To mark the one year anniversary of the Joy of Moving Programme’s first ever digital Festivals, which reached more than 350,000 children and engaged with thousands of schools across England and Wales, the EFL Trust has been look back at how the programme was adapted over the past year in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Over the last 12 months, the Joy of Moving programme – Ferrero’s unbranded CSR project delivered through a charity partnership with EFL Trust and our network of Club Community Organisations (CCO) - was adapted to support families up and down the country during a time where it became more challenging to remain active. Brentford FC Community Sports Trust was among those that took part.

Traditionally, the unbranded Joy of Moving Programme, which consists of the Move and Learn project and the Festivals, is delivered face-to-face in schools. However, with multiple national and regional lockdowns meaning schools faced closure for many children in the last year, the programme introduced a new digital approach to ensure that families and schools could continue to support young people at a time where face-to-face delivery was not possible.

The Joy of Moving online resource hub was launched in April 2020 and now has over 50 free games based on the unique Joy of Moving methodology. The hub makes the activities easily accessible for parents to do with their children while inspiring them on how they can keep their family moving right from home. The games are also easily adaptable with variations that families can do both indoors and outdoors in their garden.

Additionally, the past year saw the launch of two digitally-led activations: the ‘Joy of Moving: Home School Festival’ and the ‘Joy of Moving: Winter Games’. Both campaigns encouraged families to get moving through play and inspired them with additional games and activities to help them get active.

The ‘Home School Festival’ was launched in May 2020 during a time where children were unlikely to have their usual school sports day and we did not want them to miss out. The digital Festival enabled families to have an afternoon of fun – similar to a traditional sports day, to get them and their children moving in the safety of their homes. The response to the Festival was nothing short of incredible with over 250,000 children involved across 1,300 schools.

Following the success of the ‘Home School Festival’ and as the UK entered its third lockdown, the ‘Winter Games’ was launched in February. Given children’s activity levels generally drop during the colder winter months compared to the summer months (68 mins in summer vs 48 mins per day in winter), coupled with the fact that schools were again closed for many children, the ‘Winter Games’ was created to inspire children and families to continue to stay active indoors – with a wintry twist.

The ‘Winter Games’ took children and families on a Winter Adventure with an exciting selection of winter-themed games and activities that they could play at home. Throughout February and March, the ‘Winter Games’ reached over 350,000 children and 1,500 schools thanks to the strong relationships our CCOs have with their local schools.

Mike Evans, CEO, at EFL Trust, said; “We are delighted that the Joy of Moving Programme was able to adapt into an online offering, making the games and activities accessible for families across the country. This impact would not have been possible without the versatility of our CCO network who understood the importance of supporting children in their community. Their ability to engage with schools, children and families at the heart of communities meant that the Joy of Moving programme was able to reach hundreds of thousands of children, keeping them active during the most challenging times. We would like to thank Ferrero for their continued support with this programme through our seven year strong charity partnership.”

The CCO network were able to bring the ‘Home School Festival’ and ‘Winter Games’ to life with coaches and club mascots demonstrating the games, doing live Zoom sessions with key worker children in schools, and promoting heavily on social media. The combined reach of both the ‘Home School Festival’ (#JOMHomeFestival) and ‘Winter Games’ (#JOMWinterGames) was over 12.6 million, showcasing the power of the activations and the support of our network in reaching mass audiences digitally.

Charlie Cayton, Director of Corporate Affairs and Communications at Ferrero, said: “Over the past year, we wanted to ensure that our Joy of Moving corporate social responsibility (CSR) project continued to play a part in supporting communities across the country. As the programme is usually run in schools, we adapted the programme and upweighted our digital offering to provide an alternative way for parents and families to access our simple and fun games through our freely available resource hub alongside our digitally-led adaptation activations, the ‘Home School Festival’ and the ‘Winter Games’.

“We are proud to have been able to deliver a fantastic programme through our long-term charity partnership with the EFL Trust and with our new resource hub, we hope to help parents continue to engage their children with activity and movement outside of the school environment. As restrictions start to lift, we look forward to supporting their network in returning to schools for face-to-face delivery of the in-school programme.”

The future is exciting for the Joy of Moving Programme thanks to the long-standing charity partnership with Ferrero. In June, as the sun shines brighter, our Joy of Moving Festivals can hopefully once again take place face-to-face in schools, engaging kids of all ages with games and activities throughout a fun-filled day. Thanks to the positive response to our digital programme, the Joy of Moving online resource hub will remain in place and be updated regularly with new games, so that families can access these freely. You can find them all on Share your fun moments through #JoyofMoving.