With our thinking hats on, ForwardMotion and our partners have done some original research into active travel and behaviour change initiatives more broadly. Below, we’ve pulled together the most interesting insights from our research that are relevant to initiatives like ForwardMotion and to businesses who work with or support these initiatives.
|Small Grants Scheme 2018/19 & 2019/20
Wrap Up Report
1st May 2020
An overview of what projects SEAT funded and with which organisations, the key outputs and successes and how much we spent.
10 Projects, 9 Organisations
Total amount of grants awarded – £136,202.63
Project: Garden Ride – Community-led cycle ride event
– The Garden Ride took place on the 1 November 2019 and was a free riding and walking event giving people the opportunity to visit any or all their community gardens in South East Essex. They opened all their sites for one day and encourages riders and walkers to get active and visit as many sites as they can.
– Trust Links produced a webpage for the event and reached participants through social media, press avenues. FM communication and existing volunteers.
Key Outputs & Successes – 126 participants, 4 adults referred for cycle training, 21 volunteers worked on the project equating to 147 volunteer hours, training in e-Bike familiarisation was completed by 10 volunteers. The event was featured in the Echo
Grant awarded – £13,000
Project: Electric Bikes & Shelters – Electric bikes pool for volunteers and staff at Trust Links
– x6 G-Tech electric bikes and x2 trailers were purchased (x3 at the Rochford Trust Links site, x3 at the Westcliff site)
– Trust Links staff and volunteers were asked and encouraged to use these as transport between sites and for meetings and visits. Staff and volunteers were given cycle coaching and travel training from the FM team. A booking system was utilised by them to borrow the bikes.
– X2 green roof shelters were constructed and completed to house the bikes between August and October 2019
Key Outputs & Successes – 6 bikes were and 2 trailers were purchased for staff and volunteers; 2 green roof shelters were built, 25 staff and 10 volunteers received cycle coaching and training, 86 trips were taken using the bikes with a total distance of 46.8 miles travelled. 21 volunteers worked on the project equating to 56 hours and 10 of these volunteers completed the training offered to them.
Grant awarded – £20,000
Southend Association of Voluntary Services (SAVS)
Project: Active Futures – To research and develop new volunteering opportunities linked to active travel. Targeting Job Centres
– SAVS coordinated the other community volunteer service centres to engage with community groups, charities and residents with the aim of placing volunteers into SEAT identified opportunities (linked to active travel) via Volunteer Essex, other volunteer services and events.
– Each CVS across South Essex (Thurrock, Basildon, Castle Point, Southend) are set up differently and offer the community different levels of engagement and support and therefore were able to provide a cross-section contact at in conjunction with local job centres, advise hubs and local businesses across the partnership
– A wellness event at the Department for Work and Pension, walking groups arranged in partnership with Simply Stride, Foulness Island Marshes Bike Ride, Volunteers placed at Tilbury Carnival, Jobseekers and Students 16+ engagement are just some of the activities which have been delivered.
Key Outputs & Successes – Engagement with 1032 jobseekers/benefits claimants/unemployed, 439 volunteers placed in active and sustainable transport opportunities which equates to 896 volunteer hours spent on placements. 6 training courses were completed by 6 volunteers in conjunction with ‘See the Signs’ Campaign, Dementia Friends, Lone Working.
Grant awarded – £20,000
Just Ride Southend
Project: Just Ride Southend Learn to Ride – offering people of all ages and abilities (and disabilities) the chance to enjoy cycling in a safe and supported environment
– All anticipated Learn to Ride sessions between April 2019 and March 2020 were delivered and received excellent attendance and feedback. Access to a range of bikes capable of accommodating a variety of ability and disabilities were made available. (over and above a standard two-wheeled bike) to ensure that everyone, whatever their age had the opportunity to get involved.
– Resources and aids were readily explored and delivered to support individuals with specific needs, with progress being captured by their coaches to encourage improvement and increase confidence of the participants; with recognition and achievements being celebrated.
