A team of four has been appointed to take responsibility for management, development and implementation of the DfT Active Travel Social Prescribing Pilot Delivery in Cumbria.
The appointments follow the announcement that Cumbria has secured almost £1.5m funding from the DfT, being one of eleven local authorities to have been awarded a share of £12.7m nationally.
Joining Active Cumbria – part of Cumbria County Council’s Public Health Team as Development and Project Officers are Siona Hartley, Chris Tolley, Jane Abington and Lynsey Dawson who will be responsible for the 3 Year Pilot Delivery to provide cycling and walking interventions and improvements as part of an increased social prescribing offer in Carlisle and Barrow.
Chris Tolley (Development Officer) and Lynsey Dawson (Project Officer) will be responsible for project delivery in Carlisle and Siona Hartley (Development Officer) and Jane Abington (Project Officer) will be responsible for project delivery in Barrow.
The aim of the 3-year pilot programme is to provide a wide range of cycling and walking interventions to help attract those into new ways of travelling actively. This approach will support improved physical health and mental wellbeing of those being targeted through the programme and is often referred to as ‘social prescribing’.
Specifically, the team will address local identified needs and challenges relating to older adults, those with disabilities and long-term conditions as well as those from our poorest communities. By increasing physical activities through cycling and walking the behaviours and attitudes towards active and sustainable travel can be supported and changed.
The programme will also look to support many of the proposed road, path and infrastructure improvements planned for Barrow and Carlisle.
Active Cumbria Senior Manager (Development) Bruce Lawson said “I really welcome the appointment of the new officers to the Active Cumbria team who will focus solely on delivery of the 3-year Active Travel Social Prescribing Pilot. Between them Chris, Lynsey, Siona and Jane bring a wealth of experience, knowledge and passion to improving and increasing opportunities for residents in Carlisle and Barrow to benefit physically from cycling and walking as part of their everyday lives.”
Deborah Earl, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Community Services at Cumbria County Council said: “The Active Travel Social Prescribing Pilot delivery is a significant programme in helping to tackle the health inequalities which exist in our County. We are ambitious with our plans of improving cycling and walking opportunities to help tackle those inequalities and I am delighted to have the new teams in place in Carlisle and Barrow where levels of physical activity are lower than in other parts of the county.”