Rochdale’s the Growth Project featured in campaign to get residents more active

Date published: 12 September 2019

A local gardening group based at the Kellett Street allotments in Rochdale has been chosen as the star of That Counts! - a major new campaign aiming to inspire thousands of people from across Rochdale and Greater Manchester to lead a more active life.

Latest figures show more than 75,200 adults (aged 16+) and 18,900 children (aged 5-16) in Rochdale are not moving enough.

The Greater Manchester-wide That Counts! campaign has been created in response. By giving people a clear activity target and encouraging them to look beyond formal sport or exercise, it will help them find their own ways of fitting more activity into their daily lives. 

It shows that moving for just 30 minutes a day can be fun, social and bring loads of benefits, like feeling happier, more confident and sleeping well, as well as helping towards long-term health.

Currently, almost a third (31%) of adults in Rochdale are active for less than half an hour a week, despite 30 minutes a day of moderate activity being recommended. Worryingly, with the younger generation, almost half (41%) are active for less than 30 minutes a day, despite an hour a day being the minimum advised for 5 to 16 year olds.

Karen Hayday, director of the Growth Project said: “It’s amazing that our allotment group is starring in the That Counts! campaign. We hope that by seeing local members of the community in the adverts, Rochdale’s residents feel more confident about moving more themselves.

“Gardening is a great way to move more. It can be quite physical; from pulling weeds, to digging, to moving things around the garden. You can work up a bit of a sweat sometimes. You can do as much or as little as your body can take, and work up to doing more over time. 

“The good thing about this gardening group is that we all help and support each other – everyone using their own talents to contribute. And it’s not just toil here, we sit down, have a brew and make friends – which is brilliant for your mental health and overall wellbeing.

“We almost didn’t make the shoot; the garden was under 5ft of water a week before we had the photos done. However, the group is so involved with the allotment and passionate about what they achieve here, that we pulled together to get it back to its glorious best.”


the Growth Projects’ poster


You can see the Growth Projects’ posters up at Cheetham Street from 23 September 23, Spotland Road from 7 October and Whitworth Road from 21 October.

Alongside the campaign, Rochdale is also planning focused community initiatives at a local level in the borough.

Led by the Greater Manchester Moving (GM Moving) team, That Counts! is part of an ambitious plan to find solutions to the long-term barriers to physical activity. It is supported by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership and Sport England. Hundreds of organisations have also pledged their support, including leisure facilities, sports clubs, community groups, businesses and charities.   

The inspiring community initiative is an important contribution to Greater Manchester’s aims to reduce inactivity and get 2 million residents moving by 2021. With 59,000 more local people becoming active or fairly active over the past three years, levels of inactivity in the city-region are already falling three times faster than the national rate.

The campaign has the backing of Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, who said: “Greater Manchester residents are already taking great strides to become more active – and we’re tackling inactivity three times faster than the national average. We’ve got a lot to celebrate, but there’s still some way to go and barriers we can start to tackle as a community. That Counts! is an active, engaging and fun campaign that shows it doesn’t matter what you do, or how you do it, there are loads of ways to make movement count.”

Sarah Price, executive lead for population health in Greater Manchester, added: “Inspiring people to move more every day is a vital part of Greater Manchester’s ambitions to transform our residents’ health, wealth and wellbeing. It will reduce the numbers of people dying early and suffering serious poor health, help strengthen our communities, improve our environment and boost our economy.

“We are already seeing positive changes, but know there is much more to do. Our That Counts! campaign is an important next step in making movement part of our daily lives.” 

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