DD1404 Get Moving - a pilot programme for older people

Type of decision: 
Director's decision
Date signed: 
24 September 2015
Decision by: 
Jeff Jacobs, Head of Paid Service

Executive summary

Approval is required for expenditure of £100,000 for the delivery of the Get Moving pilot 2015/16. 

The aim of this pilot programme is to improve older Londoners’ well-being and inspire greater inclusion in city life by promoting high quality physical activity of all types but more specifically non-traditional sports activities which will complement the goals of FreeSport and Team London’s programmes

Get Moving will make a strong contribution to the Mayor’s social policy, equalities, culture, volunteering, health, active travel and sports policies. In particular, this programme will seek to address issues facing older people such as health inequalities, social isolation and community cohesion. 


 The Director approves the:

•    Allocation, release and expenditure of £100,000 for the pilot of Get Moving from Health & Communities Central Programme and Sports Participation budgets required for the delivery of the ‘Get Moving’ pilot and;
•    Seeking, receipt and expenditure of external funding sources (up to £50,000) to bolster the contribute to Get Moving programme.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background


1.1    Get Moving is a new targeted programme for older people in disadvantaged areas and will include a focus on disabled people with access issues. It harnesses the legacy from a breadth of the GLA’s policies and strategic interventions which include for example 2012 London Olympics, FreeSport, Well London, Capital Age Festivals, Team London and Big Dance.

1.2    The GLA is in the unique position to provide strategic leadership rather than instruction to influence and mobilise collective resources to make the quality of life better for older and excluded Londoners.

1.3    The aim of this pilot programme is to improve older Londoners’ well-being and inspire greater inclusion in city life by promoting high quality physical activity of all types but more specifically non-traditional sports activities which will complement the goals of FreeSport and Team London’s programmes.


1.4    Although London is still a young city, older Londoners are the fastest growing population group and by 2050 there will be more than 1.6m people aged 65 and over. This segment of the capital’s population is currently underserved. 

1.5    Tackling physical activity is recognised as a high priority for Public Health. It contributes to 1 in 6 deaths in the UK, equal to smoking, and costs the NHS an estimated £8.8 billion a year. It is the fourth largest cause of disease and disability in the UK.

1.6    Cultural activities in the community such as dance and music have known strong well-being and physical activity outcomes. Not only is cultural activity critical for community cohesion, the ancillary benefit is often the nature of these activities are that they are intergenerational linking young people to older people and being family friendly. Increasing access to high quality cultural activity is an important element of this programme with the aim of breaking down barriers for excluded older people who are often disabled in some way too.

1.7    Being physically active can reduce the number of diseases and help maintain mental health and wellbeing in older people. It can also successfully support people with Alzheimer’s or Dementia and their carers and also provides social interaction which can help combat loneliness, a growing issue in the capital. There are currently around 70,000 dementia sufferers in London and by 2030 the number is likely to have grown to 105,000.  The average course of dementia is 10 years and at any one time about two thirds of people living with dementia will be living in the community. Older people are more at risk of falling with around 260,000 older Londoners expected to fall in 2015. Not all falls are serious enough to warrant hospital admission. Regular exercise can reduce the frequency and severity of falls. 

1.8    Obesity is another major risk factor for various illnesses including diabetes, cardio-vascular disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD). There are still 20% of Londoners who are obese and a further 38% who are overweight. Increasing levels of obesity in middle age have implications for morbidity and life expectancy which can be expected to come into play during the period to 2050. People from deprived areas and some BAME groups are more at risk of obesity. 

1.9    Research by Team London show that benefits most valued by older Londoners who volunteer are that they really enjoy it (60%), get satisfaction from seeing the results (58%) and meet people and make friends (46%). One aim of Get Moving is to recruit new older volunteers to support all GLA programmes and the goal is to attract 250 new volunteers to Team London.