– Key Outputs & Successes – 15 learn to ride sessions (with 12 spaces available on each) were delivered with 167 riders participating. 30 volunteers worked on the project equating to over 3000 volunteer hours. Many of the riders have complex needs, so a follow up would be carried out after six months; indicating that at least 6 participants had increased resilience or had mastered a two-wheeled bike. Their new Cycle coach was trained to British Cycling Level 1 standard and completed the Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) training. 4 training courses were completed by 30 volunteers which included Cytech (2 volunteers), pre & post-session briefings and Heart Start training from Corringham First Responders. Resources purchased such as the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) and visual timetables created to support and allow children that struggle with communication to speak using pictures and communication cards.
Grant awarded – £2,414.63
Project: Cycle Reuse – Cycle reuse, refurbishment, cycle maintenance, a local hub
– Cycle reuse was about encouraging the reuse of unwanted bicycles and related equipment by offering refurbishment of donated bikes and cycle maintenance and to support people make more sustainable choices.
– Though there was unexpected delay during the set-up phase, the hub was set up and fitted out to deliver the objective.
– By increasing signage and sign posting take up of the initiative has been positive. A bike workshop/maintenance day was offered and promoted with the support of ForwardMotion in November 2019, where travel advice and referrals to FM services were also offered.
Key Outputs & Successes – 380 bicycles have been donated to the Hub, 340 bicycles refurbished and 296 sold. 44 sales of bicycle parts and accessories. 596 people have been engaged with and received cycle maintenance/travel advice and 1 person has been supported via the ‘Back to Work’ project (Job centre plus). 5 volunteers have worked on the project equating to 580 volunteer hours. 7 courses have been completed by 5 volunteers which include Cytech recognised training and accreditation scheme for bicycle technicians, bicycle inspection, basic refurbishment and pre-sales inspection training.
Grant awarded – £17,850.00
Friends of Hardie Park CIC
Project: The Hardie Cycle Hub – Community-led and supported innovative community project, in cohesion with a community hub and café.
– In Stanford-le-Hope, the Hardie Cycle Hub also known as ‘Old Spokes Home’ cycle hub has been fully set up adjacent to the community hub and café. Comprising of 2 shipping containers they have been rendered with wooden panelling and fitted out to deliver bicycle refurbishment, sales and maintenance.
– Through this, they have been able to offer travel advice to local people as well as supporting interventions and services that FM offers. They have been able to offer basic bicycle maintenance training, take bicycle donations, engage with volunteers and deliver community events promoting active travel.
– Working closely with ForwardMotion ‘On Yer Bike’ week ran in February 2020 and delivered a programme of activities and events including BMX track, cycle maintenance and balance bike taster sessions. Considerable FM promotion and marketing accompanied the event.
Key Outputs & Successes – 1 individual falling under the NEET (Not in Education, Employment, or Training) recruited and trained to Cytech level 2 in bike maintenance, 5 other people have also received bike maintenance training, 90 bikes have been donated to the Hub, 2 adults have been referred to ForwardMotion for adult cycle training. 4 volunteers have worked on the project equating to 220 volunteer hours, with 4 of those volunteers having received basic bike maintenance training.
Grant awarded – £19,750.00
Project: ‘Walking and Talking and Making’ along the Thames Estuary ‘Welcome to the Kitchen Table’ – Walking promotions project linked to culture
– Kinetika joined with Thurrock communities to encourage participation in exploring the local area on the T100 walking festival which explored Thurrock’s varied heritage through shared recipes and personal stories.
– It encompassed a series of 15 days of walks across Thurrock, along the Thames Estuary and in Kent, and ended with a colourful event at Tilbury Cruise Terminal on 20 July 2019
– Kinetika devised walks led by volunteer walk leaders and increased participation by recruiting new volunteers from diverse groups through running a creative engagement programme. Increased resource into marketing and promotion raised their profile and walks were mapped and uploaded online as ‘story maps’.
Key Outputs & Successes – 463 people took part in the walking festival. Working with students from Chase Academy and members of the public from diverse community groups flag design and painting workshops took place in May 2019, 26 flags were created and carried during the walking festival. 17 new online walks ‘story maps’ were uploaded. 44 volunteers worked on the project equating to 830 volunteer hours. 4 training courses which included, simply stride walking; silk flag making; sketchbook making, art journaling, photography, writing and screen printing were completed by 53 volunteers.
