Cornerstone DM: Why we’ve put the full force of our marketing muscle behind GM Active

Cornerstone Design and Marketing has forged an unrivalled reputation within the leisure and wellbeing industry, with many clients – including GM Active – joining the Oldham-based agency via word-of-mouth recommendations from other leisure industry operators.

Its full-service marketing offer covers design, digital, print/signage, marketing strategy, web design and maintenance, and PR – all of which have been utilised for the benefit of GM Active at one time or another.

Cornerstone DM is one of our longest serving Strategic Business Partners, and here MD and founder, David Wadsworth, speaks about his agency’s ethos and why it has put the full force of its marketing muscle behind GM Active.

Why did Cornerstone DM become a GM Active strategic business partner?

I launched Cornerstone from a room at my parents’ home 17 years ago, and from day one, I’ve always strongly believed that good business is based on the three Rs – relationships, results and reputation. I’ve also been a stickler for honesty, integrity and authenticity, choosing clients carefully.

As an agency, we’ve worked closely with a diverse range of leisure clients for well over a decade and developed an intrinsic understanding of their unique markets, target audiences and stakeholders.

So, the simple answer to the question is we want to work with GM Active to help it deliver more.

Population health and wellbeing is a fundamental part of our first world society. But it’s also on a knife edge – concerns about childhood obesity and what that is storing up for the future; poor lifestyle choices among the adult population and the impact that is having on the here and now, particularly on the NHS. 

If we don’t tackle these issues and encourage more people to live healthier, happier – and longer – lives then that is a fundamental failure.

GM Active recognises the issues and is working tirelessly to create solutions. We wouldn’t be choosing our clients carefully if we didn’t want to leverage the three Rs and be part of that movement.

What has Cornerstone DM brought to GM Active in your opinion?

Cornerstone’s services for GM Active are almost entirely B2B and include strategic marketing, PR, media handling and planning, as well as aiding the growth of its digital footprints, brand reach and recognition through social media activity.

Our work includes creating press releases and social media campaigns about services, topics and themes, which have led to diverse national and regional media coverage across print, digital and broadcast media, including leading B2B leisure and health magazines.

Our PR nous was invaluable in helping GM Active members stave off potential negative media coverage about pool closures.

Meanwhile, our social media activity has complemented the positive media coverage and helped to raise GM Active’s profile on LinkedIn and Twitter.

As a result of our input and support – and combined with the excellent work being done by GM Active and its collective of members – GM Active itself, its Pivot to Active Wellbeing, the Transformational Leadership Programme and the pioneering Prehab4Cancer programme are all seen as beacons of excellence by the health and wellbeing industry, as other strategic business partners have testified.

What more can Cornerstone DM bring to GM Active?

Quite a difficult question, but the answer is rooted in our ongoing work for GM Active and is already work in progress.

It’s part of our strategy to raise the organisation’s profile not only across the leisure insutry, but across the wider health, NHS, patient care and government stakeholders, in order to drive improved awareness of the social value and impact leisure can play in reducing health inequalities and driving a healthier society. 

This will be achieved through a fully integrated marketing strategy, transformation of the GM Active website into a nationally recognised ‘site of reference’, and marketing outreach where expertise is shared and thought leadership is delivered to heighten GM Active’s growing profile. 

Our work will continue to place case studies illustrating the excellent work being done by members of the GM Active collective in the right channels in order to bridge the gap between health and leisure, along with academic insight into what is needed to make that happen.

We’ll continue to work with GM Active to ensure that more of the same continues.

What can GM Active do for Cornerstone DM?

Continue to see the value in what we bring to GM Active and work with us to add even more in whichever way we can and spread the message of other operators across the GM region and further afield.

We are willing and waiting to build on what we have already achieved in unison as the next phase of the Pivot to Active Wellbeing comes to fruition, as the P4C programme expands, as more innovative training initiatives are introduced, and more case studies are ready to be highlighted.

GM Active needs to maintain momentum and in doing so we will continue to spread the word.

What do you see as the value of GM Active?

No one else is doing what GM Active does and it punches way above its weight given the size of the core organisation.

It combines two very important elements – innovation and action.

It has a clear vision of what the leisure industry needs to achieve to improve population health and wellbeing. While there has been a lot of talk about how the sector needs to ‘pivot’ (or even if pivot is the correct word), GM Active has stepped up and is actually doing something to make the pivot to active wellbeing a reality.

