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Lee Valley Regional Park Authority quantifies community impact with Sport England quality mark!

Lee Valley Regional Park Authority continues its commitment to quality as one of the first organisations in the country to evaluate both its facilities and its Sports Development Team through Sport England’s quality assurance mark, Quest.

Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, with venues across London, Hertfordshire and Essex, has been on a continued journey with Quest for its facilities for 13 years, with three of the venues, Lee Valley White Water Centre, Lee Valley VeloPark and Lee Valley Athletics Centre, assessed as Excellent and Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, Lee Valley Riding Centre and Lee Valley Ice Centre currently at "Very Good”.  

Its Sports Development team took up the Quest baton in 2009 and this year achieved Quest Stretch, the toughest of the assessments, becoming one of the first in the country to achieve the mark under the new Active Communities model.

Active Communities was brought in during 2016 to reflect the government and Sport England’s increased emphasis on community and health outcomes.  According to Daniel Buck, Head of Sport and Leisure at Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, Active Communities is an improvement on Quest’s Sports Development award as it looks in detail at the key priorities affecting the Sports Development sector.  

He said:  "The entire Quest process has challenged us to think differently about our service delivery and helped us to work smartly by identifying the areas of service that achieve most impact and by looking more closely at the wider return on investment.

"The Authority is always striving to offer value for money to the region we serve and to fully maximise the resources available to make a difference to people’s lives.  The Quest process provides a mechanism to check and challenge our work and how we do things.  It is easy to fall into the trap of just delivering a service that has worked previously, but the sporting landscape is constantly evolving and the Quest process supports an ethos of continuous improvement and shared best practice.  Achieving Outstanding in Quest Stretch for Active Communities demonstrates our commitment to the service, our region and our ability to continuously evolve and helps support our ongoing work with key stakeholders and funding bodies.”  
For Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, the Active Communities assessment process has further highlighted the importance of partnership working, challenging the organisation to look carefully at who it works with to ensure the partnerships achieve maximum impact.  As a result, the Authority is establishing an outcomes framework in partnership with key stakeholders to help open further opportunities for collaboration and innovation.

Buck continued:  "We have recently developed a partnership outcomes agreement with SENSE, the charity working with people with sensory impairments or complex needs, to work collectively on shared priorities and to provide more opportunities for people who are less likely to engage in physical activity.  We are keen to expand this way of working and are developing further conversations with organisation like London Youth and MIND.
"As a ‘customer focused’ industry, we need to ensure we are offering quality services, value for money and truly making a difference to people’s lives - areas highlighted by the Quest process, that have taken our organisation on a journey of change with the evidence in place to ensure the board and senior teams are fully behind the changes required.”

Lee Valley Regional Park Authority has a string of awards under its belt, including a Commended Award for its Sports Development Team in the ‘Harnessing the power of elite sport’ category at the London Sports Awards for the development of community legacy engagement programmes surrounding the 2016 UCI Track Cycling World Championships.