Can You Help Deliver Physical Activities in Our Local Parks?

Lots more people have been telling us that they don’t feel like they have the opportunity to be active during COVID19. As a response to this we’d like to work with local communities to develop free activities in local parks and open spaces over the summer into September/October as a way of providing more opportunities for our residents to be move more. This is a similar scheme already established in Birmingham.

If you deliver sports or activity sessions that get people moving, it could be hula hooping, dancing, gardening or tai chi that can be transferred to an outdoor setting, and are interested in the opportunity to get involved in Active Parks please get in touch for more details. Activities will have to be delivered in accordance with the latest government guidance on physical distancing.

Contact Active Calderdale:

Active Calderdale are calling out to Sports or Physical Activity Providers.

Are you a sports club or physical activity provider who is now delivering classes through social media?  If so please get in touch with links and details so we can share your sessions with local residents looking to get active.

If you haven’t yet got to grips with Zoom etc and would like some help in delivering sessions online  – contact us too.

Visit Active Calderdale

Active Calderdale – A stroll down memory Lane : Jaime’s story

(Photos by Olwen Edwards)

Something that has really supported me  through the COVID crisis is going for a walk. It’s a simple pleasure that I took for granted before  lockdown.  As a working , single parent, my pre-covid pace of life was pretty hectic. Oftentimes  I would  put off going for a walk , because I felt tired or lacking in motivation.  During lockdown  however, I found myself really looking forward to the  part of my day when I could get out for a stroll.

During this difficult period , I would  daydream  about all  the places I would  visit once the  lockdown measures were lifted. Shaw Park in Holywell Green was one of them.

I have lived in Halifax all my life. In the 80’s, I lived in the village of Holywell Green. Shaw Park, (or  deer park) was just across the road from where we lived. Myself, brother and kids from the village, played there literally every day. It was a place of wonder to me! It had a fairytale castle, an archway to a magic wishing  well, a duck pond and a herd of deer that roamed the hillside in front of the park, leading up to the small hamlet of Jagger Green.  The area that is now a nature reserve, was once a Lido, and back then it was fenced off and dilapidated. You could still see the rusty diving board and pool,  green with algae. It looked  so spooky!  we invented stories about it being haunted by the people  who  had drowned there. Winter in the park was fun too – it has amazing slopes to sledge down also the duck pond would freeze over.  I remember our dog and my dad, walking on it  and falling through the ice. Ah the rose tinted spectacles of nostalgia!

In the lovely weather we had recently I introduced my friend  to Shaw Park – she had never heard of it or indeed had ever been to  the village of Holywell Green . My first impressions  as we walked  around the park, is that it’s much  smaller than I remembered! other than that not much has changed.  A family of Canada geese now occupy the duck pond and the castle is fenced off. There is  still a herd of deer  though they live in a paddock now, the nature reserve has replaced the haunted pool, and the wishing well is still there- a refreshing   place to cool my feet.

It got me thinking how many other people don’t know about this hidden gem? Perhaps there are lots of places in Calderdale I’ve never heard of?  Places of historical interest, forgotten communities? Glorious, green spaces?

What’s your favourite place to go in Calderdale? Do you like me have fond memories of  growing up in a small village in North or East Halifax? We would love to hear from you.



Bike Week: – Help us Make Cycling Easier for You in North Halifax

This week is Bike Week. It coincides with a recent easing of government restrictions and the ask that we all ride or walk to reduce the risk of infection whilst using public transport.

Did you know that the benefits of cycling include;

  • If you cycle regularly in adulthood, you will enjoy a level of fitness equivalent to someone 10 years younger
  • Regular cycling can reduce the risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke.
  • Cycling to work can mean you have a 45% lower risk of developing cancer, and a 46% lower risk of cardiovascular disease
  • It can also boost your mood.
  • Cycling saves you money on fuel or bus/taxi fares reducing financial stresses.


Before you dust off your bike from the shed after reading the first bullet point, Bikeability have put together a guide to keep you safer whilst cycling during the lockdown. There is other great advice available on line including;


In order to make cycling in North Halifax easier, we need your help. 

  • Show us Where the Problem is.
    Active Calderdale and the Council’s Transport Team are working hard to put in place temporary measures to support you make more journeys by bike or on foot during the pandemic. The easiest way to cycle regularly is to use your bike as a means of everyday transport, so we need you to tell us what the issues are either stopping you, or making your journey more challenging than it needs to be.

We can’t help flatten the hills, but there are practical things that can be done. In response to the Walking and Cycling survey many of you completed recently, work is underway to make changes to local roads. To further this and make it easier for you to report the issues we are using the Safe Street for Walking and Cycling Interactive Map. Simply open the link, register (details halfway down panel on left) then follow the instructions to record your issue. We can’t guarantee we can resolve all problems but we’ll do our best.