It champions the excellent work its members are doing, proving that the leisure industry is a worthy partner for healthcare professionals to help those living with long term health conditions, or going through rehab and recovery, to be the best they can be, regardless of the journey they are on.

If you want to know more about Cornerstone, you can find their website here.

Future Fit: Proud to be helping GM Active operate beyond the cutting edge

Transformational leaders, continuous professional development and digital staff induction – the impact of our strategic business partner Future Fit runs deep throughout GM Active.

Future Fit’s Group Operations Director, Tom Godwin, was joined by two of his team, Lewis Thompson, Business Development Manager, and Amy Sabin, Marketing Executive, to discuss the partnership and how the work being done here in Greater Manchester is beyond cutting edge and priceless for the nation.

Here is their collective thoughts….

What GM Active is achieving in Greater Manchester is seen nationally as an exemplar of working towards a common goal of getting the community healthier and more active. 

The impact this can have is very exciting, and seeing what is going on, we want to do whatever we can to support it.

We’ve worked with some of the key figures in GM Active for a long time, such as (Chair) Andy King and John Oxley, Chief Executive at Life Leisure. 

Effectively, what we do is offer workforce training, we develop qualifications, we develop learning for people. So, for example, transformational leadership didn’t exist, we created it with John Oxley for GM Active and now the Transformational Leadership Programme is a national product. 

One of the big things in our industry that we haven’t always had is collaboration. What we’ve learned off the back of GM Active is the more we speak to each other, the more we learn and that can only result in a greater impact on the good that we can do for the communities around the UK.

When we travel around the country and speak to other operators, we are constantly asked ‘how do GM Active do it?’, or ‘what does GM Active do?’. 

GM Active is a step ahead and people are trying to learn from what’s going on here. We’re proud to play our part.

What has Future Fit brought to GM Active in your opinion?

A lot! We have the aforementioned Transformational Leadership Programme (TLP) and so far that’s trained 80 transformational leaders across the GM ecosystem, who are all having a huge impact. 

We’re going to continue TLP over the coming years and train about 40 would-be leaders a year going forwards. 

We’ve then got the GM Active skills academy with training around behaviour change and working with people with cancer, who get the support they need from the Prehab4Cancer programme. 

There’s material on empathy, emotional resilience, and mental health in a Continuous Professional Development (CPD) hub that’s available to anyone that works in the space to ensure they are geared up and ready to move towards the pivot with a full understanding of what it’s all about. 

The third strand we’ve worked on with GM Active has been staff induction. We have developed a very detailed induction and the idea behind it is to make sure that everyone buys in and understands what the mission is and the role they play in the wider system. 

We’re now planning a set of qualifications around management and leadership. So, TLP is more about systems thinking, transformative leadership, whereas we’re developing introductory skills to being a team leader. 

It’s about leading people, communication, budgets, the basics of marketing – all those things that people operating in the duty manager up to general manager space might need to become better at their job. All of it is set and framed within the pivot.

One of the things we’re tackling is helping the GM Active workforce, which is predominantly made up of young people, deal with older customers. Some trusts have noticed the gap and a disconnect.

It really emphasizes the importance of our partnership with GM active. They have identified this gap, this demographic they’re not reaching, and we can provide the training needed. For example, older adults, people with long term health conditions, these are all people that it is essential to reach with the pivot to active wellbeing, and that’s what we’re able to facilitate.

What more can Future Fit bring to GM Active?

Firstly, we want to remain a part of the GM Active support mechanism, doing what’s right for the future so GM Active can keep moving forward and doing the fantastic work it does.

This is quite a difficult question in that every single partner, every single community, is different.

It’s hard to know what else is needed, but if it’s in our field of expertise we want to provide the right education, the right focus to help them support the needs they have in that particular community.

What can GM Active do for Future Fit?

Keep doing the good work it is doing, it’s as simple as that!

It’s important for us though that GM Active demonstrates the importance of learning and the impact it has on employees.

As a sector, we struggle with staff retention. A lot of that is down to the perception of the work they do, but by upskilling staff with extra training, so they can reach specific populations, it can make them feel more valued as part of the wider public health workforce and not just someone who works in a leisure centre.

And GM Active should keep challenging us. We’ve spoken about the different needs and focuses of different communities, and if there’s a specific problem, ask us to help to fix it. We can all keep moving in the same direction, even though there could be different processes as it’s never going to be the same everywhere.

