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Active Essex Foundation Conference 2023 at Colchester United Football Stadium

Updated: Mar 8

21UP Movement Founder, Perry Blake, attended the Active Essex Foundation Conference at Colchester United Football Stadium. The Conference was also attended by organisations from all over Essex who came together to hear all the amazing stories and each other's works to help our youth.

The energy was amazing during the Conference, being able to network with like-minded people who all care for our youth. It was a game changer as we've been speaking of collaborations. As what Roger Hirst, Conservative Police Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said that this was a really important event as we are preventing the youth from doing untoward incident.

"I think what today's about is recognizing how sport can create safe spaces for children not only to have other role models in their life, to be able to talk about their issues, but build resilience in terms of being been able to develop learn new skills, learn new friends, and new coping mechanisms.", as stated by Leighton Hammett, Chief Superintendent, Essex Police.

Allan Webster, Head of Youth Justice Policy under the Ministry of Justice, also recognised that sport is a hugely important part of that early intervention and prevention agenda for children who might be at risk of falling into a life of crime. He added that sport and physical activity can give many children and young people a huge sense of well-being and drive them away from what otherwise might have been really poor outcomes for them, their family, their community and society as a whole.

For Sam Goodman, Community Safety Officer, the Conference gave them the opportunity to make contacts with organisations that they were not aware of, which gave them a wider scope of activities to draw on.

Tina Snooks of Essex Youth Offending Service believes that it's really important that they feel connected and that through sports and physical activity, it gives them positive connection and feel worthy of being part of something positive.

Mr. Webster summed up the Conference as a partnership across Essex: from the statutory and non-statutory, public, private, volunteer, community services. "There's a real sense of coming together, looking at it from the child's point of view, from the community's point of view, and just doing what it takes and working together to overcome those structural barriers and doing the right thing for that child here in Essex and across the country." Mr. Webster added.

Watch the video below to fell the Conference's positive vibe.

The Active Essex Foundation is a registered charity that has been set up to increase the use of physical activity and sport to engage and support the most inactive communities and tackle the inequalities that exist across Essex. They work in partnership with over 200 locally trusted organisations (LTOs) to achieve their mission.

Active Essex Foundation uses sport and physical activity to:

  • Inspire communities to become more active, therefore leading healthier, happier, more positive lives

  • Raise aspirations, confidence, skills and knowledge, improving employability and enabling individuals to reach full potential

  • Strengthen, unify and improve community cohesion, breaking down barriers and addressing inequalities

  • Improve physical and mental health wellbeing

  • Impact on the reduction of crime and anti-social behaviour

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