1.10    An important factor for the GLA about this pilot is that it will take a system-wide approach to partnership and test the potential for a new a community funded model which leverages the assets in communities and builds a creative funding package across sectors such as sports, social care, culture and Clinical Commissioning Groups. The plan is for the academic research to be embedded in the pilot from the outset and then the learning be disseminated widely and inform future programmes. It will also encourage a new way of joint-working across the GLA, taking policy into action across the Health & Communities Directorate. This model will be tested under the leadership of the new Social Policy and Diversity Manager.

1.11    In order to address these critical problems, the Diversity & Social Policy, Sports, Culture and Health Teams have identified an opportunity for the GLA to lead a strategic intervention for older Londoners (65+ years). This high profile exemplar programme which has a focus on physical activity and quality of life, promotes the equality of opportunity, meets the diverse needs and aspirations of older Londoners and communities and offers value for money. The staffing is in place to lead this programme in partnership with the following teams: sports, culture, equalities, Team London, stakeholders, health and TFL. 

1.12    The funds currently available to be allocated to this pilot are; £25,000 from the Health & Communities Minor Programmes budget, the reallocation of £25,000 from ADD319 and ring-fencing of £50,000 from MD1119 (Sports Participation budget). 

1.13    This project replaces the former ADD319 project on the basis that Age UK estimate that of the 10 million older people that 5 million are disabled. As a pilot, the micro grant approach will seek to address the barrier for older disabled people to engage in London’s communities and get more active. This goal is a key tenet of the Paralympic legacy and hence the justification for the investment from the 2012 Legacy Fund.

1.14    Subject to Get Moving being a successful pilot, we may seek further funding from the 2016/2017 administration with a similar amount with a view to use the funds in a catalytic way to attract external funding relationships. The aim is to raise additional funding through external partnerships with the value of levering 100% match funding. A second phase summer 2016 will be promoted alongside Big Dance and Freesport. The Sponsorship team have been briefed and are keen to promote this new programme for the GLA. The second phase of the Get Moving programme could be promoted as part of the Big Dance Bus Tour and in some cases can lead into FreeSport funding opportunities. This programme will link into complementary programmes for older people in 50% of the local authorities. This approach offers a highly cost-effective opportunity to cross reference Get Moving and FreeSport activity in the final year of Big Dance in 2016.

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1    The GLA will use public funding to make small catalytic investments and take these to scale by brokering citywide multi-funded solutions. The organisation has a proven track record in generating these exemplar programmes such as: the London Curriculum, London Healthy Schools, Big Dance, Team London. The GLA is expert in mobilising collective resources from other public funding bodies for example: Legacy Trust UK, Spirit of 2012, the Big Lottery, Sport England, local authorities and Arts Council England.

2.2    Plans for raising funds are in place and approaches will be made to: the Big Lottery, the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Arts Council England who have had a preliminary briefing about the programme. 

2.3    In addition, the GLA will leverage its capability to pilot & test this new model supported by robust research through a partnership with a Higher Education partner. The GLA will make a joint application with this partner to the National Institute for Health Research in order to research and evaluate this programme.

2.4    The aim of the pilot is to reveal and evidence the challenges for older people accessing physical activity in the capital and develop sustainable solutions through a solicited micro-grant programme and roadshows in partnership with strategic organisations. Whilst the FreeSport programme does support physical activity programmes for older people, there are still considerable barriers for older people in relation to accessing sporting opportunities. Get Moving aims to start with the needs of older people, the barriers they face and develop a programme around their challenges. Ideally, engaging with people at this first stage will enable a pathway to other physical activity opportunities in the future.

2.5    The aim is to use our funding to support organisations to test, implement and develop ambitious plans to widen access to and deepen participation in both physical activity and the cultural life of the city. The emphasis is on addressing inequalities of opportunity. We want to help organisations to build stronger evidence about what works so that they can improve practice and achieve greater impact.

