OneLife Suffolk partners with Suffolk Football Association to help get Suffolk residents active

As the national lockdown eases, a new partnership between OneLife Suffolk and Suffolk Football Association (FA) looks to create more opportunities for Suffolk residents to get active through a shared passion for sport, activity, and movement.  

OneLife Suffolk, who are commissioned by Suffolk County Council, run free healthy lifestyle programmes across the county, including weight management for adults, children and young people, stop smoking support and help to get active for those with long-term health conditions.

The provider has partnered with Suffolk FA as both organisations share the same values in supporting local people by providing physical activity opportunities that are innovative, inclusive, and ensures exercise is accessible to all.

Suffolk Football Association coaches in action

Lisa Cox, Head of OneLife Suffolk, said: “We are very excited to announce this new partnership with Suffolk FA who are already doing a fantastic job to engage communities through football. This relationship will not only help us reach more individuals who would benefit from our life-changing programmes but will also develop new exciting physical activity sessions for our clients to engage with.”

In Suffolk, one in four adults are classed as inactive, meaning they partake in less than 30 minutes of physical activity per week.[1] While lockdown measures have now eased, there are fears that the disruption to football leagues has had a knock-on effect amidst football fans who find themselves not being as active.

As part of the partnership, Make Every Contact Count (MECC) training provided by OneLife Suffolk will be available to coaches, referees, and association members so that they are suitably skilled to identify and signpost individuals that could benefit from a healthy lifestyle programme. For example, this may include bespoke adult weight management sessions for players through walking football and inclusive / disability football leagues.

Participants in Suffolk football will have the opportunity to volunteer as Activators to help deliver virtual and face-to-face physical activity sessions as part of OneLife Suffolk’s ‘Get Help to Get Active’ scheme. The programme supports those with long-term health conditions who would benefit from being more active to build physical activity into their lives. If interested and want to find out how to get involved, please see below.

Longer-term, the partnership looks to explore how further community projects can reach and engage with people of all ages, including children and those in harder to reach communities.

Suffolk FA Mini-Soccer & Youth Football Development Officer James Morley said: “We are pleased to partner with OneLife Suffolk to create opportunities for people involved in Suffolk football to get active and healthier.

“The lockdown has had an effect on a lot of people’s mental and physical health, so being able to provide support as we leave lockdown is a very important and exciting opportunity. We look forward to seeing the benefits of the programmes OneLife Suffolk have to offer and working towards making Suffolk a more active county.”

To find out more about Suffolk FA, visit To learn more about the OneLife Suffolk Activator scheme, visit

[1] Lifestyle: physical activity – Healthy Suffolk

Lockdown roadmap: are you ready to exit?

For some of us, it is a celebration to go back to the normal world after lockdown. But for others, it might be difficult to step out into the world, and this may cause stress and anxiety.

If you are feeling anxious/worried about ‘going back to the normal life,’ ‘the life after lockdown’: that’s ok. Although it hasn’t been easy for many of us at the beginning, being in our comfort zone at home with our families and staying at a much slower pace are some of the positives of being in lockdown. It’s been more than one year since the first restrictions came into force, and perhaps it’s become the new normal for many of us. It took some time to get used to it, and after such a long time being in lockdown, it may feel worrying to go back to social life and work again. While it is not something completely stranger to us, it might take some time to get back to old normal life, and it’s ok.

Here are some top tips that may help overcome these worries:

It’s ok

If you feel anxious about going back to normal life, it’s ok! Some people find it healing to spend their time at home, work from home. Be gentle to yourself and do not avoid these feelings. Approach them with self-compassion. It may take time to create a new routine when you go back to work or to the social life. And it’s OK if you take longer to adjust than others.

One step at a time

If you have some worries about going back to work, the best thing you can do is to find out which part of it worries you most. Find out If it is socialising with colleagues or health related worries. Then take one step at a time to solve these step by step. Celebrate every achievement, even if it is a tiny one.

Thoughts: facts or opinions?

Sometimes our thoughts catch us like a hook. It is not easy to unhook ourselves from these thoughts. A way of doing this is to assess our thoughts: are they facts or our own opinions? ‘I think everyone will tease me once they learn that I am enjoying my lockdown life’ is it a fact or your opinion?

Take the control

There are some aspects of life that we don’t have any control over it. Luckily, more aspects of life are controllable such as where to go shopping, for a holiday or what to do on weekends. Focus on what you can control and try to accept what you can’t.

