April 8, 2024

Get Out Get Active (GOGA) Tayside

The Get Out Get Active (GOGA) programme began as a collaboration between NHS Tayside and Scottish Disability Sport (SDS) in early 2020, funded through the Spirit of 2012, following the legacy of the London Olympics. GOGA is a UK wide initiative with the aim of encouraging more people to be more active together. The programme in Tayside is the only one in Scotland and the only one with a direct link to health, and since October 2023 has been fully funded by NHS Tayside Charitable Foundation.

GOGA provides fun, free, and inclusive activities, open to all ages and abilities, with a focus on the most inactive populations, particularly those with disabilities and/or chronic ill health. By delivering activities across NHS sites and local communities, the programme has established a pathway to encourage people to sustain physical activity throughout the lifespan and strengthen links between health and physical activity.

It is a unique programme not least in terms of being embedded within health, but also because it provides ‘entry-level’ activities for the least active in non-traditional settings, for example wards, community centres, church halls, and community gardens. By doing so, the programme aspires to break down barriers to physical activity, promote health and wellbeing, and address prevailing inequalities.

GOGA Tayside commenced in early 2020 and as a consequence of the Covid19 pandemic, the programme was initially delivered by means of ‘live’ online classes and activities. Taster sessions and short blocks of in-person classes were trialled as the lockdown restrictions were eased, alongside community and partnership engagement events to gain an understanding of unmet needs, gaps in service provision, and particular interest and demand.

In March 2022, GOGA activities were piloted in Amulree, which is an adult psychiatry rehabilitation ward in Murray Royal Hospital. This included weekly Strength and Balance classes, and Yoga.

From September 2022, a full in-person programme of activities was launched across local communities throughout Tayside, including community gardens near to our hospitals. This has been complimented by the existing online provision, which was continued due to high demand from participants in rural areas and those with poor health and limited mobility.

Soon thereafter, GOGA began delivering across three additional wards at Murray Royal – Kinclaven, Leven and Moredun. Followed by four wards at Carseview Centre, namely IPCU, Wards 1&2, and Mulberry. The programme continues to engage with a range of clinical services, departments and sites to further expand our provision for the benefit of our patients, as well as staff, students and visitors.

The primary objective of the programme is to increase physical activity amongst the most inactive populations, particularly those with disabilities and/or chronic ill health.

The associated goals to achieve this objective are as follows:

  1. Identify and target the most inactive groups across Tayside, particularly those with disabilities and/or chronic ill health.
  2. Work collaboratively with our partners to identify unmet needs and gaps in service provision and assess demand/interest.
  3. Deliver fun, free and inclusive physical activities targeted at the most inactive groups across NHS sites and communities.
  4. Create a pathway for patients from hospital to community-based activities to help promote and sustain physical activity across the lifespan.
  5. Work collaboratively with our partners to support and facilitate access to the most appropriate physical activity opportunities.


Early 2020: Commencement of the GOGA programme in Tayside

Spring/Summer 2020: Planning and consultation; community and partnership engagement; needs assessments

Autumn 2020: Online all ability activity programme rolled out, including Chair Based Exercise, Family Yoga and Tai Chi

Early 2021: Supported involvement in, and input to, aligned projects and initiatives such as 5 Ways to Wellbeing

June 2021: Collaboration with ANGUSalive to deliver two new weekly in-person activities – New Waves and Angus Rocks

Autumn 2021: In-person taster sessions such as Walk & Wheel and Grow with GOGA, community events, training opportunities and volunteer recruitment

Winter 2021/Spring 2022: Additional face-to-face activities trialled at various local venues, including Family Fun and Learn to Ride sessions

March 2022: In-person activities trialled within Amulree ward, Murray Royal Hospital, including Strength & Balance, and Yoga

Summer 2022: Further planning and consultation; active participation in local community and partnership events; needs assessments; instructor and volunteer recruitment

September 2022: Full roll-out of face-to-face all ability activity programme, alongside existing online programme

Winter 2022: Trial new indoor and outdoor sessions following further participant engagement, including Roll with GOGA, Groove with GOGA and Learn to Swim; website development; continued monitoring and evaluation

Spring 2023: New activities in conjunction with Dundee University Student’s Association (DUSA) as part of ‘Wellbeing Wednesdays’ and Dundee Green Health Partnership at Ninewells Community Garden

Summer 2023: Awarded full funding from Tayside Health Fund for a further 23 months (from October 2023 to September 2025); launch of new GOGA Tayside website (www.gogatayside.co.uk); revised programme of activities

September/October 2023: Change management processes successfully navigated following new funding stream and associated internal processes, but the programme remains a close partnership between NHS Tayside and Scottish Disability Sport, and crucially the activity programme continues to be delivered and is not impacted by this; won two excellence awards at the Mental Health Nursing Forum Conference and Award Ceremony.

Results and Outcomes

GOGA Tayside is independently monitored and evaluated. Participant and activity data is gathered safely and securely through Upshot and evaluated by Wavehill (Social and Economic Research Consultancy). We currently provide quarterly mixed methods progress reports, demonstrating our outcomes against our set goals and objectives, as part of the wider scrutiny and governance procedures through Activity Alliance.As such, we know that we have achieved, and often exceeded, our outcomes and have developed a robust evidence-base, and associated approaches, to consolidate and improve our programme, whilst promoting the wide-ranging benefits of physical activity for health. This has helped us to secure an unprecedented funding opportunity from Tayside Health Fund to continue the programme for at least another 23 months.


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