2.6    Get Moving will be softly launched on 4 October 2015 at the GLA’s Silver Sunday event at City Hall (a national initiative to celebrate older people) and will be led by the GLA with the theme of ‘intergenerational’. Consultation with older Londoners will begin through engagement with relevant stakeholder groups such as the London Older People’s Group, Capital Age, Team London, the Big Dance Hubs (East London Dance, English National Ballet, Greenwich Dance, Sadler’s Wells & Siobhan Davies), Wheelchair Dance Sport Association and in partnership with all the boroughs.

2.7    Here are examples of what the pilot projects may include:

•    There is also scope to explore engagement with older people from migrant communities in consultation with the London Migration Strategic Partnership sub-group Migration and Refugee Advisory Panel.  Older people from migrant groups face additional challenges in integrating with resident populations because of linguistic and cultural barriers. Get Moving offers an opportunity to address well-being and community cohesion through non-language based relevant high quality movement activity which can also hold significant cultural meaning to individuals. 
A dance project might develop from the Big Chair Dance and Dancing st[Age] programmes for older people. There is an opportunity to build on this legacy to exclude a broader range of older people in a range of different settings led by reputable dance companies who are increasingly developing bespoke programmes for older people eg Rambert, Green Candle, English National Ballet (Parkinson’s experts) This kind of engagement can more easily encourage links to cultural institutions in central and outer London such as Sadler’s Wells, the Royal Opera House and Watermans and break down barriers for older and older disabled people accessing the cities’ cultural offer. 

•    Another project might focus on exercise programmes for older women where sport is not going to be an attractive offer. The 2015 National Survey conducted by YouGov identified that women can be persuaded to undertake a fitness programme not just for its obvious health benefits but on the basis that it improves confidence, is a good way to meet people and contributes to stress reduction.

•    Falls are traumatic for older people and cost the NHS £2.3 billion per year. On top of this current falls prevention exercise programmes face challenges: patchy provision; older people’s low take-up and adherence; the lack of maintenance classes which means that gains are lost and investment is wasted. Get Moving could support a bespoke programme with an specialist organisation to reduce falls amongst older Londoners which also inspires the imagination and connects people to outside of their usual residence.


2.8    Get Moving will make a strong contribution to the Mayor’s social policy, equalities, culture, volunteering, health, active travel and sports policies. In particular, this programme will seek to address issues facing older peoples such as social isolation, community cohesion and loneliness through imaginative and intergenerational opportunities and catalysing new partnerships which are not being addressed through other GLA initiatives. 

2.9    Collectively, the social policy, health, sports, stakeholders and health teams will identify the appropriate voluntary and community organisations, local authorities as our key partners.  This group of organisations will provide a combination of match funding and strategic support to help the GLA identify ‘inactive’ and isolated older people who will benefit from this opportunity. These partners will also have a clear strategy for making activities sustainable and ensuring that participants continue to have opportunities to participate beyond the term of the GLA funding.

i)    To launch Get Moving on 4 October during the GLA’s Silver Sunday celebrations which will bring together 400 older Londoners for workshops and performances and information exchange. This event will be opened by Barbara Windsor.

ii)    To offer Get Moving Micro Grants to support strategic older people’s new physical activity programmes across the capital including a significant number of older people participating in traditional sporting activities but also non-traditional activities such a yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi. 

iii)    To produce a Get Moving roadshow across the capital through the summer of 2016 subject to a successful pilot in 2015/16.

iv)    Direct engagement with around 1,000 Londoners who are 65 years +

v)    Develop and operate a new Older People’s Get Moving Network across the capital (based on London Healthy Schools model)

vi)    Recruitment of 250 older volunteers based on Team London’s calculations support will be offered through this programme.

vii)    Increase health outcomes ie ‘inactives’ become ‘active’ at least one 30 minute (minimum duration) session of moderate intensity physical activity per week. This has the potential to be evaluated using the FreeSports evaluation framework alongside independent research.

viii)    Robust longitudinal evaluation of the programme’s impact in partnership with a Higher Education institution, DCMS and Public Health England. An application will also be made to Arts Council England’s Research fund.

ix)    Bespoke marketing campaign and printed material targeting older people but also aim to embed the theme of ‘intergenerational’.

