Annual Review 2023-24

Group of people in a library taking part in a dance session
Group of people in a library taking part in a dance session
Group of people in a library taking part in a dance session


Welcome to our Annual Review – Liz Davidson, Active Partnership Director

Liz davidson2023-24 has been a fantastic year for the Active Partnership – starting with the launch of Move Together, the countywide strategy for sport and physical activity at our annual conference which itself saw record attendance.

Developed in consultation with partners from across Kent and Medway, Move Together outlines the role that stakeholders from across the sport, physical activity, health, charity and community sectors can play in getting more people, more active, more often. Focusing on how we can all work together to increase activity levels across the county and tackle the inequalities that prevent so many enjoying the benefits that moving more in our everyday lives can bring. We have and are continuing to encourage partners to pledge their support and commitment to Move Together and look forward to sharing examples of our collective work and the impact that it is having on both individuals and communities.

Fostering collaboration and sharing learning continues to be the thread that runs through our work as we seek to influence, support, and see change across the sector. This year, we have delivered workshops for planners on healthy placemaking, community organisations on sustainability and healthcare professionals on promoting and signposting those they work with to local opportunities. We have also piloted whole school approaches to physical activity and supported the opening of school facilities for community usage.

We continue to promote and embed both equality, diversity and inclusion and safeguarding across all that we do and received investment to enable the recruitment of two Sports Welfare Officers who are already working with clubs across the county. We are delighted to have met the requirements of the Code for Sports Governance and both the Safeguarding Adults in Sport and Safeguarding and Protecting Children in Sport Frameworks this year. We welcomed four new members onto the Active Partnership Board bringing with them a wealth of experience and expertise that will help shape the work of Active Kent & Medway.

This annual review provides a summary of our work in 2023-24 across our five identified priorities plus our Everyday Active Campaign, as well as links to stories and videos designed to bring what we do and are so passionate about to life. Telling the stories and sharing the experiences of real people from across our county and how sport and physical activity really can change lives.

Finally, we would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the support we are given by Sport England, Kent County Council and our District Councils and thank the hundreds of organisations and individuals across Kent and Medway that we work with on a daily basis to get more people, more active, more often.

Connecting Communities

Making it easier for people to be active locally and using sport and physical activity’s unique ability to make places better to live in and bring people together, particularly where inequalities are greatest.


of organisations said the community now have more opportunities to be active


of organisations said projects helped the local community manage their mental health


of organisations said projects helped individuals reconnect with their local community

Source: Active Kent & Medway Supported Programmes Collective Impact


Together Fund

Successfully administered Sport England’s Together Fund reaching out to those most in need. By working with new and existing partners delivering on the ground, and in the know, to pull together projects targeting those from lower socio-economic groups; culturally diverse communities; people with long term health conditions and disabled people.

In the last year we have supported 66 projects, 51 organisations, of whom 16 were new funded partners, and engaged 6,352 participants.

Our Together Fund Report highlights the successes, impact and learnings from the Fund.

Everyday Active logo

Everyday Active

Everyday Active is our flagship campaign aiming to improve the lives of residents through sport and physical activity. The website is central to the campaign, supported by downloadable, printable resources plus our dedicated social media channels Facebook, LinkedIn, X and Instagram.

What we learnt

Group of people in a library taking part in a dance session

Flexible Approach

Having a flexible approach with partners allowed us to deliver what works well for us and local communities. We learnt that things don’t always go to plan and that’s okay. We worked with communities and organisations to come up with local solutions together.

Local Trust and Understanding

Using local partners to identify the audiences that need the most support in their community is an effective way of reaching the right groups. Early discussions allowed us to work up projects that had the greatest impact and longevity.

Project Film

Hear how Shishu Kishor Club, with support from Medway Diversity Forum, used Sport England’s Together Fund to deliver community swimming sessions and train participants to become lifeguards to help sustain the sessions longer term.

“The success of physical activity supporting the wellbeing of those in asylum seeking accommodation has been recognised by Central Government. Investment into the provision of physical activity will be taken forward to additional sites in the UK.