  • Support Others to Cycle – Tell us your Story
    Cycling can be a bit daunting at first. Will you help share your cycle journey story with others, tell us your best beginners tips, what routes do you find easiest/quietest? Have you just started cycling – how are you finding it? Do you ride the school run or your commute to work? How have you made it work for you? Many schools are closing the road outside their gates to make it possible for more children and parent to cycle or walk with social distancing measures in place. Why not try it and tell about your journey.If you do already, or would like to commute to work, or you’re an employer who’d like to make your workplace more cycle friendly get in touch too, Active Calderdale have a Workplace Lead who advise.



Active North Halifax Engagement Co-ordinator.

Read Suzanne’s bike story!

Safer streets around schools

Posted on 10/06/2020 by Calderdale Council


Streets around Calderdale schools are set to become safer, healthier and more pleasant for everyone.

Calderdale Council is working with schools to encourage more active ways for children and young people to get to and from school, such as walking and cycling.

From Monday 15 June, roads outside 14 Calderdale schools will be closed to cars and other motorised traffic at school drop-off and pick-up times. No vehicles will be allowed on certain streets at these times for up to six weeks, as the Council is using its powers to transform the streets into temporary pedestrian and cycle zones. There will be controlled access for residents’ vehicles, deliveries, emergency and utility vehicles.

The new restrictions are part of the national School Streets(external link) community-based approach, aiming to reduce car usage and air pollution, promote walking and cycling and boost road safety, health and wellbeing.

This supports the Council’s ongoing work to tackle the climate emergency, improve air quality and become the most active borough in the North by 2024 through the Active Calderdale movement.

Introducing traffic restrictions around schools at busy drop-off and pick-up times has been a long-standing plan for the Council, and was successfully trialled at Field Lane Primary School in Rastrick to support Clean Air Day in June 2019. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought forward the rollout as part of the recovery and rebuilding to ensure a safe future for everyone, including safe education, safe transport and safe spaces.

Everyone, including those travelling to and from school, is urged to keep a safe two-metre distance from other people, to protect each other and help reduce the spread of the virus.

Cllr Scott Patient, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment, said:

“We are determined to give Calderdale’s children and young people the best possible start in life. A key part of this is to protect them from dangerous air pollution and help families to make healthy and sustainable travel choices. Recently we have enjoyed the many benefits of fewer vehicles on our roads. The School Streets scheme will encourage a healthier lifestyle and create a safer, cleaner and more pleasant environment for everyone.


“As the coronavirus will be with us for some time, building a safe future remains paramount. Our School Streets will support social distancing rules, safe spaces, safe transport and a safe education.”

Parents, carers and nearby residents and businesses are being contacted directly about the new restrictions. There will be signs in place on site and school staff will be there to provide information, engage with people and ensure compliance with the rules, taking social distancing into account.

The effectiveness of School Streets will be monitored and the feedback will inform future rollout decisions.

These are the 14 schools where the new restrictions will apply as of Monday 15 June, from Monday to Friday on the following roads and at the following times:

  • Abbey Park Academy, Illingworth – Keighley Close, 8.15am – 9.15am and 2.30pm – 3.30pm
  • Beech Hill School, Halifax – Mount Pleasant Avenue, 8.20am – 9.05am and 2.40pm – 3.25pm
  • Bradshaw Primary School, Halifax – Ingham Lane, 8.30am – 9.15am and 2.45pm – 3.30pm
  • Field Lane Primary School, Rastrick – Burnsall Road, 8.30am – 9.15am and 2.45pm – 3.40pm
  • Northowram Primary School, Northowram – Baxter Lane, 8.30am – 9.15am and 3pm – 3.45pm
  • Riverside Junior School, Hebden Bridge – Holme Street, 8am – 9.15am and 2.30pm – 3.30pm
  • St Augustine’s CE (VA) J and I School, Halifax – driveway closed 8.30am – 9.15am and 2.45pm – 3.30pm
  • St Chad’s CE Primary Academy, Brighouse – Finkil Street, 8.15am – 9am and 2.45pm – 3.30pm
  • St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Halifax – Portland Road, 8.30am – 9.15am and 2.45pm – 3.45pm
  • St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Voluntary Academy, Todmorden – Wellington Road, 8.30am – 9.15am and 2.45pm – 3.30pm
  • St Malachy’s Catholic Primary School, Illingworth – Furness Place, 8.30am – 9.15am and 2.30pm – 3.15pm
  • St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, Halifax – Swires Road, 8.45am – 9.30am and 2.45pm – 3.30pm
  • Wainstalls School, Halifax – Wainstalls Road, 8.30am – 9.10am and 3pm – 3.40pm
  • Withinfields Primary School, Southowram – Withinfields, 8.30am – 9.15am and 2.45pm – 3.30pm

Improving air quality, protecting the borough’s distinctive environment and making it more resilient is fundamental to the Vision2024 for Calderdale.