If you want to know more about Future Fit, you can find their website here.

Reach Wellness: A shared vision to improve wellness among Greater Manchester’s communities

Exercise is just as much about recovery and regeneration as it is about pushing yourself, says Jeff Davis, Managing Director of our Strategic Business Partner, Reach Wellness.

A veteran of the fitness industry with more than 35 years’ experience and a BSc (Hons.) in Sports Science to his name, Jeff is passionate about the health and wellness benefits that being more active can achieve, recognising our Pivot to Active Wellbeing has a crucial role to play in supporting an ageing population and helping to tackle the health conditions that come with the territory.

Whilst Reach Wellness supplies standard fitness equipment it specialises in innovative niche products that supplement and complement the traditional gym.

Here, Jeff explains why his company joined our SBP programme, shares his philosophy towards exercise, how sometimes ‘less is more’, and why patience is a virtue in pursuit of your goals.

As our name suggests, we are keen to reach out and make a difference and help people reach their personal wellness goals. This is a timely opportunity to work with GM Active, whose members run 99 publicly owned leisure and physical activity assets/centres to support health and wellness.

We share GM Active’s vision to improve wellness among Greater Manchester’s communities, so we think there’s a really good alignment with our own goals.

Notwithstanding that, I’ve also known some of the key players in GM Active, such as the Chair, Andy King, and Life Leisure CEO, John Oxley, for many years and respect their ability to get things done.

I think there’s good opportunity to provide what we do at existing sites, who are working in a traditional sort of way (with cardiovascular and resistance equipment), particularly in support of the pivot to active wellbeing, which is where I believe we can contribute.

What has Reach Wellness brought to GM Active in your opinion?

It still feels that we’re in the early stages of understanding how we can interact with GM Active, and I think opportunities like this blog will help us raise our profile and increase awareness of what we have to offer, which sort of answers the first question as well.

We have had some good conversations with members of the GM Active collective, and understand that it takes time to understand and change. We’re resilient and we believe we can eventually get over the line at some of the GM Active sites once they fully realise what we have to offer (and the funds are available).

Reach Wellness has been established for more than 20 years and we have equipment in public leisure trust sites and private sites throughout the UK, so we are already a trusted business.

As I said, we’ve had some good conversations with chief execs within GM Active, but they are busy people, they have a lot of priorities and financial stresses to juggle, so we need to communicate effectively with the relevant personnel.

We are aware of the financial pressures, and that’s why some pools have had to close. But we still have to maintain a view that it’s important to provide meaningful differences too, because we have an ageing population living longer with more ailments to consider. Active wellbeing is about physical and mental health.

That’s where, I think, things like better movement preparation, mobilisation, recovery, regeneration, flexibility, stretching, coordination, balance, and agility – these are all elements that are not spoken to or offered properly on the traditional gym floor.

And that’s not criticism, it’s just an observation – to say look there’s companies like ourselves who have a unique offering in this respect. That’s exactly why we thought it was a good opportunity to partner strategically with GM Active.

What more can Reach Wellness bring to GM Active?

I would be delighted to create more opportunities to demonstrate the benefits of our equipment and we’re open to suggestions in that respect.

We have a comprehensive installation of FIVE Concept Equipment in Sale. I would be happy to organise open days for anyone and everyone who wants to see it, or if someone is making a grant application for new equipment, we’d be happy to provide a quotation.

I’ve been in the industry since 1985 and I think I have developed a sensitive antenna not only for what’s going on now, but also for future trends. Recovery and regeneration are beginning to be grasped with more people saying we need that on the gym floor as the awareness increases.

We’ve all got to know about the benefits of an ice bath (after exercise) for example, but that’s not practical on a gym floor. That’s why products like our Sensopro, which provides coordination and balance training, and FIVE Concept, which is all about mobility, are important pieces of equipment and make total sense when people see and experience them for training purposes.

What can GM Active do for Reach Wellness?

Well, this conversation is really welcome, for starters! Because it’s going on the GM Active website, we can use it as a point of reference by steering would-be GM Active customers to it to understand us.

We know we have a lot of work to do. Money only goes so far these days, and I know that presently we’re probably on the ‘nice to have’ list rather than the priority list, but our equipment can help a gym differentiate itself from its competitors. 

