GP and Chief Executive of Intelligent Health Joins Active Essex as New Chair

August 2022

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Active Essex, the Active Partnership for Essex, has announced that Dr William Bird will be joining the Board as the new Chair.

With more than three decades of experience in practising medicine, William is one of the UK’s leading experts on physical activity and building active communities. He set up Intelligent Health in February 2010 with the vision of making a lasting difference to people’s health and wellbeing, by supporting them to become more active.

William has worked as a GP since 1991 and in 2010 he was appointed MBE for his services to health and physical activity. He has previously worked with Active Essex, advocating the importance of physical activity on people’s health and wellbeing, joining Director Jason as a keynote speaker across the health system, as well as beginning important conversations around how to embed physical activity into social prescribing and link worker pathways.

Commenting on his appointment, Dr Bird said: “I know how important being connected to nature, being outside and being active can be to residents’ wellbeing. I am delighted to join Active Essex, with whom I already have such a great relationship with. As Chair I am looking forward to working with the team and the Board to continue to create further opportunities and develop innovative projects alongside partners and stakeholders, that will have a lasting and meaningful change in improving health through community connections. This is something I am so passionate about in my personal life and career.”

 William’s appointment to the Board, will help drive the strategic direction of the systems Fit for the Future strategy, which has been widely adopted across multiple sectors including health, social care, transport, planning, education, employers, criminal justice, and of course, sport and fitness. Active Essex is making good progress in helping communities build back better from Covid-19, developing partnerships, tackling inequalities and improving health and wellbeing across the county. Active Essex has also aligned their work to the five strategic priorities set out in the strategy and delivering them using a place-based approach across five hub teams.

The new Fit for the Future strategy was supported by outgoing Chair, Azeem Akhtar, in his final year as Chair, alongside a county-wide behaviour change campaign, Find Your Active; helping residents to find the activity that’s right for them. Since his appointment in 2016, he has helped Active Essex develop a sustainable and lasting legacy of sport and physical activity, with the aim of changing one million lives across Essex, Southend and Thurrock.

Director of Active Essex, Jason Fergus said: “The launch of the system’s new Fit for The Future strategy and Find Your Active campaign last year, has paved the way for Active Essex’s direction, and I know that this will be strengthened further by the addition of William to the Board. William brings with him a wealth of experience in the health sector and a passion for encouraging residents to get active for positive mental and physical wellbeing, using a holistic, community collaboration approach to turn the tide in physical inactivity. I would like to thank Azeem for his determination and commitment over the past six years. He has overseen a significant period of growth for Active Essex, and I look forward to working with William to build upon the successes and learnings of what we have delivered so far.”

Deputy Leader of Essex County Council, Louise McKinlay said; “Dr William Bird will be a fantastic addition to the Active Essex Board. By using the power of physical activity to help tackle inequalities in Essex, Active Essex and Dr Bird will greatly contribute to our Levelling Up agenda, by ensuring we continue to widen opportunities, making them as accessible and inclusive as possible. I look forward to working with him going forward.”

For more information about Active Essex, please visit: www.activeessex.org

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Intelligent Health unveils its new five-year strategy

July 2022

 

Intelligent Health has unveiled its new five-year strategy that sets out the firm’s vision, mission and values from 2022 to 2027.

The Reading-based firm’s mission is to create resilience and improve health by connecting people to each other, their communities and their environment. This has been achieved by engaging communities as a whole, sharing knowledge of the foundations of good health, and by analysing data to deliver actionable insight.

The vision is to transform people’s health through small changes that make a big difference and the team intends to build on this for the next five years.

While best known for its innovative Beat the Street game that has engaged more than 1.5 million people across the UK and beyond, and encouraged whole communities to get active together, Intelligent Health will also be working on delivering more programmes and services that enable people to take control of their health.

