BetterPoints Ltd – Ebbsfleet Healthy New Town
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Ebbsfleet Healthy New Town

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Get Active in Ebbsfleet

Ebbsfleet Garden City is being developed as an NHS Healthy New Town, a development that puts health and wellbeing first by encouraging and enabling people to be more physically active.

Get Active in Ebbsfleet is a complex behaviour change intervention that encourages local people to be more active, visit local parks and connect with others.

A 12-month pilot programme was commissioned in 2018 by Ebbsfleet Development Corporation. It was so successful, it has been re-commissioned each year since. It moved into its fourth year in 2021.

Just three weeks into the pilot, 76% of people classed as ‘inactive’ by Public Health England (that is, those who undertook less than 30 minutes of activity per week) had already progressed into the ‘insufficiently active’ or ‘active’ categories.

50% of those in the ‘insufficiently active’ category progressed to ‘active’.

53% reported being more active after 12 weeks and 63% reported being more active by the end of the 12-month programme.

App-tracked data for the first six months of year three show that 53% of people classed as ‘physically inactive’ prior to joining the campaign are now undertaking NHS-recommended levels of activity for three weeks or more. 

Impact

Get Active in Ebbsfleet has been hugely successful in repeating its take-up year-on-year. Although down on Year 2, figures for the first half of Year 3 (end-of-programme figures are pending) are remarkably high, considering the UK was in lockdown for much of it. Eligibility criteria were tighter for Year 3, which may also account for the reduced numbers. 

*Year 3 figures are from the mid-programme report, so only reflect the first half of that year. End-of-programme figures for Year 3 (2020–2021) will be published when they become available. 

Games and challenges

Ditch-the-Car Star

A monthly story competition. The prize went to the best story of how the campaign changed the writer’s reliance on cars and had a positive impact on their life.

Step by Step

A ‘level-up’-style challenge to get people walking, particularly when motivation was low, such as in the winter months. Participants progressed through ten increasingly demanding walking activities, each time with a larger reward at stake.

Get Back on Your Feet

A month-long double-points bonus for getting out and about after the first UK lockdown restrictions were eased.

Boosted events

Community events that were organised by Ebbslfeet Development Corporation, or local charities, could boost attendance by offering bonus BetterPoints to anyone who was signed up to Get Active in Ebbsfleet. Three such events were:

ellenor Charity Walkathon

Get Active in Ebbsfleet participants could earn bonus points for completing the ellenor Charity Walkathon. Every bonus point awarded was matched as a donation to the ellenor charity.

Teddy Bears Picnic and Walk 

The Teddy Bears Picnic and Walk was for young families to discover the local green spaces, engage in physical activity and meet other people. Get Active in Ebbsfleet participants were awarded bonus BetterPoints for completing the walk.

Summer Fayre

The Ebbsfleet Green Summer Fayre was a public event to bring the community together and promote the local footpaths and cycle routes. Get Active in Ebbsfleet participants could earn bonus BetterPoints for travelling to and from the fayre on foot or by bicycle.

Stephen 

Before he joined Get Active in Ebbsfleet, Stephen would commute by car every day.

“By not using the car, I’m less stressed and notice more of the environment I’m walking through. I’m no longer focused on just the road ahead. I’m looking up and around more – and never realised, until recently, just how much I’ve missed. I’m also enjoying the exercise, as it is helping to keep my weight on an even keel. 

“The BetterPoints app has been a Godsend – ten-out-of-ten for the people who developed it and got it out there!”

Magi

When Magi joined Get Active in Ebbsfleet, she was doing no exercise and using the car five days a week.

“Now we walk to school every day, and only use the car once a week for food shopping. I now have a regular exercise routine and have saved money.

“I really enjoy the mix of challenges and innovative ways to motivate me to get outside. I’ve lost three stone since I joined – the weight has come off nice and steadily. I feel brilliant! Plus – as an asthmatic, I’ve got much better lung functionality now. I’m not using my inhalers all day every day, and I feel physically fitter.”

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