We’re all about getting people to wake up to the fact that it’s not just about going to the gym and going hell for leather. 

New Year is a good example. After Christmas, lots of people say they’re going to get fit, so they go to the gym Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and they’re broken by Friday. It’s just how people are.

‘If you want to know more about Reach Wellness, you can find their website here.

Innerva: Bridging the gap between age and activity with power assisted exercise

Innerva provides niche exercise equipment designed for people who don’t go to a gym or a leisure centre.

If that sounds at odds with being a strategic business partner with GM Active, whose members run 99% of the publicly owned fitness and leisure facilities and assets across Greater Manchester, there is solid logic in the affiliation, as Laura Childs, Innerva’s Marketing and Communications Manager, explains.

Power assisted exercise equipment (not unlike the principle of an electric bike) allow an older demographic and people with one or more long term conditions embark on a journey to better health – and even find happiness.

Here, Laura outlines how that becomes possible, and why Innerva and GM Active make perfect partners.

Why did Innerva become a GM Active strategic business partner?

First and foremost, we view the work that GM Active is doing, not only in Greater Manchester but in the industry as whole, as hugely important from a health and physical activity perspective because of the impact it’s going to have on population health, particularly among the older population.

Our Innerva solution is aimed at a completely different demographic to those who regularly frequent a leisure facility. It’s aimed at the people who don’t. 

They don’t for two main reasons – one is that they have a long term health condition, or they have a number of health conditions and don’t see a traditional gym environment as accessible to them. They’re intimidated, they need something less scary and somewhere more welcoming to start their journey to being more active. 

I’ve spent 19 years of my career in Greater Manchester, and I sat on GM Active’s marketing sub group before I moved to Innerva, and that’s really helped me to understand there are so many similarities in what we both want to achieve.

So, our mission is to improve the health of older people within the whole of the UK, and further afield because we export, and that is very much aligned with a great many of GM Active’s core ambitions.

What has Innerva brought to GM Active in your opinion?

We are here to support the message and increase awareness about the importance of providing the means for an older demographic, and people with long term health conditions to be more active. 

While we don’t currently have equipment in any GM Active sites, we have experience of dealing with the ‘health’ part of the pivot to active wellbeing. 

We’ve had a suite of equipment in a brain and spinal injuries clinic near Salford Royal for about 10 years.

We have started a pilot project in Wishaw in Lanarkshire with Strathclyde University and Wishaw Hospital where three of our pieces of equipment have gone on to an acute stroke ward as part of a technology enriched rehabilitation hub.

It has been modelled by Strathclyde University around health improvement and/or or outcomes for stroke patients to assess the impact this type of model can have.

But equally where do those patients then go when they’re discharged? NICE (the National Institute for Clinical Excellence) guidelines have changed this year from 45 minutes per day, five days a week of physical therapy or exercise therapy to three hours, five days a week.

This is about a journey over a period of time after being discharged. What we’re trying to do is look at the learnings from this and work with organisations to answer the question. Is there an opportunity to go into publicly owned facilities, or into leisure centres?

Partnerships only start to get off the ground in the first 12 months and I think we’re looking further ahead than that as to how we can move forward and hopefully support with Innerva equipment within some GM Active facilities.

But if not within the facilities, maybe within more hospital facilities where we can try and become a partner that bridges some of the gaps between health and leisure.

What more can Innerva bring to GM Active?

We operate in a niche market, we’re very targeted, and we’re already working with health and rehabilitation partners.

So, I think the answer to that is twofold. One is the learnings from working with specific condition groups and the other is that we are heavily immersed in research and development. 

I’ve mentioned Wishaw already. We also work with the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University, which we have done for a number of years, conducting a large number of studies on people with neurological conditions and the benefits not just of our equipment but physical exercise, physical activity and repetitive movement. 

And we work with Manchester Metropolitan University where we’ve developed two pieces of kit for wheelchair users so that they can exercise.

The whole collaboration piece is already there, but we’re trying to support it to achieve even higher awareness of the importance of GM Active and the work that we’re both doing in the space around providing for those people who need it most.

What can GM Active do for Innerva?

Partnerships are a two-way thing, so we’d like GM Active to continue supporting our messaging, which is exactly what it is doing.

We don’t tend to bombard people with messaging that is irrelevant to them, but I think the communication of our message encouraging people to have a look at what we are all about is important. 

Being on members’ radars isn’t about selling equipment, we’re not here for that, as strange as it may sound.