These include Beat the Street Classic games, plus Beat the Street Compact games which are Active Partnership-led smaller versions of the classic game, Beat the Street Virtual through a newly-developed app and workplace health programmes such as the well-being programme that has been delivered with HSBC staff for the past three years. This has focused on building resilience across the commercial, legal, and global IT team.

Additionally, Intelligent Health has developed a successful active travel programme that is available to councils.

The team has worked closely with Wokingham Borough Council for the past three years to deliver an active travel programme which has thrived thanks to cross-sector working with local partners.

Key to delivering ambitious community-wide schemes is the continued partnership working with organisations such as Sport England.

Intelligent Health will continue to work with Sport England as a ‘System and Delivery partner’ in ‘Uniting the Movement, a ten-year strategy.

This will involve pivoting from the pure delivery of Beat the Street and will now incorporate a wider insights and engagement programme that allows Intelligent Health to work closely with local partners in each place.

Dr William Bird, founder and CEO of Intelligent Health, said: “By 2027 we want to have delivered strong financial and organisational growth. We will do this by being trusted for our ability to connect people with their local area and with each other, delivering measurable impact on their health. We will act as the bridge between partners, clients, and their communities. And we will ensure that where we deliver Beat the Street, we will make it a cherished experience for participants and clients so that behaviour change is sustainable.

“We will build on our clients and partners’ requests for deeper engagement, stronger actionable insight and wider sharing of the knowledge of why moving matters for both our own health and the health of our planet. We will deliver longer-term contracts to embed system change and raise awareness of the need to tackle health inequalities at a policy level to improve health at a local, national, and international level.”

 

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Beat the Street Shrewsbury invites you to Go Active!

July 2022

 

The Beat the Street challenge taking place in Shrewsbury is set to enter its Go Active themed week to encourage participants to find new activities and sports to try out.

The idea is that people will find something that they might not have tried before to help them continue to keep up their new active habits after the Beat the Street competition comes to an end and to explore the sports and leisure options on offer.

More than 7,000 people have signed up to play the Beat the Street Shrewsbury game and have together walked, cycled, wheeled, run and scooted an incredible 40,000 miles so far in the competition.

Anyone of any age is invited to take part and you can still get involved now by picking up a card from one of the distribution points listed at www.beatthestreet.me/shrewsbury . You can join an existing school, community group or workplace team or you can set up your own.

Teams of all varieties including schools, community groups and workplaces have been battling it out for the past several weeks across the average and total points leaderboards to take home prizes of vouchers for books if they top the leaderboard. There are also prizes for individuals and ‘lucky spot’ prizes just for taking part.

The Runlates Crew, who are currently fifth on the average points leaderboard, have been incorporating Beat the Street into their sessions which combine Pilates classes and social runs. The group has steadily grown into a supportive community of runners wanting to stay fit and healthy in order to explore the very best of Shropshire together on foot.

Victoria Gidney, founder of Runlates, said: “Beat the Street has tapped into the competitive team spirit of the group, inspiring creativity with route planning to accrue as many points as possible and discover some lesser-known streets on the way. It’s also encouraged some family members to get involved, and has added extra motivation for everyone to head out for some exercise and take some scenic detours on their commutes. The daily leaderboard  updates on our WhatsApp group also add an incentive!

“It’s a brilliant initiative, and we’re all very thankful that Shrewsbury was one of the towns chosen.”

Simon Jones, Shropshire Council Cabinet member for adult social care and public health, said: “The aim of Beat the Street is to encourage communities to become more active and to incorporate those healthy habits into their lifestyles over the long-term so they become part of people’s lifestyle.  The Go Active themed week is a celebration of all the ways you can get moving in and around the area and a fabulous opportunity to try out something new without any pressure.”

He added: “Beat the Street is a fantastic, free-to-enter initiative and anyone can get involved. As well as encouraging you to get active which will have a hugely positive impact on your health, you could also help support a community team to win a prize.”

Beat the Street Shrewsbury coincides with the Commonwealth Games period, and are part of the celebration of the Games coming to the West Midlands. Beat the Street Shrewsbury has been commissioned by Shropshire Council with support from the National Lottery via Sport England and Shrewsbury Big Town Plan. It is being delivered by Intelligent Health.