Create a new routine

You can definitely bring your hobbies, routines, or things you enjoy doing in lockdown to the post lockdown world. Is there anything that you start to do during the lockdown and has been very helpful to you? It worth thinking about new routines that allow you to go back to normal life with some benefits from the pandemic environment.

Check with your employer

If you feel nervous about going back to the office, you have the right to find out the risk assessment that in place for your workspace. Having answers will help with the worries. Some workplaces allow flexible working. If you have or have had longer term mental health problems, you may be entitled to reasonable adjustments as a disabled person under the Equality Act.

Assertive communication

If you feel uncomfortable with things, try to use assertive communication skills to express your feelings. Don’t let others push you to a situation that you are not ready for yet!

Look after your health

Keep a balanced diet, stay hydrated, look after your sleep and try to be active. These small steps will also help you with your mental health. Mindfulness activities and yoga are some other tools to improve your wellbeing.

Grief and bereavement

This is something many of us experienced during the pandemic. Many people lost their loved ones and couldn’t attend their funerals due to the restrictions. It may need some time to process grief, and there are many available supports regarding this. 

Please see some of them below;

Seek help

It’s ok to seek help if you feel very low and don’t know what to do. You can request an appointment with your GP or call NHS direct on 111.

The local services available are Suffolk Mind ( and Suffolk Wellbeing (, Samaritans (

Dr AB Sirin Ayva, MBACP

Psychology Clinical Lead, OneLife Suffolk

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle during Ramadan

Ramadan is a good time to focus on spiritual reflection and health. As part of our Get Help To Get Active programme, we have created a booklet that provide top tips on how to maintain moderate levels of physical activity and a healthy lifestyle while fasting during Ramadan.

Our top tips:

  • Consult your GP before fasting or starting any new physical activity, especially if you are on medication.
  • Avoid strenuous activities
  • Drink plenty of fluids during Suhoor and Iftar
  • Practice light activity, such as yoga or stretches, before and after Suhoor
  • The movements performed during Salah can count as light activity
  • If you find it difficult or are unable to stand unassisted, you can practice chair-based exercises
  • Breathing exercises can help to relax your mind during the day
  • Eat a balanced diet – this will help to improve your sleep

Download our guidance around physical activity during Ramadan HERE

The Urdu translation can be downloaded using the link below:
اردو ترجمہ نیچے دیئے گئے لنک کی مدد سے ڈاؤن لوڈ کیا جاسکتا ہے۔
Urdu translation – physical activity booklet

The Bengali translation can be downloaded using the link below:
নীচের লিঙ্কটি ব্যবহার করে বাংলা অনুবাদ ডাউনলোড করা যেতে পারে:
Bengali translation – physical activity booklet

The Kurdish (Sorani) translation can be downloaded using the link below:
وەرگێڕانی کوردی ( سۆرانی ) بە بەکارهێنانی ئەم لینکەی خوارەوە دەتوانرێت دابەزێندرێت :
Kurdish (Sorani) translation – physical activity booklet

If you require this booklet in a different language please contact us:

This booklet was co-produced with the Bury St Edmunds Cultural Organisation and has been endorsed by the British Islamic Medical Association.

If you require a printed version of this booklet, please contact

Please note, all participants are advised to check with their healthcare professional that it is safe for them to participate in physical activity.

What is Get Help To Get Active?

Our Get Help To Get Active programme support people with long-term health conditions and those who would benefit from moving more often, to build physical activity into their lives. Our programme provides you with the guidance, confidence and motivation you need to exercise safely from the comfort of your own home or in your local community.

We provide you with the tools and information you need to gradually increase your activity levels safely and effectively. We are here to show you the power of physical activity.

More information about our programmes can be found here.

How do I sign up?

To sign up to our Get Help To Get Active programme, you can either use our online sign-up form or you can call us on 01473 718193.

Join our FREE weight management group in Bury St Edmunds today!

Our 12-week weight management programme will help you achieve your weight loss goals by providing you with the guidance you need to maintain long-term healthy lifestyle changes. The programme covers topics such as healthy eating, physical activity, sleep, setting goals, and more!

This group will start on Thursday 20th May at Moreton Hall Community Centre, Bury St Edmunds, from 9:30am until 11:00am. Urdu and Punjabi services will also be available for this group.

For more information about this programme and to sign up to this group, please visit or call 01473 718193.