Creating active places and healthy people

Here at Places for People Leisure, our mission is to encourage members of the community to lead active and healthy lives. As the first leisure operator to sign up to the Responsibility Deal in March 2011, find out how we have since created active places and healthy people.

“The community, young and old, sits at the heart of each leisure facility that we operate and manage. 25 million local residents pass through our doors each year in a bid to become more physically active and to lead a fit and healthy lifestyle.

“We teach 52,000 children to swim every year and 21,000 school children visit our pools each week during term time providing them with a vital life skill. We also offer Swim4Health at 41 of our pools across the country encouraging thousands of new adult swimmers into the water. Supported financially by local NHS trusts, the scheme seeks to encourage the most sedentary in our communities to get active. The six week aquatic journey uses innovative technology known as SWIMTAG to monitor and motivate swimmers. It also provides local GPs and other health professionals such as Practice nurses, physiotherapists and osteopaths with an overview of their patients’ activity in the pool, supporting tailored exercise prescription. In 2013 alone over 3,000 participants completed the Swim4Health journey. In recognition of this pioneering programme, we were awarded the Royal Society for Public Health 2013-16 Health and Wellbeing Award affirming our best practice approach to empowering local communities with inspirational health and wellbeing ‘hubs’.

“With safety at the forefront of our daily operation, 2,000 new lifeguards have been trained over the past year - 40% from the local community. We have also trained 500 first aiders of whom 10% are from local businesses and voluntary organisations. Each and every one of our leisure facilities has its own life-saving defibrillator and we have trained 1,000 people to use them; one of them being Duty Manager, Jon Fowler from The Sheringham Splash Leisure and Fitness Centre. Jon’s quick actions to support a member of the public suffering a suspected heart attack on an adjacent football pitch resulted in saving a life. Subsequently he was awarded the National Lifesaver Defibrillator Award from SADS UK.

“Fundraising also lies at the heart of our Group. Over the past 12 months we have raised in the region of £350,000 for a range of charities. The biggest single effort was our support for the annual Swimathon event for Marie Curie Cancer Care for which we raised over £180,000.

“We are a community-minded organisation bursting with passion and enthusiasm to get communities more physically active.”

Rich Millard, Sports Development Director

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