With a refresh of GM Moving planned for 2021, time was taken to refresh, refocus, re-energise. To adapt our collective approach in the context of the pandemic, inequalities and for the long term future to ensure greater and more diverse engagement in active lives; across GM, localities and neighbourhoods.

The journey to develop GM Moving in Action is as important as the tangible output of the process. Together, we developed GM Moving in Action; providing information, sharing learning, providing assets and tools for people across GM to lead GM Moving where they are.

The process

From January to April 2021, conversations were held with partners across the Greater Manchester system about what matters to them to help shape the GM Moving strategy for the next decade. This 15 minute video from Strategic Director Eve Holt, recorded in January 2021 explains where we were and what our plans were for moving forward to shape the GM Moving strategy.

The documents linked below are a summary of many, but by no means all, of these conversations and highlight the key points and themes from each of them. The feedback and learnings were reviewed from each of these sessions which helped to shape the GM Moving in Action strategy.

The road to the refresh

When the GM Moving Plan was launched in 2017, there was a commitment to a refresh in 2021 to help keep guiding us on our journey to the 2025 ambition. As we have collectively worked to engage people in active lives we have been on a continual learning journey; evaluating and gaining a better understanding of how change happens in complex systems. We are learning more about why and how we need to lead together, to keep growing a movement and enable more people to live active lives.

Building on our strengths

There are strengths in the approach since the GM Moving Plan was launched in 2017:

  • A shared vision, ambition and purpose.
  • An alignment and mutually reinforcing set of outcomes that support a healthier, happier more productive Greater Manchester.
  • Greater Manchester’s ‘People Power.’ People in communities, and system leaders who are fundamental to supporting active lives from neighbourhoods to town halls in every locality.
  • A growing understanding of how we can collectively enable culture change, system change and behaviour change.
  • Alignment of GM Moving to national, regional and local strategies and direction of travel.
  • Strategic commitment across the GM system and a belief that moving matters to us all.
  • Solid principles and ways of working that guide our approach.
  • A growing understanding of the leadership behaviours that support positive change.
  • A growing understanding of how to ‘measure what matters’.

Confronting reality and refocusing

There was a need to reposition GM Moving in the new national, regional and local context to ensure that together we keep creating the conditions for the movement to grow. It is also about confronting the realities of where we have gaps, challenges, blockages and barriers to change, and addressing the impact of the pandemic.

The following priorities were key to developing the next chapter in the GM Moving story.

  • Keep building on the shared purpose, growing it in every place, so that moving matters to everyone.
  • Focus our efforts on addressing inequalities in activity that were already there, and that are growing during the pandemic.
  • Ensure that we use a lens of universal and targeted policy and practice in everything we do.
  • Work now in ways that enable future generations of GM people to flourish.
  • Play our full part in a low carbon, green GM.
  • Be honest about what is getting in the way of progress; step forward, lead on the difficult issues and work together to unlock culture and system change.
  • Building leadership capacity and capability of people, communities and leaders in all our localities and across sectors.
  • Find ways to make our shared learning, working, progress and stories visible and accessible to all to support and inspire mutual support, challenge, trust, courage and the continued translation into practice across the system.
  • Identify gaps in system and place engagement in this agenda, prioritise and invest in a system engagement, participation and influencing approach that enables people to find shared purpose in the outcomes that matter to each other and do the work together for mutual benefit.

The wider context

  1. National Context: the Sport England strategy, Uniting the Movement; the national Tackling obesity strategy
  2. GM Context: Recovery and Resilience Plan; Population Health Plan; GM Strategy; Mayoral Elections 2021.
  3. Locality and Neighbourhood Context: articulation of how moving matters to each locality and the approach in each place.