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Active Kyogle

Northern NSW Local Health District
Project Added:
5 February 2015
Last updated:
11 February 2015

Active Kyogle

Summary

Active Kyogle was a three-year federally-funded chronic disease prevention project which relied on the community to decide the health priorities and collaborative partners to plan and deliver the interventions.

Active Kyogle empowered the community to implement a health promotion program to prevent chronic disease focusing on projects that increase healthy eating, physical activity and reducing social isolation.

Find out more about Active Kyogle on the Northern NSW LHD website.

This project was a finalist in the Collaborative Team category of the 2014 NSW Health Awards. Download a poster from the 2014 NSW Health Awards.

Active Kyogle logo - apple, tree and figure walking

Aim

To prevent chronic disease by focusing on projects that increase healthy eating, physical activity and reducing social isolation.

Benefits 

  • Improved health outcomes for members of the community through greater access to health activities and services
  • Preventing chronic disease
  • Increased healthy eating, physical activity and reducing social isolation.

Project Status

Project status: Sustained The project has been implemented, is sustained in standard business. 

Dates: The project ran between 2010 and 2013. 

Background

Residents in areas of socio-economic disadvantage have a higher incidence of chronic disease. Kyogle Shire is an area of socio-economic disadvantage with an average weekly income of $305. 

Over half the population is without tertiary or trade qualifications and unemployment is over 10%. It has an indigenous population of 5.8% (Kyogle Council 2009). Federal funding was sought to increase the number of people in Kyogle Shire to adopt a healthy lifestyle to reduce chronic disease.

Implementation 

The community, health promotion and Kyogle Multi-Purpose Centre met on several occasions to decide on priorities and plan the interventions and objectives. 

The community decided to focus on a number of healthy lifestyle projects to increase physical activity, prevent chronic disease and improve social interaction.

The following were the main projects:

  1. Healthy Lifestyle Challenges for school aged children and for older residents
  2. Establishment of a community owned and run gymnasium. This is a user pays gymnasium, set up with project funding but staffed by fitness leaders who are paid for by gym membership fees.
  3. Various seed projects to engage currently inactive residents and those living outside of town. Local students and young unemployed people interviewed community members to identify projects that were likely to be successful in the Shire. These projects were given seeding grants to get established.
  4. Community members being increasingly directly involved with project management.

The project ran between 2010 and 2013 as a partnership between Northern NSW LHD, the Kyogle Multi-Purpose Centre and the local community development organisation, Kyogle Together.

During this time more than 1500 people (15.5% of the entire local government area) participated in Active Kyogle. Some of the interventions such as the Community Gym have continued past the funding period.

Active Kyogle relied on a collaborative team approach with staff employed in local organisations both government and non-government and volunteers from the community who worked together across boundaries to govern, implement and evaluate this health promotion program. The community partnership approach used the following strategies to guide the project:

  1. Improved community participation
  2. Development of local leadership
  3. Strengthening the community's organisational structures
  4. Community identification of problems and development of solutions
  5. Mobilisation of resources by the community to achieve the goals
  6. Linkages and partnerships developed within the community and with health services to address local health issues

The project was governed by a steering committee with representatives from health, business, community and not for profit organisations. 

The project management was contracted to the community organisation, Kyogle Together and the grant was Northern NSW LHD.

Results 

The evaluation of the program showed the local community, collaborative organisations and health staff were overwhelming supportive of the team based approach and the benefits this program has brought to the community.

The Kyogle gym is still operating even after the funding ceased and the community is looking for new governance to continue into the future.

This project focused on participatory action research and has given community members the opportunity to improve their health and health literacy by taking on key roles in the governance and strategy implementation of the project. This means the Kyogle community has increased capacity to apply for funding for projects and to implement future projects. This project was a pilot for the National Healthy Communities program which is now being rolled out across Australia.

More than 1500 people directly participated in the project. Media coverage totalled 229 stories and more than 850 people joined the community gym. The Active Kyogle website had 5000 unique visitors and 17500 page views.

Healthy Lifestyle Challenge

An evaluation survey (n=94) conducted at the end of the funding period showed that one-third of the residents reported that because of Active Kyogle, they felt they ate a more healthy diet, 63.1% of respondents said they now do more physical activity and 48.8% said they now participate in a group activity or club they didn’t do before.

Community Gymnasium

The gymnasium was established and refurbished with the installation of professional-grade equipment. Policies, procedures and systems were established and staff from the local community were recruited and trained. After two years, the gym membership was paying all of the fitness staff costs and had membership of 850 or more than 30% of the town population, making the gym the single largest membership-based activity in the Kyogle region.

Partnerships

Kyogle Community Technology Centre, Kyogle Together, Anglican Church, Kyogle Community College, Kyogle High School, Kyogle Council, Kyogle Lions Club, NSW Ambulance, Quota, Red Cross, Kyogle naturopath and pharmacist, Fitness leaders, Veterans Nursing Service.

Contact 

Ms Nancy Martin
Executive Officer/Director of Nursing
Kyogle Multi Purpose Service Network
Northern NSW LHD
Phone: 02 6632 1522
Email: Nancy.Martin@ncahs.health.nsw.gov.au

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