Walsall’s young persons exercise and advice service

The WAY4ward programme is Walsall’s exercise advice service for young people. The programme is delivered by the Active Lifestyle Officer who works closely with activity specialists and leisure providers to help and support young people to become more active. WAY4ward is a partnership between Walsall Council and NHS Walsall.

WAY4ward enables young people and their family to find ways of becoming more physically active in a safe and informed way, by offering flexible but structured advice. Through this programme young people can access a number of specialist programmes such as the Fun 4 Life weight management programme.

Who is it For?

WAY4Ward is for anyone aged 8-16 who are not as active as they could be and would like to try doing more exercise.

To access the programme the young person can be referred by a health professional (GP, Practice Nurse or School Nurse) or can self refer, by getting a parent or guardian to ring up and arrange an appointment.

To self refer please contact Sport and Leisure Development Services on 01902 605500.

How Does it work?

The young person and their parent or guardian will be met by the Active Lifestyles Officer at a local community venue. The initial consultation will last for around 30 minutes and include discussing physical activity levels, eating habits and possible difficulties towards leading a healthy lifestyle. From this a range of suitable opportunites can be discussed and a weekly activity plan will be agreed by the Active Lifestyle Officer , young person, and their family. These activities could include attending activity sessions run by the Walsall Active Youth (WAY) team or community based sports clubs or activities. However for some young people it may be agreed that small lifestyle changes such as walking to school are more appropriate or even referral into some of our more specialised programmes such as Fun 4 Life. As part of the programme the Active Lifestyles Officer will support you for a further 6 months by meeting back up after 3 and 6 months to monitor your progress.

Case study

Kane was referred into Sport and Leisure Development's young persons (8-16yrs) WAY4WARD programme (funded by NHS Walsall). Through this programme he received a one to one consultation with an exercise specialist who discussed with Kane and his mother reasons why he was not active as he should be, and agreed some solutions. These included small lifestyle changes such as walking to school and free access to a 12 week weight management programme called Fun 4 Life (funded by Active England). Fun 4 Life provided him as well as his mother, advice on healthy eating and an opportunity to take part in fun physical activity. After completing the programme Kane had managed to take control of his weight and reduce his body mass index (BMI).Kane continues to enjoy a healthy lifestyle and attends the Fun 4 Life follow on programmes. These range from tackling a high ropes adventure course to kayaking. Since Kane attended Fun 4 Life the scheme has recently been awarded the 2009 Black Country Health Improvement Initiative of the year.

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This page was last updated on 18 July 2016