Harverson
20 Oct 2021

Activity On Referral