Piloting the use of Football Club Community Trust's to create social Hubs for older adults

BULLOUGH, Steven, EDMONDSON, Lee and MILLAR, Robbie (2023). Piloting the use of Football Club Community Trust's to create social Hubs for older adults. Public Health in Practice, 5: 100381.

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Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.puhip.2023.100381


Objectives The research summarises the findings from a three-year pilot delivered through the EFL Trust and eleven Club Community Organisations. The aim was to create local social Hubs for older adults, to bring together local people to increase social connections, which may lead to additional physical activity, rather than a targeted physical activity intervention. Study design The study was a three-year evaluation of the pilot, to track changes in attitudes and behaviours of participants, and gather feedback on the delivery mechanism and the service providers. Methods The study included participant tracking surveys alongside interviews and focus groups with participants and service providers over the three-year pilot. Results The greatest impact was on participants’ mental wellbeing as opposed to their physical activity levels or attitude/motivation for physical activity. Covid-19 restrictions were felt particularly hard by the most vulnerable in society and the tracking of participants quantified the negative impact of lockdown on life satisfaction and happiness, which the presence of the Hubs helped to redress. Conclusions The Hubs model can offer a relatively low cost community based solution which adds to the menu of options in local health systems. The Hubs can help to tackle loneliness, enhance social interactions using the power of the football club to generate demand. The learning showed how to recruit, retain, and sustain networks of older adults using Hubs. The pilot showed the value CCOs can have in local service delivery for older adults, providing semi-structured Hubs which act as a conduit to wider engagement.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.puhip.2023.100381
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2023 15:55
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2023 16:01
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/31670

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