Place Partners is a Sport England funded programme that invests in a behaviour change approach in a place to enable sustainable change and gain valuable learnings that can be shared across the country.
From July 2018, Rochdale utilised research and insight to create their initial 12-month plan, starting from April 2019; this can be viewed here.
Rochdale’s place partners team is working with the community in Milkstone and Deeplish and is focused on five key population groups:
Rochdale's Place Partners work is being supported by multiple partners in the borough including, Rochdale Borough Council (environmental management, work and skills, public health, highways), leisure provider Your Trust, the VCSE organisation Action Together, Living Well and NHS Link workers.
Working with residents, the place partners team in Rochdale were able to identify Stoneyfield Park as a community asset in Milkstone and Deeplish that was not being used to its full potential due to issues with drainage and lack of facilities.
The place partner team quickly identified that the residents were wary of engaging due to repeated previous engagement in which they felt their voices not truly heard and had resulted in little action.
With residents help, the place partner team helped to establish a local influencers group made up of residents, community leaders, elected members and members of Rochdale Borough Council.
The drainage of the park was completed in June 2021 and after securing investment from Townships, a co-design event was held with over 100 residents in attendance in August 2021.
Sarah Shard, Local Pilot Lead for Rochdale, featured in the second series of The GM Moving Podcast to share the approach they've taken in Rochdale, the learnings and what's next.
The fourth episode of the series was released on Thursday 1 September 2022.
“We did some ladies only cycling sessions, we linked in with six different partners and it probably took us six months to get that up and running. Those ladies voices haven't been heard before and we really started to link in to the community and spoke to them... We've had 80 ladies take part in the last couple of months.”
Full transcript of the episode can be found here.
The episode can be listen to below or wherever you normally get your podcasts from.