More information is available at www.beatthestreet.me/shrewsbury and on social media at @BTSShrewsbury #togetherwemove

 

 

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Six-year-old Ray Beats the Street and raises money for his school library!

July 2022

An intrepid six-year-old has played the Beat the Street Lambeth game and raised £135 for his school library along the way.

Ray Whibicks is one of 7,000 local residents playing the physical activity challenge that has turned the entire borough into a real-life game.

Since the Sudbourne Primary School pupil found out about the game he made it his mission to cycle to every single one of the 135 special sensors called Beat Boxes that have been affixed to lampposts to measure how far participants are walking, cycling and running!

As well as getting more active, Ray is using the Beat the Street experience to help raise money for his school’s library.

His mum Laura said: “Thank you so much for organising Beat the Street. My son Ray Whibicks has had us out on our bikes ever since trying to find every Beat Box. I’ve never seen him so happy and inspired. Thank you! Ray has just tapped into the last Beat Box – he’s now cycled to every one in Lambeth at least once. South Lambeth has some big hills! We’ve now done 100 miles of cycling in two weeks.

“He’s still determined to keep cycling to get as many points as possible so thank you for the motivation! We are loving finding every Beat Box and exploring Lambeth together.

“We love BTS!”

Meanwhile, the Beat the Street challenge taking place in Lambeth has entered its Go Active themed week to encourage participants to find new activities and sports to try out.

The idea is that people will find something that they might not have tried before to help them continue to keep up their new active habits after the Beat the Street competition comes to an end on 3rd August and to explore the sports and leisure options on offer.

Nearly 7,000 people have signed up to play the Beat the Street Lambeth game and have together walked, cycled, wheeled, run and scooted an incredible 40,000 miles so far in the competition.

Anyone of any age is invited to take part and you can still get involved now by picking up a card from one of the distribution points on www.beatthestreet.me/lambeth . You can join an existing school, community group or workplace team or you can set up your own. Alternatively, you can join the charity teams Pennu, Junvenis and Wheels for Wellbeing.

Teams of all varieties including schools, community groups and workplaces have been battling it out for the past several weeks across the average and total points leaderboards to take home prizes of vouchers for books if they top the leaderboard. There are also prizes for individuals and ‘lucky spot’ prizes just for taking part.

Cllr Donatus Anyanwu, Lambeth’s Cabinet member for Stronger Communities, Leisure and Sports, said: “The aim of Beat the Street is to encourage communities to become more active and to incorporate those healthy habits into their lifestyles over the long-term so they become part of people’s lifestyle.  The Go Active themed week is a celebration of all the ways you can get moving in and around the area and a fabulous opportunity to try out something new without any pressure.

“Beat the Street is a fantastic, free-to-enter initiative and anyone can get involved. As well as encouraging you to get active which will have a hugely positive impact on your health, you could also help support a community team to win a prize.”

Beat the Street Lambeth has been commissioned by Lambeth Borough Council with support from the National Lottery via Sport England. It is being delivered by Intelligent Health.

More information is available at www.beatthestreet.me/lambeth and @BTSLambeth and Ray can be sponsored at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/ray-whibicks-sudbourne#eyJkb25hdGlvbklkIjoiMTA5MTI0NTUxMiIsImN1cnJlbmN5Q29kZSI6IkdCUCIsImRvbmF0aW9uVmFsdWUiOiIxMCJ9

 

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Intelligent Health and Sport in Mind respond to the Department of Health & Social Care’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Plan call for evidence

July 2022

Yesterday (Thursday 8th July), Intelligent Health and Sport in Mind submitted a joint response in the Department of Health & Social Care’s call for evidence, looking into the development of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Plan.

 

We welcomed the opportunity to provide evidence surrounding the benefits of physical activity on wellbeing as well as mental and physical health and look forward to closely following the government response and eventual Plan that comes from this.