I know from my time within GM Active, that the people who are involved are passionate about changing the leisure/health landscape.

If you want to know more about Innerva, you can find their website here.

TGO Activate: An out of the box strategic business partner for GM Active

A shared vision with GM Active to encourage more people to be more active in pursuit of better health, wellbeing and fitness makes The Great Outdoor Gym Company Activate Ltd a logical Strategic Business Partner for us.

The Great Outdoor Gym Company Activate Ltd (TGO Activate) has been pioneering outdoor fitness equipment, safety standards, and technology on a worldwide stage since 2007.

It says it is proud to put community health and sustainability at the core of the business and that’s the reason it does what it does.

Here, TGO’s co-founder and joint Managing Director, Georgie Delaney MBE, discusses why the business has joined our Strategic Business Partner programme and gives us an insight into how she sees our partnership benefiting both parties, the population of Greater Manchester and ultimately the planet.

Why did TGO become a GM Active strategic business partner?

Greater Manchester with the city of Manchester at its core is renowned for its sporting prowess and while that is important to us, we are also great admirers of the whole momentum to get the population of the city-region moving by increasing the levels of physical activity.

We feel Greater Manchester is a really good fit with TGO because our mission has always been to get people more active and healthier via our outdoor gyms that are free to use and accessible due to their locations in local parks.

We work with cities worldwide, including Singapore, Hong Kong, and London and we very much feel like Manchester’s potential for outdoor gyms is untapped.

We first found out about GM Active, and the Manchester moving momentum, through one of our non-executive directors, who has been following developments here for a long time and it was he who pointed out the synergy between TGO and what’s happening in GM.

What has TGO brought to GM Active in your opinion?

So far, I would say we are at the start of our journey.

We’re hoping to bring a different perspective to GM Active, which is all around local parks and how you can use these open spaces to provide an alternative and, most notably, a low cost opportunity to get more people, more families, engaged in physical activity. 

We are also great supporters of the growing trend of calisthenics – a form of exercise that dates back to the ancient Greeks that uses a person’s body weight. The exercises include things like pull-ups, chin-ups, push-ups, crunches, and burpees. It became really popular during lockdown and the trend has carried on growing.

Another area we’ve been really developing over the last few years is what we call movement medicine, working with physiotherapists to develop the movement medicine gym. It can be used in healthy hearts classes, stability classes and in a programme called Move Type 2, which is tailored towards people who are prediabetic or have diabetes and are managing it.

It’s interesting to see how these programmes use our equipment and how you can blend different worlds together and create something that’s good for a variety of different needs. 

We have many, many examples of what we’ve already achieved on our website, where we feature case studies as exemplars of what we can do.

What more can TGO bring to GM Active?

I definitely feel like we can bring family-friendly activity to the parks with a high quality leisure facility in open spaces.

We have a higher aspiration about what we can actually do with outdoor gym set-ups and doing it really well by spending a bit more than is normally spent on outdoor gyms. Our philosophy as a company is making our outdoor gyms inclusive and safe for all users, which is why we were asked to set a British standard for this type of equipment.

It is sometimes hard to find activities to do as a family – that’s why McDonald’s is so successful! But we can change that by creating something that is a quality time experience for the whole family in the parks, where they can be together. I think more parents are wanting to do more fitness and so to do it as a family is a win for all. 

It’s great to create an environment whereby the whole family can get active together. An outdoor gym environment is a different opportunity to develop, so I feel like we can help everyone think outside the box to help achieve GM Active’s goals, but in an outdoor environment as well as indoors.

What can GM Active do for TGO?

We’d like GM Active to help us get some blueprint projects off the ground that are really going to be showcases not only for Greater Manchester but for the UK and for the world – we very much have a vision of healthy people, healthy planet.

The way we want to achieve this is to empower local populations to run the gym in the park, not only running fitness sessions, but perhaps having little picking and other activities in and around the gym that the whole family can do together that will get people moving but also gets people looking after the parks.

One of our core values is inclusivity, encouraging everyone – men, women, children, young people, older people to all get involved. 

We’d like GM Active to work with us on establishing a show site and supporting us with the activation so that it’s properly executed by benefiting from GM Active’s experience to help us develop a model that is scalable to help other communities.


What do you see as the value of GM Active?