Equality comments

3.1    Get Moving will be a fully inclusive programme for older Londoners and devised and promoted appropriately including disabled people. The GLA will solicit through its existing older peoples’, equalities, sports, culture and health networks such the London Older People’s Advisory Group and with a number of specialist agencies to ensure the programme is both strategic and offers equal access including Age UK London, the Older People Participation Cooperative and IndependentAge. Talk London will support the consultation on the development of the future programme to ensure Londoners have their say in the future shape of the programme. 

3.2    The marketing of this programme will be designed to be older people friendly, which also includes disabled people, to reach areas of the capital’s older population which are less well-served and for whom the term ‘sport’ is seen as a barrier.

Other considerations

4.1    The Social Policy & Diversity team will undertake procurement procedures in line with the GLA requirements.

4.2    Get Moving will contribute to a range of mayoral agendas including: equalities, volunteering, sport & physical activity, active travel, health, public realm, 2012 legacy, culture and tackling social isolation.

4.3    Research will be undertaken in partnership with a Higher Education partner. It will highlight how increasing physical activity levels can deliver health benefits and supporting the government aim to reduce the amount of people taking less than 30 minutes of physical activity per week. The aim is to deliver robust research findings, evidencing the specific health and wellbeing outcomes physical activity can provide. It would also use this evidence build confidence and partnerships across the public health sphere, changing perceptions about the range of physical activities available. 

4.4    Research is underway to see if this programme could be aligned with the grant management company used for the FreeSport programme in the future in order to reduce administration costs.

Financial comments

5.1    The estimated cost of the Get Moving Pilot project is £100,000 and will be funded from the 2015-16 Health & Communities Programme budget as follows; 

•    £25,000 – C&I Minor Programme budget (Health & Communities allocation).
•    £50,000 – The Sports Legacy Programme budget approved by MD1119.
•    £25,000 – Diversity & Social Policy budget. 

5.2    It should be noted that the Diversity & Social Policy allocation for this project (£25,000) is being reallocated from the Accessibility for Visitors Evaluation Study project previously approved by ADD319, on the basis that disability equality will be mainstreamed as part of this programme. 

5.3    An estimated project budget for the core funding is summarised below:

GLA Project Expenditure        2015/16   
Micro Grants                                   75        
Roadshows                                     10             
Marketing                                        15           
Evaluation                                       10
Total                                              100        

5.4    In addition to the core GLA funding, officers will be seeking external funding in the form of sponsorship income and grants in order to enhance the programme. Any income that is secured, the receipt and the associated expenditure will be subject to further approval via the Authority’s decision-making process. All appropriate budget adjustments will be made. 

5.5    As detailed within the main body of this report, depending on the success of the proposed pilot, officers may seek further GLA funding for 2016-17 onwards in order to leverage additional external funding. This will, however, be subject to the Authority’s budget and project prioritisation process for 2016-17 currently underway. 

Planned delivery approach and next steps

This project will be managed by the Diversity Social Policy Team Manager, reflect the priorities of the Sports Participation, Volunteering and Culture and other relevant programmes and work to the lead of the Deputy Mayor for Education and Culture.

There will be a cross-departmental advisory group across: Diversity & Social Policy, Health, Stakeholders, Sports, Team London and Culture to ensure full engagement across the directorate.

There is the option for an external organisation to manage the grants programme on behalf of the GLA if this is appropriate.

The team will be responsible for developing and negotiating all terms of agreement and monitoring performance progress against objectives in order to ensure that all conditions and targets and met for the duration of the delivery period.



Launch of programme

October 2015

Programme evaluation starts

October 2015

Silver Sunday programme

4 October 2015

2016 activity programme and roadshow begins

3 January 2016

Talk London consultation begins

Oct – Dec 2015

Review of programme, future planning

Jan – April 2016

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