The People’s Family Project, a community-based research project, was conducted in collaboration between Edge Hill University and Everton in the Community, the official charity of Everton Football Club. The purpose of the research, which formed part of a PhD study, was to evaluate the effectiveness a of family-orientated health intervention within the Everton ward.
The project worked with a range of families situated within a one-mile radius of Goodison Park with children aged between 3-11 years. Participants were recruited through a series of family fun days, held at Stanley Park, nearby to Goodison. This was followed by a 12-week, family-orientated intervention consisting of free physical activity, social, nutritional and health education sessions, including:
- Cook and taste
- Smoking and alcohol education
- Debt, employment and lifestyle management
- Family fun
- Family gym sessions
- Family walking
Throughout the project, measures such as levels of physical activity, self-rated mental wellbeing and smoking and alochol consumption were collated, to monitor any changes in behaviour.
- Despite the families living within a small geographical area, there were visible differences within the health behaviours exhibited by parents.
- Parents expressed a desire to be more healthy following having children, in terms of physical activity, diet, smoking and alcohol consumption.
- Following the 12-week intervention, parents displayed sustained increases in moderate and vigorous intensity physical activity.
- Improved dietary quality and improved self-rated mental wellbeing.
- The process of engaging in social-based physical activity appeared to be vital to the success of the programme, in particular providing participants with emotional, informational, companionship and validation support.
“I suffer with agoraphobia and depression as well, so before I started the project I didn’t go out. The project just motivated me, especially with my daughter being involved. Having her involved has given me the push to do it as well, which is what I wanted to do in the beginning. You know, activities with her… Not so much her, but for both of us.
“I’m more active and doing more things, rather than sitting in the house by myself, thinking, “Oh, what can I do?” – I’m getting out and I’m enjoying it. I do more exercise and I’m meeting people, talking to different people, and getting out more. I feel a lot better about myself.”
Participants from the People’s Family Project