For more information about School Streets, visit link) To find out more about Active Calderdale, head to and follow @ActiveCdale on Twitter


Activity, Health & Well Being – Reframing exercising – Zain’s story

Zain has become creative in overcoming the difficulty of being in the gym to exercise.

“During lockdown, my regular physical activity habits of going to the gym became non-existent once parliament declared closure of all leisure and fitness sites. For someone who loves going to the gym to relieve stress and escape from all the worries of everyday life, managing these everyday worries become more of a challenge. However, I took this opportunity to keep on track with my physical activity by focusing on using body weight exercises to build and maintain strength and muscle whilst at home.

 Over the past month, I have once again realised the benefits of body weight exercises, the convenience of a home workout taking very little time out of my day, and being within very close distance to the shower! It’s great! Requires little time and very convenient. I have also been out for more walks whilst maintaining social distancing, this has really made me appreciate the surrounding environments and the beautiful landscapes we luckily have here in Calderdale.

 My work has also changed in recent months. From working for the Better Living Team and having an active role on the local community in promoting physical activity, health and wellbeing to now helping at the Volunteer Hub for Central Halifax. This has provided me the chance to really engage with those who are at risk of developing medical conditions and to reach out to those individuals who are directly affected by COVID-19. Having the chance to offer my skills and knowledge in becoming physically active and remaining healthy whilst at home has been a very rewarding part of this job, as well as signposting those to other services. I have found having this opportunity in having genuine conversations with residents affected by COVID-19 has been very rewarding and has contributed to improving my own mental wellbeing from actively making a difference in people’s lives in such unprecedented times.

 Having the opportunity to explore different ways of being physically active in the current situation with COVID and giving more attention to my mental wellbeing has definitely been a positive experience of this lockdown, despite all the current social limitations set by Government.”

Activity, Health & Well Being – Wellbeing during lockdown – Maurice’s Story



I first met Maurice when he came to talk to me about a day in his life. I was struck by how busy Maurice was: walking down to the town centre where he volunteered at Square Chapel, an active part in Holmfield Bowling Club, writing his life story and only stopping to relax in the evening.


Recently Maurice got back in touch and gave me an update on how he’s been being active during lockdown. Maurice has kindly given permission for me to share it with you to show the positive impact a little bit of activity each day can have on your well-being. It’s a surprising read.


When we were in conversation a few weeks ago you asked me if I would update you on the effect that the lockdown has had on my life. Well here goes.

You may recall as a 77 year old man I had quite a busy life. Three, four hour days as a volunteer at Square Chapel Arts Centre, three days each week crown green bowling and the seventh day also out and about usually for lunch. Well, what a lesson in my life has COVID-19 lockdown taught me.

I have now read two books, something I had not done for several years, I have bought a puzzle book, a half done jigsaw sits on the kitchen table and I am loving my morning exercise routine with help from Holly Dolke on YouTube.

Lunch of course is at home everyday and I’m thoroughly enjoying my one hour brisk walk in the afternoon. (During my conversation with Maurice he told me more about his walks. Following government advice, Maurice stays local and uses a combination of roads and footpaths. As well as being great for physical health, Maurice told me how it made him feel much better, enjoying the sun and just being outside. In addition to this, on Maurice’s walks he gets to have chats with people he meets along the way, whilst keeping a safe distance. Many of us can feel a little afraid of going out having been in lockdown, but seeing a friendly face and having a quick conversation does wonders to brighten your day).

Evenings I have always been content with my bath, dressing gown and television. How good lockdown has been for me. Following an important loss in my life, unwittingly I jumped onto a treadmill of far too busy a life which possibly I really may not have been enjoying as much as I thought I was. When life after lockdown returns, I am determined to continue to have two or three days a week not racing about. My days at Square Chapel, which has now closed, will now be free time. Crown green bowling I am missing and can’t wait to get into competitive action again. My life has changed, I am content, I feel relaxed and both physically and mentally healthier.

Lockdown has affected us all in different ways. Maurice shows us that including small amounts of regular activity into our day isn’t just about keeping fit, it’s about feeling better in body and soul. If you‘d like some inspiration to help you start getting active safely, have a look at Keeping Active During COVID 19. It contains links to We are Undefeatable and walking guides. If you’d like to share how you have been active during COVID 19 please let me know