Grant awarded – £10,673.00
Active Life for a Healthier You
Project: Active Walk and Learn – Walking workshops and promotions
– Mindful walks, Power walks are just too of the walks which were delivered. These were comprised of new walk leaders, recruited as volunteers. With promotion of the walks and programmes through key locations including faith groups, active life sessions, social media and via ForwardMotion the project received good attendance
– The Walk & Learn programmes included ‘Body Image & the relationship to wellbeing’ and a Level 1 Lifestyle Management Course. Active travel was discussed as part of these programmes in align with self-improvement and self-care.
Key Outputs & Successes – 9 walking courses were delivered, with 125 participants. 9 trainees completed the Lifestyle Management course, and 10 completed the Body Image course. 3 workshops were delivered to 7 trainees. 9 volunteers worked on the project which equated to 18 volunteer hours, and all 9 courses were completed 9 courses. ‘Active Life Like Me’ photographic exhibition which included the courses delivered through the SEAT grant.
Project: Get Moving at Rainham Marshes – Pool bikes for the public
– A fleet of 20 pool bicycles were made available to the public visiting the RSPB centre at Rainham Marshes. Cycles UK carried out two ‘silver services’ between April 2019 and March 2020. These included a full check of brakes, tyres, brackets and wheels and ensured that their bikes were well-maintained for rental users during the busy summer period.
– Informative posters were created and displayed throughout Thurrock, Purfleet, Ockendon, Chafford Hundred and Grays railway stations, encouraging people to visit Rainham Marshes by rail and promoting their bike hire scheme. This was for a total of 40 weeks running from June 2019 until Sept 2019 (some runs being concurrent at the different locations) and included the ForwardMotion logo.
Key Outputs & Successes – Fleet of 20 bicycles in full working condition, being serviced twice a year, and relevant equipment provided such as helmets. Targeted marketing throughout Summer 2019 on public transport which included the ForwardMotion logo in the design.
Grant awarded – £7,400.00
Project: ngage – Active Travel as part of Corporate Social Responsibility and Public Health deal
– Active engagement with local businesses and their staff has delivered promotion and support for active travel and raised a conscious awareness about what businesses could be doing to encourage the use of sustainable and active travel. A framework was created which identified businesses as ethically/community conscious. active travel plans were issued to businesses to begin or further a policy which establishes a corporate social responsibility. Through discussion and engagement with businesses, Ngage have created new in-roads and relationships and have therefore been able to actively promote and link ForwardMotion by referring to the programme services and interventions.
Key Outputs & Successes – 4 businesses working towards the framework, engagement with 7 local businesses engaged in active and sustainable travel promotion/travel plans; of particular note, IKEA. A multi-day engagement event planned with IKEA, ngage and ForwardMotion for delivery in Spring 2020 [since then COVID-19 restrictions have taken effect]. 1 college has been engaged in promotion and other new relationships created, therefore a better understanding has been gained about what the appetite there is to develop a future active transport scheme.
Grant awarded – £15,615.00
Face to face meetings held:
Small Grant Scheme 2020/21
Subject to approval, the proposed released date to launch the scheme in year 4 of the SEAT programme is 4 May 2020. As with the previous grant scheme, a 6-week timeframe is recommended from scheme release to panel award.
Five ways to encourage a change in travel behaviour
The following recommendations have been adapted from research conducted by the University of Bath for ForwardMotion in 2018. For more information on how we can help you or your organisation change people’s travel behaviour, please use the contact form to get in touch.
1. Encourage a range of options for short travel journeys
Three-quarters of our car journeys are under 2 miles, and most commuter cars only contain the driver. By targeting those individuals who only commute a short distance, we can better persuade people to commute using a different mode of transport.
But rather than getting people to stop using their cars, we should try to encourage people to be more flexible in their choice of transport, especially for short journeys. Giving people a wider range of travel options depending on the distance, weather conditions and time constraints, is more beneficial. At ForwardMotion, we use personal travel plans to help people change their travel habits.
2. Target travel interventions at a time of change
Travel choices are often strongly habitual. This means that the ways in which people travel are often repeated on autopilot. So, when people act without thinking, it’s hard to engage them with the idea to change their default travel mode.
But when there’s a break in routine, like when someone starts a new job, this provides a window of opportunity to establish a change in behaviour. By reaching people at a crossroad, we are given the green light to encourage them to turn a corner and form a new travel habit.
