Doorstep Health, Delivered the Doorstep Way; StreetGames Empowering Young People

Seed fund project self-evaluation report Claire Marriott and Ken Dullaway

  1. Project description

This project has been focused on developing the partnership and research potential between StreetGames and the University of Brighton. StreetGames is a national charity devoted to empowering young people through accessible sports sessions. Although a number of studies have demonstrated the positive social and behavioural benefits of StreetGames there have been no studies linking attendance at these sports sessions with an improvement to health.

The aim of this project was to identify aspects of the health research strategy of StreetGames that could complement the knowledge and experience of staff at the university of Brighton.

  1. Project progress

The main aim of this project was to allow the time and space to identify and develop research ideas in a series of start-up meetings with all partners. Meetings were successfully arranged and attended by all four partners involved in the bid and largely followed the proposed plan. The initial meeting enabled knowledge exchange and identification of the StreetGames research strategy. The following meetings focused on developing specific project ideas.

Without the Seed funding it would not have been possible to meet with Paul Jarvis, the Head of Sport and Health at StreetGames. Paul was instrumental in highlighting the current research that StreetGames nationally are conducting and the research areas they are looking to develop in the future. Paul was also able to signpost us towards a course designed for the StreetGames volunteers which has formed a key part in the project outcomes.

We have largely remained true to the original plan of work; the key change has been to the overall length of the project. Due to productivity of the initial meetings we have met over longer periods of time to enable full development of ideas. The project is still evolving and we are in regular contact over developments via email and in person.

  1. Partnership working

This project involved three partners from StreetGames; Paul Jarvis, Anna Graham and Ken Dullaway, and one partner from the University of Brighton; Claire Marriott. Meetings enabled productive and focused discussions with knowledge sharing around the StreetGames research strategy and current funding opportunities in addition to the research areas of expertise within the university.

The support we have received from CUPP has been excellent. We are particularly appreciative of the additional financial contribution towards our output project following on from the series of start-up meetings.

Three words to sum up this experience would be: inspiring, uplifting, motivational 4. Outputs

During the series of start-up meetings a new health project was identified involving the young StreetGames volunteers. We arranged for the Royal Society of Public Health (RSPH) Introduction to Health Improvement course to be hosted at Priory Square, Hastings Campus supported by the Director of the campus and CUPP. This course is designed to give participants an understanding of health and wellbeing and to engage participants in thinking about their own attitudes to health. This course provides an invaluable learning experience for attendees however; there can be a difficulty in communicating the knowledge gained once the course is over. The Seed fund enabled us to identify a possible way to overcome this issue of communication and we are currently in the middle of a project aiming to do just that.

The aim of the RSPH project is to develop a peer-to-peer teaching activity which communicates the key factors of the RSPH course. This will therefore form a tangible output from the Seed funded project. In addition to this we are currently preparing a case study publication to disseminate the outcomes of the RSPH project so far.

Course participants have provided the following quotes: “Priory Square is a lovely place for learning and the rep from Brighton supportive and enthusiastic. A great informative course allowing creativity. It is inclusive at all levels.” “Partnership is key to success” “There was a lot of group work which allowed you to communicate with others”

We have had local press coverage of the course:

The Seed funded meetings have also identified a project suitable for a PhD studentship and we have prepared a funding application for this. The studentship was submitted to Diabetes UK and although it was not funded in this highly competitive process we received very positive feedback around the potential impact of the project. It was noted that we needed more preliminary data which we hope to be gathering at the moment within the RSPH project.

We have continued to develop the partnership between StreetGames and the university and have recently met with colleagues at the Eastbourne campus. We are now planning future projects with these colleagues involving StreetGames volunteers and university students.

  1. Outcomes

This project has had a significant positive impact on the partners involved both personally and professionally. At the end of each meeting it has been noted how much potential there is for impact on the organisations involved as well as the individual volunteers.

The project has facilitated new networking opportunities within the university and recently new partnerships have been formed with colleagues at the Eastbourne campus. The level of excitement and interest from colleagues within the university at the potential for research collaborations has been very encouraging. New undergraduate student projects have been proposed for October 2015 further developing the relationship between colleagues as well as providing an opportunity to gather preliminary data for grant applications. We have also identified placement opportunities for second year students at the Hastings campus to work with StreetGames thus benefitting both parties.

We are currently preparing a case study for publication and will follow this with more publications as the research progresses. The research undertaken falls within a high impact area in REF as we look to combat the current obesity epidemic by improving the health of teenagers.

StreetGames is a well-established service within the community, devoted to improving the life of young people through sport. However as a charity they do not have continuous secure funding. Therefore any research to strengthen their funding applications will offer significant advantage. The research currently underway could help evidence the positive health benefits that StreetGames provide to their young volunteers. Press coverage of the partnership between StreetGames and the university (link in 4. Outputs) has been beneficial in raising the profile of all partners in Hastings.

The partnership has also allowed personal development with the involvement of the university partner in courses and events run by StreetGames such as the US Girls Rocks Festival:

  1. Longer term knowledge exchange work

The partnership will continue in a number of ways following on from the Seed funding. We are in the middle of the research project around the RSPH course; we have plans for future undergraduate projects and placements and are gathering preliminary data for future grant applications. The StreetGames volunteers are directly involved in these projects and will continue to be central to the partnership.

  1. Statement of income and expenditure

The budget has been spent as planned.

  1. Quantitative evaluation

The Seed funding allowed meetings between four partners. We have also developed a new partnership with Dawn Mitchell who has designed and delivered the RSPH course detailed in section 4.

The course has involved all partners, Dawn Mitchell and seven StreetGames volunteers. These volunteers are all involved in the follow-up of the course and we anticipate that the benefit of this research will have a much further reaching impact.

Overall the partners met for the planned number of hours however additional hours were spent developing the project outcomes. These were done on a voluntary basis.