Improving health and wellbeing outcomes in our communities
Increasing levels of physical activity in the community
Barking and Dagenham Council, Coventry City Council, Brigend Council, Waltham Forest Council
A new £2m, 50 metre Olympic size swimming pool is being built at Becontree Leisure Centre by Barking and Dagenham Council. Set to open in early 2019, the pool will be the first modular 50 meter pool in the country and the only Olympic size facility in East London outside of the Olympic Park in Stratford. Becontree Leisure Centre already has one of the largest Learn to Swim programmes in the country and is now only set to get bigger with the arrival of the new pool.
To encourage residents to be more active in open spaces, Coventry City Council used Public Health money to provide 100 metre markers in 45 of the city’s parks. This has meant that when residents go to their local park they can walk or run from one marker to another and they will know how far they have travelled. On Stoke Common, the council built a running track of 1km, and it has been used extensively by hard to reach communities. The English County Cricket Board also awarded the council a grant of £50,000 to enable cricket strips to be put in a number of parks in the most deprived areas of the city.
Bridgend Council has set up “Life Centres” where residents can be active either in group settings or alone. The Life Centres run the Exercise Referral Schemes, which support the thousands of people in the area that suffer with health problems to get into physical exercise. As a result, Bridgend has one of the highest levels of over 60s swimming in the whole of Wales
Waltham Forest Council has found innovative ways of keeping its residents healthy, opening two brand new state of the art leisure facilities: the £23 million Waltham Forest Feel Good Centre in Walthamstow, and the £11 million Feel Good Too Centre in Leyton. Between the two centres, they offer first class community facilities including floodlit pitches, Olympic standard beach volleyball courts, a swimming pool and a gym. Ensuring residents have access to sports facilities is a key part of the council’s commitment to improve residents’ life chances, which is why they have also maintained funding for free swimming for under 18’s and over 60’s.