Breaking down barriers and giving back Breaking down barriers and giving back Phil saw an article in York Mix about Move the Masses utilising the outdoor gyms in the city to get local people and communities moving, and was intrigued. He immediately looked the charity up and thought ‘Yes! this is the kind of charity I want to get involved in.’ Since starting his own business a couple of years ago, Phil had become more and more aware of the importance of giving back - making a contribution and doing more for society - so he started off by offering to volunteer for Move the Masses. Phil’s background is in constructing play and sport areas. An active sportsman himself, he has always been motivated by enabling wider communities to access the kind of facilities that help them to be active and outdoors in the fresh air. Exercise is proven to have a massive impact on wellbeing through movement. Having delivered hundreds of projects focused on increasing physical activity over the years - the one missing part of the puzzle is the activation of a community to adopt the project so it becomes integrated into daily life. Reading further about what Move the Masses do, I had a lightbulb moment that "These guys have got it! Phil started his volunteering delivering prescriptions during lockdown and making welfare calls to isolated people. It’s really nice when you have a chat with someone, they are really glad of the call and you can tell they enjoy having a different person to talk to. Delivering prescriptions during lockdown was also a great way to get out of the house, with added benefits to others. On speaking further to our founder, Egg, Phil realised he wanted to be more involved. Between them they discussed whether he would consider being a Trustee. Passionate about movement, and with the realisation that giving back was rewarding and a great way to contribute, he initially joined in with a couple of Trustee Zoom meetings as an observer. Egg is really vibrant, really personable. She totally puts people at ease. Her outlook is really friendly, open and fun. After further informal interviews with other members of the board he is now our latest Trustee. Phil is passionate about the benefits of being outdoors and active, and sees this appointment as a fantastic opportunity to be a part of the Move the Masses family and to help support the charity in any way he can as it grows. He think the charity is really ‘on message’. People know they need to be more active, they understand being outdoors is good for them, they just need a way to help them connect the dots in a fun and friendly way. Even small interventions which can just start to help develop coordination skills are a step in the right direction and have massive benefits for wellbeing and confidence. He went on to say: I love the idea of communities taking ownership of their public realm spaces. By activating more people, the more self-policing and safer areas feel which leads to greater community pride. It can only be a good thing to get more people Meeting people, building confidence, having fun and making outdoor spaces more familiar! I can’t wait to play my part!