Briefing papers

Increasing Physical Activity in the Outdoors and Natural Environment. October 2010.

This paper outlines the emerging findings from the research on how to engage with different target groups to encourage them to use the outdoors. The paper discusses how project staff worked with participants to overcome the barriers they faced that deterred them
from being active outdoors. The emerging research suggests that there is considerable value in supporting the ongoing development of outdoor activity opportunities in Wales.

The provision of outdoor activities in the natural environment can have specific benefits for participants beyond those gained from
taking part in indoor physical activity. Mentro Allan project staff found that the outdoors has been a suitable location to engage with those groups that are considered 'hard to reach'.

Volunteering. August 2011.

Volunteering is one of the cross cutting themes emerging from the research, being relevant to three of the four key learning outcomes. Information for this briefing paper comes specifically from case studies of volunteers which have been provided by the projects, from comments in evaluation seminars, reflective diary entries kept by project coordinators and examples provided in other
Mentro Allan case studies and briefing papers.

Outdoor Physical Activity for People with Mental Health Problems. May 2011.

This paper considers how to engage people with mental health problems in using the outdoors/natural environment, including barriers to participation and how they were overcome. It discusses the benefits of outdoor activity for this group, based on common findings and messages that could be transferable when developing new projects.

Step to stride: adjusting support for different demographic groups. October 2010.

This paper outlines emerging findings from the research on the types of support people in different sedentary groups need to get involved, change their behaviour and sustain that change. As well as focusing on four target groups, based around common issues and requirements, the paper draws together common themes across the groups to establish themes which all project coordinators should consider when developing physical activity projects.

Designing the steps to changed behaviour: practical pointers. October 2010.

This paper outlines emerging findings from the research on how partnerships, management and service delivery arrangements work best to support long term behaviour change. In particular it focuses on the practical aspects of management and the delivery of activity programmes that have been tried and tested across the MA projects. It is clear that different approaches can be successful, it is therefore essential that there is a long term plan in mind to guide the decision making of project staff as the activity programme is developed.

Making strides together: approaches to working in partnership. October 2010.

This paper outlines emerging findings from the research on how partnerships, management and service delivery arrangements work best to support long term behaviour change. In particular it focuses on the partnership approach to management and delivery that has been applied across the MA projects.

A partnership development journey has been experienced at both national and local levels. The clearer the aims and objectives at the outset, the easier it is to attract the right people and partners to support the project and contribute the appropriate expertise during its lifetime. Internal and external influences need to be considered and planned for during set up, delivery and sustainability phases of the project.

Action Research: the effect of the 'Mentro Allan Method'. October 2010.

This paper outlines emerging findings from the research on how partnerships, management and service delivery arrangements work best to support long term behaviour change. In particular it focuses on the action research based learning method that has been applied across the MA projects.

Project staff found that there are benefits to be being involved in a national project providing advice and guidance as well as opportunities for staff to share experiences. The MA approach has allowed learning from "real life experiences" of people who would not usually take part and this has guided project development from a participant's perspective, rather than a policy driven or service provider approach based on pre-conceived ideas.

Seminar Paper. November 2010.

A Ministerial Seminar was held on the November 1st 2010. This paper outlines emerging findings from the Mentro Allan research, it draws together the conclusions from each of the Mentro Allan learning outcomes to establish themes which policy makers, programme designers and funders should consider when developing existing or introducing new physical activity projects.