Kent Police

Health and Wellbeing

Creating partnerships and opportunities that enable everyone to benefit from an active lifestyle. We continue to further develop the interaction and collaboration between Active Kent & Medway and the health system through engaging, influencing and upskilling the workforce.


Health Care Professionals upskilled


Health/Disability Projects supported


Live Longer Better Network Members



Delivered six open and closed Everyday Active workshops to support people who are having conversations about physical activity and to promote Everyday Active and the opportunities available.

“The workshop reminded me how important it is to talk about physical activity and it’s motivated me to do more myself.” Attendee

“Really interesting and motivational workshop. Thank you!” Attendee

lady holding onto chair stretching her arm out in the air

Influencing and collaboration

Supported over 35 partners with projects targeting disabled people and those with long term health conditions. Partners include Age UK, Involve Kent, Medway Community Healthcare CIC, Sheppey Matters and Southfields Adult Short Breaks Service.

Facilitated opportunities bringing together leisure operators from across Kent and Medway to focus on connecting health and leisure sectors, sharing good practice and supporting delivery of health outcomes.

Advocated for the positive mental and physical health benefits of moving more through whole systems working, and inclusion within the Kent and Medway Prevention Concordat for Better Mental Health action plan, Kent and Medway Integrated Care Strategy and draft delivery plan.

Developed our Live Longer Better local network to support healthy active ageing for all residents. The network has seen an increase of 66% in membership numbers over the past 12 months bringing the total to 118 members. Co-ordinated three network events bringing members together to share knowledge, experience and learning along with distribution of regular Network News updates.

What we learnt

lady in an exercise class in a community hall

Use Trusted Individuals

Equipping health care professionals and front line workers with the confidence, knowledge and resources to have positive physical activity conversations with their community enabled us to reach a wider audience. Using these trusted individuals holds credibility and reliability.


To achieve long term systemic change, embed physical activity within health systems and create a culture where physical activity is the norm, we have to work collaboratively, taking a whole systems approach. This requires time to build trust and relationships within and across sectors and needs to be user-centered.

Project Film

Hear how TKO Folkestone Boxing and Parkinson’s UK used Sport England’s Together Fund to deliver community Boxfit sessions for people living with Parkinson’s, helping them to keep active, meet new friends and improve physical and mental wellbeing.

“I joined the class after being ill in hospital and increased my upper body strength and my overall fitness. My osteopath was impressed with the difference the class has made to my physical abilities. This class has made such a huge difference to my physical and mental wellbeing.”

Participant (Age 67)

Positive Experiences for Children and Young People

Enabling children and young people to enjoy being active and creating the right foundations for a long, active and healthy life.


Opening School Facilities participants


Young Volunteers trained


School Games Events

group of young girls playing rugby


We have continued to manage the Department for Education’s Opening School Facilities programme which aims to help schools open up their facilities to the community and engage those least likely to be active.

  • £337,439 has been invested in 32 schools
  • Delivering 2,871 sessions to 7,071 individual participants
  • Leading to 51,620 attendances

Collaboratively delivered a Secondary School PE Conference with Canterbury Christ Church University to up-skill 78 teachers around youth voice, leadership and inclusive opportunities. Shared our insight and learnings from our youth voice work with schools, community providers and partners.

young person playing a cone game in a sports hall


Primary schools continued to receive support for the Primary PE and Sport Premium with the annual Primary PE Conference in May 2023.

178 delegates heard about Ofsted Deep Dive, mental health and wellbeing, engaging the least active and how to deliver positive physical activity experiences for all.

The Everyday Active Schools Pilot has engaged six schools looking to develop a whole school approach to physical activity.

Young person holding two boccia balls

School Games

Kent School Games continues to work closely with 13 School Games Organisers to engage those most affected by inequalities and provide new and exciting opportunities for our local network of schools.

18 events were delivered to 1,138 young people by 116 young leaders.

Provided 335 young people with a pathway into volunteering through the delivery of the Activity Volunteer Award.

What we learnt

group of girls standing in a sports hall smiling

Workforce development

Embedding teacher and young leader qualifications into projects helped with long term sustainability. Developing skills, confidence and competence gives young people and teachers additional and transferable life skills.

