Active Wellbeing was launched in February 2020, setting a new strategic direction for ColegauCymru and Further Education Institutions (FEIs) in Wales. A key strategic outcome is “Entitlement. Ensuring that everyone in the FE Sector has access to activities which improve their personal well-being”. Between April and June 2021, ColegauCymru commissioned BlwBo Limited to undertake qualitative research to explore the connection between activity and eudemonic wellbeing (meaningful growth and self-realisation, and learners realising their potential and have fully functioning lives) as a basis for measuring the impact of activity on Further Education (FE) learners. There is a wealth of quantitative data showing a positive relationship between physical activity and wellbeing. Creating an environment where learners and colleges have a better knowledge and understanding of the physical, emotional and social wellbeing benefits, may support further growth of active wellbeing participation throughout the FE education sector in Wales.
Capturing learner voice to understand the connection between participation and impact is part of this process. A series of online focus groups took place with learners from 11 Further Education Institutions (FEIs) in Wales. In total, 87 learners contributed to the research, studying a range of different courses, representing different year groups and settings: mature teaching assistant students studying part time, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), performing arts, health and social care, childcare, Fresh Start, Independent Living Skills (ILS) and learners from Public Services courses. A tutor and/or an Active Wellbeing Officer also participated in each group.