Physical Activity Referrals

London Sport are working to learn how open data and local physical activity opportunities can be put to best use within referral settings and support the achievement of a range of health and wellbeing outcomes.


The project, funded by the GLA and Sport England, seeks to identify the needs of service users, referral agencies and local physical activity providers, as regards the effective inclusion of physical activity within referral pathways.

It will also look to identify and develop potential solutions, proof of concepts or data integrations with referral services, in response to their needs.

To do this, London Sport will test these solutions for the three key user groups and capture learning and create a blueprint for using open data within referral services for the sector.


Be part of our Open Data & Physical Activity Referral Pilot

London Sport, in partnership with the Mayor’s office and Sport England, are inviting Expressions of Interest (EOI) to take part in the project which aims to test how to increase referrals into sport and physical activity opportunities from community, health and social care settings.

From our work delivering social prescription link worker training, we know that those who engage with service users, require up-to-date information on local, relevant activity opportunities. 

Gaining and maintaining this knowledge therefore is often a challenge.

We have a hypothesis that utilising open data to provide a live feed of relevant physical activity opportunities, which can be easily filtered by a link worker or service user, will increase the quality and quantity of physical activity referral.

This project will specifically explore how local referral agencies* can use open data** to make it easier for their service users and link workers, or other health and social care professionals or volunteers, to find a local physical activity or sport session that is right for them.

We are looking for social prescription (or other local referral services of any size) in London, to join the project which will run from November 2020 – June 2021.

The overall output of the project will be a detailed evaluation of the process of integrating an open data feed into a local referral service and its potential to support link workers and service users to better find and attend suitable local activity sessions.

If you’d like to take part in this project, please complete the below Expression of Interest form by 17:00 on 18 November.

If you have any questions about this project, please email us here.


Qualifying criteria:

To be eligible, services will need to:

  • Be delivering a referral service within London.
  • Provide us with access to service users and link workers to take part in a research piece exploring how link workers currently work with service users to identify suitable local activity opportunities, and to understand the opportunities to make it easier for them to find suitable local activity sessions.
  • To enable their referral system services provider (i.e. case management system or similar) to work with us to explore and trial integrating a live data feed of local activity sessions so that link workers and service users can access this information via the systems they currently use.
  • To take part in feedback on the trial and its potential applicability to service delivery in the future.

By taking part in the project, referral services will get access to:

  • User research and feedback about your current referral process into local physical activity opportunities.
  • Free technical support to evaluate your services’ capability and potential to integrate an open data feed of local activity opportunities.
  • Free usage of an open data feed (imin search API) during the project.
  • Funding to cover the costs of setting up and integrating an open data feed into your existing system.

Express your Interest:

Please read the expression of interest guidance document below before completing the form.


Physical Activity Referral Project

London Sport are delivering a project, funded through the GLA and Sport England, aimed at learning and demonstrating how ‘open data’ about local physical activity opportunities(1) can be put to best use within referral settings (2) and thereby support the achievement of a range of health and wellbeing outcomes.
  • Max 250 words


* Referral agencies are organisations that engage with people in their local community and provide advice and guidance and connect them to opportunities that would benefit their health and wellbeing.

These include Social Prescription and other health and wellbeing or community support services eg Health Hubs, Long Term Condition Pathway services incl Diabetes, MSK, Arthritis, Cardiac Rehab, Mental Health, Obesity

** In the context of this project, open data refers to information about physical activity opportunities that are made publicly accessible. To understand more about ‘Open Data’ in the context of sport and physical activity please click here.