Partnership working

Working with local organisations and partners brings a wealth of knowledge, skills and resources to the team. We’ve increase opportunities, created joined up solutions and expanded our extended workforce.

School Games Film

Hear from students, teachers, headteachers and school games organisers explaining why the Kent School Games is so important to them. You’ll hear how the School Games is providing positive experiences for all children and young people, supporting the transition to secondary school, promoting the Active 60 campaign, and providing opportunities for personal development through leadership and volunteering.

“My student has massively come out of herself today and taken a real leadership role, unheard of before today. Another success story with your event giving her confidence to find what she is ‘good’ at.”

Teacher, Eco Ambassador Training Event

Supporting Sport

Supporting local organisations to better understand their community and to deliver activities that are appropriate to people’s needs and motivations.



of organisations said funding helped them attract new participants


of organisations said funding increased their confidence to deliver


of organisations said funding helped them offer more opportunities to be active

Source: Active Kent & Medway Supported Programmes Collective Impact

Group of young people smiling holding american football


Our Active Kent & Medway Small Grant continues to support clubs and organisations to encourage their local community to be active through developing their existing offer or providing new opportunities. In 2023-24, 86 projects were awarded £37,362 and to date, benefitting 1,729 participants.

The Kent County Council Capital Grant Scheme for Sport awarded £72,495 to 17 organisations to enhance their facilities and levered £427,859 of additional investment into Kent. Projects included new pitches, bore hold installations, accessible changing rooms and solar panel installations.

282 national and international athletes were supported through our FANS talented athletes scheme with 65 grants totalling £8,760, awarded to athletes in full time education to cover training, equipment and travel costs.

“Having the funding and the FANS membership helps me to achieve my goals in my sport. It alleviates some of the costs of my training, equipment and travel”. FANS Member (Sophie, Triathlon)

Our Coach and Officials Bursary supports those wanting to take their first steps in coaching and officiating. 24 bursaries were awarded valuing £11,733.


Training and Development

We’ve successfully delivered 22 training and development opportunities to 1,123 individuals. These include networking events, conferences, Everyday Active and funding workshops.

As part of the new national network of Sport Welfare Officers we’ve recruited two Officers to support National Governing Bodies and local clubs to promote good practice and safe sport for children, young people and adults at a local level.

What we learnt

group of people sat down wearing football kit

Opening of doors

The Sport Welfare Project provided us with an opportunity to re-engage with Local Governing Bodies of sport and position ourselves in a place where we could share information about the programme and our wider offer.

Building in time to reflect

Reflection is a valuable skill and needs to be protected. Embedding this into projects enabled us to identify strengths, challenges and areas for improvement, as well as celebrating achievements and sharing feedback.

Project Film

Hear how Woodlands Warriors Wheelchair Rugby League Club are helping support participant’s physical and mental wellbeing whilst delivering diverse, inclusive sessions for all.

“It has meant that the most difficult part – starting up this session has been possible. I really feel that I am in the early stages of something that has the potential to grow and embed into the community.”

Claire’s Zumba

Active Environments

Creating and protecting places and spaces that make it easier for people to be active. 


Strategies supported

227 million

Activity Tracker Steps

4,329 kg

C02 saved through Active Travel

football pitch with floodlights

Protecting and developing active spaces

Consulted and fed back on 22 local sport and facility strategies including local authority, sport and leisure, playing pitch and football facility plans. Held quarterly multi-sport forums for National Governing Body Facility Leads representing 12 different sports, alongside planners and developers to identify opportunities and priorities in Kent and Medway.

To create community led spaces, we’ve secured £146,000 investment from Sport England for Kent and Medway to pilot the Multi-Sport Fund in 2024-25 and worked with the Football Foundation around Playzone’s investment into three Local Authorities.

Group of young people on boats on the thames

Connecting Communities with Place

The Port of London Authority’s Active Thames Grant awarded £23,627 to four projects in Kent. Projects include walking groups, Catamaran sailing for young people and workforce development. Working with partners to better serve the water sports community, the fund aims to encourage the least active groups to use their local blue spaces.