 

Jointly, we’re calling for:

  • Greater sustained investment into social prescription services, and interventions such as Beat the Street and Sport in Mind’s physical activity intervention for mental health care;
  • Promoting partnership working between local authorities, Integrated Care Systems, active partnerships, and trusted providers such as Intelligent Health and Sport in Mind to safeguard provision for physical activity interventions for the benefit of wellbeing and mental health;
  • Better signposting to services and education available for improving mental health and wellbeing;
  • More joined up working across government departments such as the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA), the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities (DLUHC), with organisations Natural England and the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities, and parliamentary Select Committees in order to help improve the nation’s wellbeing.

 

You can read the response in full here.

You can also listen to Movement is Life, an Intelligent Health podcast where we spoke to Sport in Mind back in January here.

For further information about the response, please contact Emily Carter, Intelligent Health’s Policy Lead.

 

logo department of health and social care, logo sport in mind, logo intelligent health

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Beat the Street Shrewsbury and Beat the Street Dudley start tomorrow!

June 2022

 

Two new Beat the Street games get started tomorrow (29th June) in Dudley and Shrewsbury!

Both games get underway for six weeks to coincide with the Commonwealth Games period, and are part of the celebration of the Games coming to the West Midlands.

Beat the Street is a free, interactive game that encourages people of all ages to incorporate physical activity into their daily lives by rewarding teams with points and prizes the further they walk, cycle and roll.

Beat the Street Shrewsbury received an official launch on Monday in the Square with short speeches from Cllr Kirstie Hurst-Knight, Chris Child, Chief Executive of Energize Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and the Beat the Street founder Dr William Bird MBE. Organisers also led a walk around the town centre to demonstrate how the game works.

Beat the Street Shrewsbury has been commissioned by Shropshire Council with support from the National Lottery via Sport England and Shrewsbury Big Town Plan. It is being delivered by Intelligent Health.

Beat the Street Dudley has been commissioned by Dudley Council and the Canal and River Trust with support from the National Lottery via Sport England. It is being delivered by Intelligent Health.

More information is available atwww.beatthestreet.me/shrewsbury and www.beatthestreet.me/dudley

 

 

 

 

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Dr William Bird shortlisted in the 10th Annual Digital Leaders 100 list highlights the latest champions of digital transformation across the UK

May 2022

 

CEO of Intelligent Health Dr William Bird has been shortlisted in the 10th Annual Digital Leaders 100 list.

The awards highlight the latest champions of digital transformation across the UK and recognises 100 people and organisations across the UK who are
leading the way in digital transformation in all sectors.

Previously, the list has featured industry names such as: Sam Shah, Martha
Lane-Fox, Mike Bracken, Liam Maxwell, Seyi Akiwowo, Kevin Cunnington and Eileen Burbidge.

The 100 finalists that make up the list will now compete for the public vote in one of 10 categories and the winners will be announced at the Shard on Thursday 23rd June.

Robin Knowles, CEO of Digital Leaders, commented: “We are once again proud to see the incredible recognition of leading female role models in the DL100. As a list that is nominated from our 180,000 Digital Leaders, we’re always eager to see new names and faces featured on the list, and to have achieved such a diverse mix of names from all sectors is a huge achievement for the Digital Leaders community. There are few organisations that can claim they have successfully gathered a list with 50/50 representation! We’re extremely excited to see who comes out top in our public vote!”

Jacqueline de Rojas, Chair of Digital Leaders, said: “The Digital Leaders 100 list 2022 once again highlights the progress in digitally transforming the UK. Our community of Digital Leaders have shone a light on the many hidden heroes, quietly getting on with the nation’s digital transformation. It is fabulous to
see such a strong list from outside London this year reflecting our own inclusive national programme and the growing importance of digital transformation on companies irrespective of size or sector.”

You can vote via this link – Digital Leader of the Year – Digital Leaders 100 (digileaders100.com)

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