Everyone at Active Surrey is committed to the belief that moving more can have a transformative effect on people's lives, no matter what their circumstances.
From improving mental health to boosting community cohesion, sport and activity does far more than simply get us physically fit.
On this page you'll find examples of how we collaborate with partners to 'change the system' and stories which illustrate the role that physical activity can play in helping individuals lead better lives.
'B' is a young refugee from Ukraine who attended one of our Club4 (HAF) activity camps in summer 2022 - and found her voice in her new surroundings.
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Read B's story
X is a teen whose involvement in a gang led to contact with the police. But thanks to boxing, he's feeling better about himself and improving his future prospects.
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Read X's story
As children transition to secondary school, the expectations and opinions of others become more of an issue and they become more conscious of their appearance. Coupled with more choice in how to spend their leisure time, some young people move away from sport at school and activity in general - something we were keen to address by investing in secondary teacher training.
Read about Surrey's SETT programme
Health outcomes are closely correlated to activity levels, which are directly linked to income. Cultural norms can reinforce these inequalities, meaning certain areas can be expected to experience higher rates of disease and lower life expectancy. The Canalside area of Woking is one such area, which is why we chose to work with the community there to offer more opportunitiies to get active.
Get an insight into place based working
Children in care and care leavers (young adults who have previously had a 'looked after' status) often don't get the opportunity to experience the sort of leisure opportunities open to those from wealthy or more stable backgrounds. Everyone agreed that this wasn't fair but there was no consistent system in place across Surrey to address the issue - until we engaged with all the parties to find a solution...
Learn about Surrey's universal leisure offer
Football sessions for girls have traditionally lagged behind those for boys. Not only have initial opportunities been few and far between, but sessions tended to tail off as they got older. Working alongside Surrey FA and other partners, we’ve used funding from England Football and Barclays to grow a Girls’ Football School network, which is having a transformative effect on young people's participation in Surrey.
Surrey's Girls Footballing Partnership
More than half of the adult population of Surrey are overweight (and our children aren't far behind). When weight issues develop into obesity, there are adverse consequences for the individual, their families and our health services. Triggers for weight gain are many, and the path to a solution can come from any quarter which is why we led the adoption of a Whole System Approach to Obesity for the county.
More on Surrey's Whole System Approach
Ladies from the South Asian community often don't have a culture of participation in physical activity. Yet through a programme made possible by Sport England's Together fund and additional CSR funding from Dorking-based company Unum, a group of cycling novices - some of whom were experiencing mental and emotional health issues - were taught how to ride and build confidence.
Shifa - cycling for empowerment
The Surrey School Games has evolved in the last few years and is about much more than finding the 'best' players in the county. Thanks to physical activity's ability to reach children who might otherwise not respond to traditional attempts at engagement, we work with teachers to identify young people whose unique needs can be met through specially -devised events.
School sport isn't what it used to be
Thanks to sponsorship from Saputo Dairy UK we ran activity clubs for under 12's over the COVID summers of 2020 and 2021, which continued in the half term holidays of 2022.
Focusing on those from disadvantaged areas, the early Fit and Fed camps (PDF, 1.4Mb) ensured that children could be kept engaged and active, while receiving healthy meals to ensure they didn't go hungry.
During periods disrupted by lockdowns in the first years, the camps enabled children to mix safely and played a vital role in preparing children for a return to a structured school environment.
For two decades this event has helped a generation of young people find a route into a sport that suits them. And thanks to support from our forward-thinking councils, every bit of training is free.
Coronavirus caused its cancellation for two years running but it returned with renewed focus in 2022, continuing on the path of making a difference to the lives of those young people who have the most to gain in our communities.
You can learn more and read the 2022 impact report on the dedicated Specsavers Surrey Youth Games page.
If you run a Surrey-based company and would like to help your local community be healthier and happier, we'd love to hear from you. Find out more and get in touch.
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