3. Tap into emotional and social drivers
Much of our everyday behaviour has causes that we are unable or reluctant to acknowledge. For example, someone who has just bought an expensive car may not want to admit their true reasons for the purchase, even to themselves.
Similarly, we are heavily influenced by what we think other people do, as well as what we think are other people’s opinions about what we should do. We also associate different modes of transport with certain identities. Owning a car, for example, is often seen as a symbol of independence. Yet, we are often unaware of these influences and associations.
Structured interviews and group discussions can help bring these sorts of unconscious motivations to the surface. Such insight can be used to help more people change to more sustainable and active modes of travel.
4. Encourage more reflection when choosing transport
Jumping in the car, or even just reaching for the keys, is often automatic behaviour. Driving is more familiar to many of us, and as soon as alternative modes of transport appear more difficult, we are likely to fall back on the car.
When it comes to choosing transport, we usually focus on one goal, such as speed. But our decision will be heavily influenced by what we each think and feel about different types of transport. Two commuters who want to get to work as quickly as possible via the same route may well still choose different types of transport.
ForwardMotion runs trial periods for people to test out different transport options, encouraging them to reflect more on their choice of transport. More deliberation can lead people to reassess their travel goals and try out different ways to achieve them.
5. Identify different audience groups for targeted campaigns
Councils hold a lot of useful information about the local population. Using this information, we can split the population into different groups. For example, we can break these groups down by how willing or able they are to change their transport choices.
By segmenting groups in this way, it’s often easier to identify the reasons why people make certain travel choices. This information can be used to develop more effective travel campaigns that are tailored towards changing the behaviour of specific groups.
How to get businesses involved in your behaviour change initiative
In 2018, we conducted qualitative and quantitative research with contacts from a range of organisations across south Essex. The following five recommendations have been adapted from the research findings and are intended to help similar initiatives improve the way they engage with businesses.
1. Make the business case
Any initiative will have to persuade businesses of the value they can bring if they hope to have successful partnerships with them. This can be as simple as altering the language used when talking to businesses. By using words that are familiar to the private sector – such as efficiency, staff retention and profits – initiatives can more easily persuade businesses to use their product or services.
We know that active travel benefits the environment and boosts the wellbeing of employees. But this also has direct, positive consequences for the whole business. For example, more people walking or cycling to work leads to a healthier workforce, which can improve productivity and reduce absenteeism.
2. Get buy-in from the top
Senior managers have a lot of influence when it comes to innovation and change in their businesses. Our research found that a significant number of professionals in south Essex believe that an initiative’s success will largely depend on the involvement of management.
But HR teams can also play a big role in driving initiatives forward. This is because HR professionals are responsible for hiring and contacting new personnel. And, as noted in our University of Bath research, people are most open to changing a behaviour when there’s a break in their routine, such as starting a new job.
3. Show your support
Getting employees on board can help jump start an initiative, but that’s not the end of the road. Businesses are always conscious of initiatives that may take up too much of their employees’ time. So, initiatives that can offer the necessary levels of support to businesses and their staff stand a better chance of success.
Any initiative must be a joint effort between those involved. Therefore, initiatives need to clearly demonstrate the support and resources that they can offer to businesses. For example, by crafting communications materials that match the tone of voice of individual businesses, initiatives save them time – something never in large supply at any organisation!
4. Choose carrot over stick
Our research found that when it comes to council- or government-run initiatives, rewards are a much better incentive to get businesses involved. What counts as a reward – and what is proportional to the ask involved – will vary. Getting a return on investment is an important consideration for initiatives.
In our efforts to persuade businesses to participate in our initiative, we found that a reward of healthy food has been an effective incentive. It also helps to further promote a healthy lifestyle among businesses, by linking active travel with healthy eating.
5. Maintain the relationship
For those initiatives that secure a business partnership to help with roll-out, this may seem like the end of the journey. But it is worth reserving some energy for further engagement. Our research found that the majority of initiatives regretted not staying in contact with their partners, with many focusing more of their attention on securing new business.
However, initiatives that continue engaging with their partners can keep the momentum going and build better, more long-term relationships. This approach can bring additional benefits further down the line, with unforeseen opportunities providing the potential for new partnerships in the future.
For example, initiatives can draw up a calendar of upcoming events and suggest activities that businesses can engage with. Giving partners a clear plan of action will boost their confidence in the initiative.