We continue to work in partnership with Explore Kent. The service has been commissioned to deliver campaigns in relation to encouraging people to be active outdoors, including walking, cycling and connecting with natural spaces.

Using our activity challenge platform, three county-wide activity challenges were delivered in 2023-24, along with 11 closed challenges for local organisations and workplace teams.

Overall, 1,610 participants took part, accumulating 227 million steps. For those participants who swapped the car for walking or cycling for all or part of their journey, collectively they saved 4,329 kg of C02 through active travel.

Group of people sat in a room listening to a presentation

Influencing design to make activity accessible

Over 50 stakeholders from local government, planning, transport and Public Health came together to share and learn insight, experiences and recommendations around active design and active environments. Worked collaboratively with KCC’s Strategic Planning and Infrastructure Manager and Public Health specialists to understand the landscape and advocate active design and placemaking. Sharing our learnings in this space for Design South East to the public and private sectors.

What we learnt

Artists drawing of an active street with people walking and cycling

Working Collaboratively

Taking time to understand the landscape, challenges, people and processes helped to determine our approach. Designing resources and strategies with stakeholders meant people felt they were part of the solution.

Showcasing Wider Impact

A relatively new area for us which has opened up new and exciting opportunities. A space where we need to be better at understanding and mapping new connections and partnerships to understand how the system is working together to elicit change.

Project Film

We caught up with Charlie from Folkestone Invicta FC and Paul from Maidstone Hockey Club to hear how the clubs are benefiting from their LED floodlight conversions, increasing the long term sustainability of their club and facility.

“Active Kent & Medway’s leadership locally on this vital element of placemaking is critical to ensuring good quality neighbourhoods are built to promote active travel and enable good access to spaces and places to be active.” 

Sport England

Your Comments

Here’s what some of our partners and project participants have said about working with us, and being involved in the projects we’ve supported during 2023-24:

“Active Kent & Medway were very good and it has genuinely motivated me to start being a bit more active. Not only for myself but our family. Seeing and hearing of the benefits was brilliant and very enlightening”. Kent Community Health Foundation Trust

“We hugely appreciate the support Active Kent & Medway have shown with the Wilder Wellbeing programmes. We would not be where we are today if it hadn't been for the funding awarded to us. The programme would not have expanded as much as it has without Active Kent & Medway”. Kent Wildlife Trust

“These classes have more than an impact on physical health but hugely for mental health to. Being in a very, very difficult place, with little ability to be able to make many changes to my circumstances, stumbling across this class has given me more positivity than I could have hoped for. I'm getting fit, whilst making friends, whilst managing my mental health in a positive outlet all with an amazing coach who is supportive, encouraging, trains you to your ability and gives you the positive role model you can only aspire to be”. Together Fund Participant

“The FANS scheme has been a tremendous help in motivating me to continue to compete, despite age taking its toll and numerous injuries suffered along the way. When retirement has sounded like a sensible option, being recognised by FANS as worthy of their support always inspires me to set the bar high and demonstrate that anything is possible whatever the age. I am immensely grateful for the continued support over so many years and I hope that I can continue to achieve at the highest level while I remain fit and well”. FANS Recipient

“Myself and the staff absolutely loved the staff meeting you delivered the other day. Thank you so much for helping us get our 'everyday active' journey. We all left feeling so positive and full of ideas on how we can get our children on board and to become healthier and happier”. Queenborough Primary School, Everyday Active School

“I love the idea of the challenge! Walking is the easiest and most inclusive way to keep fit and armed with a podcast or two, I always strive to get through 10k steps a day. Even though the nights are coming in and the light in the morning isn’t so great, there’s always a route that I can take. Putting it mildly, if I don’t get a morning walk, I can be a bit of a grump. Having this challenge hopefully will get more people stepping out and feeling better for it”. Walk Over October Activity Challenge Participant

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Contact Us

Thank you for reading our review of 2023-24, highlighting the great work that is going on around the county to get more people, more active, more often. If you have any questions or would like to discuss any element of this annual review, please email and one of the team will get back to you shortly.