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Case Studies

The best way to get a feel for what we can do is to read our case studies.

Get Active in the Forest

We established Get Active in The Forest in 2004 after putting together a successful bid for Sport England Lottery funding.

It has become a sustainable project offering a wide range of physical activities to residents in Derbyshire.

This innovative programme includes archery, tai chi, walking, cycling, orienteering, clay shooting and woodland laser combat and involves a partnership between The National Forest Company, South Derbyshire District Council and local health providers.

It was created by Debbie and she has project managed it since its inception.

The programme is aimed at those who are physically inactive including adults and young people with mental health issues, adults with learning difficulties, those recovering from ill health and members of the BME community.

Many of the activities take place on a weekly basis and anyone can join in. All the activities are led by either a member of staff or a trained volunteer. Other activities that do not take place on a weekly basis can be booked in advance by groups. The entire programme is managed by Amethyst.

In 2008 the project won national acclaim by being awarded the “Best Sport Project” in the National Lottery Awards.

Hosting a TV crew and using networks to encourage public voting were parts of this for which Debbie also took responsibility.

Teddy walks

In 2015, we were tasked with scoping and finding a way to market a range of family-friendly down-loadable walks, with the aim of encouraging families to walk together and to discover their local area.

We commissioned and worked with a graphic designer to create Bertie, a lovable bear who goes on adventures around the district.

This gave us the opportunity to discover local historical facts, have Bertie present details about them on the downloads and so to educate and bring local places of interest to attention.

Having Bertie present the stories about the places of interest engages the whole family and generates a valuable pride in their environment.

For one of Bertie’s walks we worked with the local Sikh community to include their cultural heritage in one of the stories for a walk in their area, helping to engage and integrate them into the activity.

On occasions Bertie leads walks himself, helping us to monitor the success of the project through attendance figures and family feedback.

Download figures are also used for evaluation purposes, enabling the capture of geographical as well as numerical data.

National Forest Walking Festival

The National Forest Walking Festival is an annual event hosted in The National Forest and which Amethyst has co-ordinated for the past four years.

We bring together a programme of 90+ walks over a ten-day period in May which involves working with and co-ordinating a variety of partners including local authorities, third sector organisations, private sector companies including farms, charities and statutory agencies.

This contract involves the pulling together of the programme, co-ordinating walk leaders and volunteer helpers, production of the event brochure, planning and managing the marketing and promotion, monitoring, evaluation and production of a feedback report for stakeholders and other interested parties.

2017 saw more than 1400 individuals join the Festival walks which were planned to include gentle strolls alongside more testing routes for experienced walkers and those seeking a challenge.

New for 2017 we included walks linked to the ‘Black to Green’ project, designed to highlight how the former mining landscape of the area is reverting to nature. These included a 'Coal pits to country parks' walk and an 'Industry’s legacy to the forest' themed event.

The Festival started with a Nordic walk from Moira Furnace and continued with a packed programme that included teddy walks, buggy strolls, educational rambles and nature trails.

Bread and Butter project

Originally planned as a three-month project, the success of this work saw it extended to nine months and deliver some fundamental changes in the area concerned.

Using partnership funding from SUSTAIN, SRB and the then PCG, the ‘Bread and Butter’ project involved working with the Newhall community to look at all issues of food poverty and food security, as part of a national scheme.

Our job what was to work out how to get into every part of the community – from children to elderly people – and to look at all aspects of what influenced their decisions about what they ate.

We used participatory appraisal – an empowerment approach that seeks to build community knowledge and encourages grassroots action. It focuses on use of visual methods, making it especially useful for participants who find other methods of participation intimidating or complicated.

We went into schools, social clubs, churches and onto the streets.

Having gathered the information and getting the evidence tested and validated, we drew conclusions and proposed small changes that could make a difference.

Among the actions delivered as a result were:

Installation of a community noticeboard

Basic cookery lessons delivered through Homestart

Creation of a community café – which still operates

Changes to planning policy to attract a decent supermarket selling quality fresh produce. Newhall now has a Sainsbury’s Local that does exactly that.

Attraction of a mainstream supermarket chain to Swadlincote




9 Nov 17 -

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