Championing more active lifestyles across Greater Manchester to create a healthier population is admirable, so too is its Pivot to Active Wellbeing to encourage the use of publicly run leisure facilities and services to support those living with long term-health conditions.

If you want to know more about The Great Outdoor Gym Company, head to their website here.

Our role in tackling a health challenge of unparalleled proportions

Britain is facing a health challenge of unparalleled proportions, according to a tsunami of reports, publications and commentaries.

They highlight the issues and make recommendations on what needs to be done to address the failing health of our population and the challenges faced for 21st century healthcare, which include:

  • A sick population getting sicker with escalating, but avoidable, chronic disease and mental health conditions.  
  • The impact of wider and commercial determinants of health. 
  • Overwhelmed and unhealthy health professionals. 
  • An unhealthy workforce impacting their wellbeing, workplace productivity and ability to work. 
  • The impact of ill-health on communities and on our society as a whole. 

White Papper Graphic

As forerunners in improving population health, the principle of coaching people to improve their health is really relevant to everyone here at GM Active. It is one of our potential strengths as opposed to the clinical model of prescribing drugs and expecting people to follow that method of treatment alone.

The UK & International Health Coaching Association (UKIHCA), as the first and leading professional body for health coaching in the world, is so deeply concerned that Britain is missing a solution that could make a huge difference in turning the tide on chronic disease, it has written a White Paper setting out the case for health coaching in creating a healthier, happier Britain.

GM Active is pioneering a pivot to active wellbeing, part of which is to encourage our workforce to bridge the gap between health and activity. And while our workforce might not become health coaches in the exact context of how UKIHCA define health coaching, we think there is a place for health coaching as they define it, within our programmes.

Find out more about our Pivot to Active Wellbeing below:

Pivot to Active WellbeingRead whitepaper here

A timely intervention placing heart health firmly in the Pivot to Active Wellbeing


Your heart is the most important organ in your body but over time, poor lifestyle choices can cause wear and tear and lead to serious health problems like heart attacks, strokes, angina and vascular dementia – all known as cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Our Pivot to Active wellbeing is at the cutting edge of a huge impetus to immerse our leisure facilities and services in the fight for healthier, more active lifestyles to improve population health.

Indeed, the Manchester Evening News was the first to give the pivot some mainstream publicity by highlighting the great work being done by our colleagues at Be Well in Wigan, spreading the word about their basic health checks, while at the same time, telling the stories of two local people, Mike Walker and Linda Richardson, who have been using the Robin Park Leisure Centre for rehab after each suffering a heart attack.



Meanwhile, NICE (the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) is recommending stroke victims undergo three hours of rehab a day, every day – there’s another opportunity for our sector to step in as a key rehab provider.

That has been the focus of a feature in HCM magazine, in which our Chair, Andy King, made the case for offering a community-based approach to stroke rehab, via health clubs and leisure centres, that can provide a more flexible and accessible solution to address many of the issues associated with clinical settings (lack of staff, restrictive opening times etc).

It was timely, then, that our board members and strategic business partners heard from Momenta, a leading developer of behaviour change programmes, when its CEO Harry MacMillan gave us plenty of food for thought at our December 2023 meeting.

Driving forward for better heart health

There are around 7.6 million people living with heart and circulatory diseases in the UK – twice as many as those living with cancer and Alzheimer’s combined.

Momenta Newcastle delivers CVD programmes directly for NHS England and local councils. Momenta programmes are also delivered across the UK by many public, private and charitable partner organisations.

They spread the good news that there are lots of things people can do to limit wear and tear on the heart and the health issues that can cause.

At the heart (no pun intended) of Momenta’s drive for better heart health is the Momenta Heart Health Check, whereby participants receive a FREE personalised heart health report, illustrating the impact lifestyle could be having on their heart health while showing how key, day-to-day changes can help to make a difference.

Momenta’s Heart Health Check

Momenta’s Heart Health Check has eight questions and is in two parts:

  • Part one asks about four key measurements health care professionals use to assess heart health.
  • Part two focuses on day-to-day lifestyle choices that can have a big impact on heart health.

Most questions can be answered yes or no and there’s guidance for those answering don’t know. With all answers collated, a personalised report is compiled along with the relevant advice about lessening the chances and/or impact of CVD.

You can give it a go here!

Why focus on CVD?

Heart and circulatory diseases cause a quarter of all deaths in the UK and are the largest cause of premature mortality in deprived areas.

