It’s our 1st birthday!
On the 1st September 2020, in the midst of a global pandemic, Together Active was born.
Previously Sport Across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent (SASSOT), this was the culmination of months of hard work by the team to become an independent charitable organisation.
Our CEO, Jude Taylor, explains her feelings on reaching this milestone.
“Whenever it is one of my children’s birthdays, it brings on a period of melancholy reflection.
“Where has that time gone? How can they possibly be so big? Look at the wonderful little person they are becoming.
“This is fast followed by the inevitable self-doubt; Am I doing enough? How can I keep them safe? Do they eat too much pasta?
“While nothing compares to the joy (and trauma) of being a parent to two strong minded (feral) little people, it’s remarkable how many of those same emotions I’m experiencing as Together Active turns one.
“In the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic, we took the agonizing decision to postpone our transfer date (originally planned for March 31st 2020!). Staff were frazzled under the strain of home-schooling, remote working and desperately trying to prop up the sector they cared so deeply about. Creating this new organization felt a remote possibility.
“At the same time there was this creeping realization that our work had never been more needed. Physical activity was literally saving lives.
“Enter stage right our wonderful Board members. The Independence Working Group, with their calm reassurance and pragmatic approach, helped us to dig deep and find the resilience we needed to get over the line. On the 1st of September, Together Active came kicking and screaming into the world.
“And what a year it’s been. We launched our new strategy Step Up which focuses our efforts on the communities that need us the most.
“We embarked on our own digital revolution, harnessing the power of open data to launch Active My Way.
“We trained health care professionals and social prescribers in the importance of physical activity in clinical care.
“We distributed hundreds of thousands of pounds of funding and provided support and advice to essential clubs and groups across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire.
“We have developed referral pathways, designed projects and built networks. I could go on, but I won’t.
“I’ve never been the type of mother who believes her children to be perfect, nor do I believe that of Together Active. But I am so immensely proud of our (slightly scrappy) charity and the dedication and relentlessness of the people who choose to work here.
“So as I enjoy a slice (or two) of cake and a very large glass (or two) of wine, I’m allowing myself to roll around in these feelings, with huge amounts of gratitude and much excitement for the years ahead.”
With much pride and joy,
Our Board Chair, Malcolm, also had some words to share about the occasion.
“WOW! It seems amazing to think that only a year ago that we launched Together Active as a charity. I want to thank the Board, the Team and all our partners for their continued support throughout what has been a challenging time for the whole nation.
“We have had many valuable outputs not least of which has been the use of the Tackling Inequalities Fund to help sustain physical activity and sport in some of the inactivity hot spots.
“In particular I want to thank the staff team for the development, and launch of our new strategy. It has a strong focus and great potential to make a real difference across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.
“We have worked hard with our Local Authority partners throughout the pandemic with regular support, sharing and communicating ideas and issues. The work of this Board sub-group (PALS) has become a real success.
“In particular I look forward to another and even more successful year 2 for our charity!!!!”
Be safe, Malcolm Armstrong. Chair of the Board of Trustees.