Mywellness Live and On-Demand at Durham County Council To Keep The Community Connected With Wellness Services

Durham County Council manages 12 leisure centres across a large area of urban and rural communities. Over the course of the last six months, it became clear they needed a digital solution to keep people active. Andrew Brown is Principal Physical Activity Manager of Wellbeing at Durham County Council. He explains how Mywellness Live and On-Demand helped fast-track the digital journey at a critical time. “Our community programmes and classes are crucial to members our offering, but we had no digital offering,” said Andrew. “Recent events showed us we needed to innovate – to connect with our community and improve their health and wellbeing.”

One facility had been running Technogym Mywellness for many years with great success. “We had already seen how valuable Mywellness was to supporting members,” says Andrew. “We started thinking about how a digital offer could keep people moving and connected all our centres and community services now and for the future.”

Building on the success of mywellness

Durham County Council launched Mywellness Live and On-Demand as well as using Mywellness to cover wellbeing and leisure programs. “We have put daily workouts and coached content onto the app,” says Andrew, “and regularly got 80 or so people taking part in activity challenges. It was a good start, but we wanted to do more.

The leisure team quickly created recording spaces with professional audiovisual, lighting, and branding. After just two months, they have filmed and edited 100 on-demand videos for users. “When we launched Mywellness live and on-demand, we had 1100 users,” says Andrew, referring to members already on the Mywellness platform. “We have added nearly 800 users in under two months.”

Launching Technogym Live and On-Demand has helped Andrew and his team learn about communicating with a digital-hungry audience. “We are very grateful to Technogym for providing such a user-friendly platform, and for providing so much guidance and support to make the steps of this journey such a success.” Uptake of the digital offer has given the team valuable insights into people’s appetite for on-demand content. “The split is heavily dominated by women, which we expected,” says Andrew, “but the age profiles are surprising. The highest engagement comes from the 35-49 age group. We will continue to look at our insights to create content that meets everyone’s needs, whether they come back to our centres or prefer a hybrid approach after lockdown.”

The main objective of the center was to give people something they could engage with during lockdown. They wanted to keep people active, healthy, and connected with their leisure offers. "Now we want to grow our offers. We already have a Get Run Ready plan and other activity challenges" says Andrew. The next step is to support people who engage with services outside of the leisure centres. They will use the Mywellness app to join up wellbeing services, community groups, and community classes. Durham County Council now puts its digital offer into every stage of member communication, from social media and emails to regular updates. The offer is always available if people want to use it in combination with in-person visits, or as a bridge until they feel confident about coming back.

Technogym Live and On-Demand is intuitive and user-friendly for members and staff. In just a few weeks, Durham County Council instructors, following guidance and support, felt confident enough to record sessions. “We’ve developed written procedures for coaches, and have supported them with presentation skills, branding, and technical issues,” he says. “Our oldest coach is a fabulous 73 years old and she is one of our most enthusiastic users of the system.”

Durham County Council plan to use Live and On-Demand content to support the most popular areas of their studio programming, offering people the chance to participate from home. “Gyms will always be part of life,” says Andrew, “but the way people engage with leisure services is changing. Having the Technogym Live and On-Demand service gives our community another way to stay active. It’s flexible and adaptable, which is exactly what people want.”

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