Up until now, the focus of the NHS focus has been on identifying disease with less support after a diagnosis.

Momenta has identified the future need to cater for large numbers of CVD sufferers with a high need for support.

Programme participant resources

Helping people negotiate the challenges of healthier living

The Momenta Heart Health Check is one facet of Discover Momenta, a leading developer of evidence-based, outcome driven, healthy lifestyle solutions.

It designs, delivers, licenses and continuously improves services to help people negotiate the many day-to-day challenges they face in living healthier lives. It supports public, private and third sector commissioners, clients and partners to deliver world-class behavioural interventions in the heart of local communities.

It boasts a world-class core team and leading experts in their fields. For example, its CVD work is led by Dr Paul Chadwick, Clinical and Health Psychologist and Honorary Senior Associate Professor in Behaviour Change at University College London.

The high quality outcomes can be delivered directly or licensed and supported.

In addition to heart health, Momenta has acquired a leading reputation as an NHS provider nationally on diabetes prevention and has developed the first national framework on diabetes in remission.

A short term opportunity? Some food for thought…

Momenta’s Heart Health Check programme is a zero-cost way for operators to demonstrate they can make a quantifiable difference to the health of their members and their local population.

Here are some of the other benefits:

  • Potential for increased centre usage and membership
  • Reinforces benefits of physical activity to reduce the risk of CVD
  • Potential to ‘white label’ online experience to promote centres / offer discount on usage / membership
  • Potential for full CVD Programme income stream 

Momenta can deliver a CVD programme virtually with no training or license cost and no need to find fitness coaches etc.

Strengthening our ties with CIMSPA

Why we work with CIMSPA

We are pleased to announce that we have strengthened our affiliation with CIMSPA – the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity.

Searchers on CIMSPA’s organisation directory will now find GM Active CIC listed as an employer partner in the member and partner portal, providing a brief outline of our mission and vision.

CIMSPA is the professional development body for the UK’s sport and physical activity sector, committed to shaping a recognised and respected sector that everyone wants to be a part of.

It actively engages over 300 sport and physical activity sector organisations to create new partnerships with employers and education providers.

Mirroring those values of our own, CIMSPA’s partnerships represent a commitment to delivering high standards of professionalism, excellence and supporting the career development and prospects of our industry’s workforce.

CIMSPA’s workforce leadership has been recognised by government, national sports and education agencies, and the sector’s largest employers.

Our commitment to each other has been further strengthened by the appointment of Jon Keating, our Head of Business Operations and Company Secretary, to chair the newly created Local Skills Accountability Board (LSAB) for Greater Manchester.

A national network of LSABs is being pioneered by CIMSPA as part of its local skills delivery project. One of the first priorities will be to create a Skills Strategy and Action Plan for each area by bringing together local employers, education providers and relevant local and national partners.

The aim is to improve the conditions for, and ability of local operators to recruit, train, support and retain an inclusive, representative and skilled workforce for the physical activity and sport sector.


Clare Dunn, Associate Director, Business Engagement Partnerships at CIMSPA, says:
“CIMSPA is absolutely delighted to be strengthening our partnership with GM Active. Their commitment to supporting the professionals that work for them to develop their skills and career is an excellent example of workforce development within the sport and physical activity sector.
“We are really pleased to have Jon chairing the Local Skills Accountability Board. GM Active have been incredibly supportive of the work taking place in Greater Manchester to ensure that our sector provides the services and skills that the local community needs.” 






Speaking about his appointment, Jon says:
“This is a key element in everything we’re striving to achieve both in GM Active and by CIMSPA – and that is the development of people and evolution of the workforce.
“While it’s crucial we identify what our facilities and our people out in the community can offer, it’s just as important that we take our workforce with us on this journey. That’s why the aims of the Local Skills Accountability Board are equally as crucial.”


Jon’s appointment to the voluntary role is bolstered by the knowledge and experience he has garnered from our Pivot to Active Wellbeing – our ambitious change programme involving all local authority leisure operators across GM, evolving how local leisure centres, swimming pools, fitness facilities and services are perceived and used, and placing a bigger emphasis on mental and physical health and wellbeing as well as fitness.

And as part of the pivot, GM Active has pioneered a Transformational Leadership Programme, which is steering would-be leaders from being ‘fitness and facilities managers’ towards public health and wellbeing.

