A-Mazing Wakefield

Navigating local systems

We began a project with Wakefield Council to develop a whole system/place based approach to physical activity in Wakefield. The brief was to establish a community network, build a collective energy, improve the understanding of systems’ thinking and approaches and work towards the creation of a physical activity strategy.  

Our approach involved delivering a series of engaging events which achieved two things 

  • Opportunities to share systems and placed based approaches in innovative, active and collaborative ways​; 
  • Build relationships, common purpose and understanding between the partners.​ 

In the first 12 months we have delivered 8 network events with a focus on understanding systems approaches, Asset Based Community Development, developing partnerships and increasing sustainability. Over 60 partner organisations engaged with the process.​ 

​It was identified early within the project, that there was a need to create a level of understanding of what place based systems and approaches meant for Wakefield. Also, the benefits of establishing networks of partnerships across the place and within the Council. We supported the team through training, sharing and development opportunities, to help build knowledge, understanding and confidence.  

Through the establishment of the new network, and in particular our creative approach to events, Wakefield colleagues have developed other creative approaches to engaging communities including the “Big Conversation” and Asset Based Community Development project to strengthen engagement with Wakefield’s deprived communities.​ 

The project has led to significant increase in partners engaged in physical activity, and a number of new strategic partnerships have been established including a joint project between the Yorkshire Sport Foundation and AgeUK. The development of a funders forum as new approach to try and align funding is also showing significant potential. 

The Navigating Local Systems work built on a small investment from Sport England in developing a place approach and shared strategy, and there is now further investment from Sport England to continue and deepen their work. ​ 

This approach and learning across Wakefield, bodes really well for the development of their new physical activity strategy. 

More of our work

In spring 2023, Miova was contracted by an international pharmaceutical company to work with one of their business units.