Suffolk seeks sports coaches and instructors for win-win Activator scheme

OneLife Suffolk is seeking community-minded sports coaches who can help Suffolk residents with long-term health conditions to get active. This volunteer scheme is an opportunity for those with a passion for physical activity to support those in the local community who need it most.

From general fitness trainers to football coaches, dance teachers to martial arts instructors, a wide range of community volunteers are needed to deliver one-hour weekly sessions for six weeks, either virtually or face-to-face, once the lockdown has ended.

The scheme benefits both OneLife Suffolk clients by encouraging them to try new, fun activities to help them get active whilst also allowing the volunteers to start delivering sessions again, with an opportunity to reach more people. It’s a ‘win-win’ for local sports and fitness instructors whose income has been affected by the pandemic.

Jade Harrison hosting online Get Help to Get Active sessions

In a national survey, 8 in 10 respondents of 981 personal trainers and fitness instructors said they are now training fewer clients because of Covid-19 and national lockdowns.[1]

The Activator scheme is part of OneLife Suffolk’s ‘Get Help to Get Active’ service which supports those with long-term health conditions who would benefit from moving more often, being more active, and living a healthy lifestyle.

Marten Payne, Operational Delivery Manager at OneLife Suffolk, which is commissioned by Suffolk County Council, said: “We know that becoming physically active can be very challenging, particularly for those living with long-term medical conditions, and we want to be able to offer a more diverse range of activities for Suffolk residents, so they can find something they enjoy that is suitable to their needs.

“We are also aware that some fitness instructors and sports coaches have struggled to run their classes during the pandemic. By volunteering through this scheme, we can help them reach new clients whilst helping the wider Suffolk community get more active. It’s a win-win for all concerned.”

Cheryl Wiseman hosting online Get Help to Get Active sessions

Volunteers to the Activator scheme will benefit from a one-day training course on how to work with those with long-term health conditions, developing an understanding of behavioural change and learning about the health promotion services on offer in the County.

Activators can also apply for a £200 grant to put towards the cost of delivering the free sessions. It is hoped the scheme will help them generate long-term clients for their fitness classes and businesses.

Tyler Beales hosting online Get Help to Get Active sessions

Activators will also soon get to benefit from a new bespoke online system which has been developed through the partnership of our MoreLife teams and digital experts at Leeds Beckett University.

The system will allow activators to easily upload their availability, market their services, access training, track progress of clients and obtain feedback, as well as giving clients the opportunity to select the activators that meet their needs. This unique approach has only be possible due to the support of our commissioners in Suffolk.

Suffolk FA, Ipswich Town Community Trust and many more clubs and community organisations across the County will be supporting the Activator scheme.

Master Faye Li, an Activator volunteer who has recently hosted online Baduanjin sessions, said: “I have just finished teaching an 8-week Baduanjin online course. It has been a wonderful, rewarding experience to help friends and families in our community during this extraordinary time. Many participants say that after doing a session, they sleep better and feel more relaxed, while others found the exercises helped build their confidence.

“In return, the feedback I have received has brought much joy and happiness into my life. Each smile, every positive story and every small step of improvement makes me feel very proud of my students.”

Master Faye Li, an Activator volunteer who has recently hosted online Baduanjin sessions

The next Activator training sessions are taking place on Friday 9th April and Thursday 29th April. 

To find out more about how to become one of OneLife Suffolk’s Activators e-mail Conor Hale, Active Lifestyles Lead on or visit:

If you are a Suffolk resident and would be interested in attending a ‘Get Help to Get Active’ session or learning more, visit – Get Help To Get Active – OneLife Suffolk

[1] How Has Coronavirus Affected UK Personal Trainers? – Insure4Sport Blog

MoreLife wins ‘Primary Care Provider of the Year’ at prestigious Health Service Journal (HSJ) Awards

MoreLife crowned ‘Primary Care Provider of the Year’ at the prestigious Health Service Journal (HSJ) Awards

MoreLife is delighted to announce that they have been named as winner of the Primary Care Network, GP and Community Provider of the Year at this year’s prestigious HSJ Awards, recognising our outstanding contribution to healthcare.

Over 4500 health and social care staff “tuned in” to the first virtual HSJ Awards evening on 17th March 2021 to celebrate the dedication, innovation, and teamwork within the health care community.  Hosted by comedian, actor and charity campaigner, Sir Lenny Henry, alongside award-winning journalist and broadcaster, Victoria Derbyshire, the awards ceremony celebrated the diligent and selfless work of our healthcare heroes over the past 12 months – a year which has been one of the most demanding on record for the NHS.

Alongside hosts, inspiring words came from Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty and former Prime Minister Gordon Brown as the awards celebrated the very best in healthcare.