Three other key LSAB purposes that overlap with the Pivot to Active Wellbeing are to:

  • Provide an expert advisory role to the local area reflecting the area’s skills needs within the SPA (sport and physical activity) sector. 

  • Encourage local stakeholders to deliver actions in line with the local skills strategy. 

  • Better prepare the workforce of the future with the knowledge, skills and behaviours required by local employers. 

Jon adds: “While we are pleased our GM Active work already reflects some of CIMSPA’s aims, there is still more to be done; and improving talent recruitment and retention and improving career pathways is right at the top of the list.”

Prehab4Cancer adds another accolade to its growing list of achievements

Our multi award-winning Prehab4Cancer (P4C) Programme run in partnership with GM Cancer, has added another accolade to its growing list of achievements.

It has won the innovation award at this year’s UKactive Awards, the fourth time the programme has been recognised for its pioneering work following two wins at the Health Service Journal (HSJ) awards and the patients’ choice award at the inaugural GM Cancer Awards.

P4C is offered to patients with lung, bowel and oesophagus-gastric (often referred to as upper GI) cancers and enables them to engage in exercise, nutrition, and wellbeing assessments and interventions before, during and after their treatment.

It has supported more than 3,000 patients across Greater Manchester since its inception 2019 and has since expanded into areas of Cheshire.

The UKactive judges applauded P4C ‘for being both important and revolutionary in delivering prehabilitation and recovery programmes for those managing a cancer diagnosis’.

P4C programme leader Jack Murphy says: “A cancer diagnosis can have a massive impact on a person, and increasing physical activity levels while waiting for cancer treatment is often the last thing on a person’s mind. But with physical activity and our support, people can take a proactive role in their own care and have a  positive impact their outcomes.As a result, they feel empowered to take back control of the diagnosis, whilst optimising their physical and mental condition to better cope with the rigours of cancer-related treatment. We can’t always control what life throws at us. However, we can control how prepared we are to face these life events and physical activity can be a key to this.”

Independent research that secured recurrent funding for the Greater Manchester scheme found that P4C hospital patients were able to be discharged home sooner and enjoyed a better recovery.

Headline results for colorectal patients included:

  • Prehab patients on average spent 36 hours less time in hospital
  • Prehab patients on average spent 10 hours less in hospital critical care

The shorter hospital stays ‘released’ 550 ward beds days and 146 critical care bed days, resulting in increased capacity and patient flow. Bed days ‘released’ from 1,000 colorectal prehab patients enables 179 additional patients to access timely surgery. Bed days ‘released’ per prehab patient cover the costs involved in setting up and delivering P4C for a year.

Patients experienced fewer post-operative complications and enjoyed a better recovery when assessed against four efficacy benchmarks: the commonly used six-minute walk test to measure aerobic capacity and endurance; the World Health Organisation Disability Assessment Schedule (WHODAS); the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) and the descriptive system for health-related quality of life, known as EQ5D.

Speaking after P4C won Best Not for Profit Working in Partnership with the NHS award from the Health Service Journal (HSJ), Dr John Moore, P4C’s clinical director of prehabilitation and recovery, said: “Prehab4Cancer is now seen as an exemplar for prehab, and how we do it.

“We work with colleagues in Northern Ireland, Scotland, the north of England, Canada, Australia, and America, all because of the work we have done in this part of the world. To be able to say we represent Greater Manchester on a UK and international footing is absolutely phenomenal.”

The strategy now is to extend the prehabilitation principle to more cancers, with a 10-year ambition to be treating up to 10,000 patients a year. This could grow the workforce up to 40 Level 3 exercise instructors and 40 Level 4 exercise specialists.

Co-designed and recurrently funded

Prehab 4 Cancer is a co-designed transformation programme between GM Active and GM Cancer. What began as a test project in 2019 has now secured the recurrent funding to safeguard its future.

GM Active is a collective of 12 leisure and community organisations across Greater Manchester all sharing the same vision – to get more people physically active so they can live healthy, happy and longer lives. It is a not-for-profit community interest company (CIC), which manages the majority of publicly owned leisure and physical activity services on behalf of the 10 local authorities in Greater Manchester.

You can read more about our P4C programme here.

Interested in working with us?

We are actively seeking new partners, opportunities for collaboration and innovative ways of working.  We can’t do this alone. If our plans, purpose and intent chime with you, please do connect with us and be part of our transformational movement.