The MoreLife entry focused on how the delivery teams within MoreLife Essex and OneLife Suffolk had helped to create incredible outcomes through the adult weight management and stop smoking programmes for clients in East Anglia, subsequently helping reduce pressures on the NHS.

Paul Gately, CEO at MoreLife said, “We are absolutely delighted to have been named as the winners in the Primary Care Networks, GP or Primary Care Provider of the Year. It means a great deal to all our staff, for their continued hard work to be recognised in this way, especially during such an extraordinary year due to the pandemic and we’re confident that the positive impact of this Award will help to create a long-lasting legacy.

“This Award will provide a tremendous boost to both our staff and our clients across MoreLife and OneLife Suffolk and I am sure it will bolster our efforts to develop and continually improve our services.”

Set up in partnership with Leeds Beckett University, MoreLife uses research and insight to develop evidence driven and community led programmes, commissioned by local councils and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).

OneLife Suffolk partnership with Ipswich Hospital

In Suffolk, MoreLife’s unique partnership with Ipswich Hospital, West Suffolk Hospital and James Paget University Hospital Trust has supported over 195 clients to quit smoking since the collaboration was launched. Angela Leach, Smoking Cessation Midwife at Ipswich Hospital delivered a powerful interview on how the programme was making a real difference.

MoreLife GP Partnership leads to better outcomes for patients living with diabetes

In Essex, MoreLife’s evidence-driven adult weight management programme continues to support those living with obesity to take better care of their health, with outcomes showing 87% of individuals who joined the programme have achieved a 3% weight loss against a target of 60%. Dr Mahmud, GP partner at Churchview Surgery and Jones Family practice praised the partnership in a short interview.

With over 17,300 engaged in MoreLife programmes in 2019/20, the entry highlighted how MoreLife had swiftly adapted to the pandemic with virtual delivery, digital resources and making over 13,000 wellbeing calls to those most in need of their services.

HSJ editor, Alistair McLellan, comments “Following what was undoubtedly the most challenging year for the NHS, it was impressive to see the commitment to excellence shown by the finalists.

The high quality of entrants in 2020 posed a real challenge to our expert judging panel, who were impressed by the breadth of applications demonstrating real evidence of improvements to patient care.

“We know that Morelife is not alone in fostering a culture of excellence and hope that this award win will be a source of inspiration for like-minded teams across the country. We are delighted that the HSJ Awards continue to be considered the gold standard awards programme in healthcare. Congratulations again to MoreLife and welcome to the HSJ Awards Alumni!”  

To find out more about MoreLife programmes in your area, see below links:

MoreLife welcomes £100M investment in obesity strategy

MoreLife has welcomed the government’s announcement today of £100m new investment in tackling obesity.

The new funding will support children, adults and families across the UK to achieve a healthier weight, alongside new incentives for GPs and healthcare professionals to encourage healthy behaviours.

MoreLife is commissioned by local authorities and CCGs across the UK including in Essex, Suffolk, Bedfordshire & Milton Keynes and Greater Manchester. Its proven 12-week weight management programmes have supported over 18,000 clients to lose weight in 2020.

The programmes are driven by evidence and research from Leeds Beckett University and are helping people live longer, healthier lives.

Professor Paul Gately, CEO of MoreLife and Professor of Obesity and Exercise at Leeds Beckett University, said;

“We are pleased to see the government take further action on what is one of the biggest health issues in the UK, with one in four adults suffering from obesity and the elevated risk of mortality with Covid-19.

“It is fantastic to see that some of the new funding will focus on training healthcare professionals to support those in early years with weight intervention.

We hope that this announcement will be a rally cry for healthcare professionals in local communities to work closer together to signpost local weight management services like our own that are helping clients manage their weight and ultimately saving lives.”

You can learn more about our local weight management services below.

To read the full government World Obesity Day statement, click here.

Tips on sleep

After a few months of lockdown and home schooling, you and your family might be struggling to keep to a regular sleep schedule. We all know that it’s really important that everyone gets enough sleep, especially children!

Studies have shown that children who get the recommended amount of sleep have improved memory, attention, behaviour and mental health, whilst those who do not get enough sleep are at risk of developing high blood pressure, obesity and poor mental health.

Getting your children to sleep for the adequate amount of time is not always easy, but forget about counting sheep, we’ve put together a list of top tips for sleep:

  • Limit screen-use in the bedroom
  • Give yourself a break from screens 2 hours before bed
  • Exercise more regularly for better sleep (but not right before bed)
  • Cut out the caffeine, especially late in the day
  • Avoid long weekend lie-ins
  • Reduce long naps, if you need to nap, try not to do so for longer than 30 minutes
  • Create a good routine that you stick to

How much sleep do you need?

Why not have a look at Sleep Station, a website created by the NHS to help people who struggle with their sleeping

It is a really useful tool that could make all the difference to you and your family’s sleep: Sleepstation – sleep improvement & insomnia course