GM Active is made up of 12 separate leisure and community organisations. Members operate in all 10 local authority areas across Greater Manchester making it possible for us to reach communities across the whole region.
The GM Active collective accounts for 99 leisure and sports facilities across the city-region, with a combined reach of 20 million visits a year, playing a major role in the health of our communities.
Together, ‘We Move As One’.
We regularly highlight the excellent work being done by members of the GM Active collective that showcases how our services and facilities can benefit healthcare.
From postural stability in Wigan, to strength and balance classes in Salford, from Good Boost sessions in Manchester to support for stroke patients in Bury, you will find inspiring case studies from all over Greater studies below.
Click on a member organisation below to find out more about them:
The evolution of Life Leisure’s Brinnington complex in Stockport has had a dramatic impact on its place in the community.
The centre, which is in one of the most deprived areas of the town, has evolved from being an underused traditional activity centre to become a community hub bringing people together and encouraging them to be more active.
The change of emphasis has resulted in a substantial increase in usage typified by figures for Q1 and Q3 in 2022, which saw usage more than double from 4,441 visits to 9,537 visits.
Active Tameside’s Fuel4Fun programme offers free holiday club places to the 10,000 young people on benefit-related free school meals in Tameside, where they can enjoy fun activities, take part in creative and physical challenges, alongside a free nutritious meal each day.
Those children benefitting also have a hamper delivered to the family home; each containing enough food to feed a family of four for five nights. The hampers contain fresh fruit and vegetables, fresh meat, and ambient products.
Over the past 12 months, Fuel4Fun has supported 4,935 individual families (some receiving five hampers over last summer to support their needs) with a total of 24,675 meals delivered.
SCL’s postural stability classes are paying dividends for those taking part, as this anecdote explains.
An 81-year-old lady on the 24-week course at Wardley Community Centre was initially reliant on her walking stick. Thanks to some real determination she steadily improved over the duration of the course – to the point where dispensed with her walking stick!
After years of seeing such incredible improvement in clients’ stability, instructors now ask to take video footage of people in their first few weeks and again at the end of the course to capture their achievements and to show to new clients.
Be Well’s Active Ageing team delivers more than 20 strength and balance sessions a week that help reduce the risk of falls among the over-65s – and lessen the financial burden on the NHS.
Breaking down the financial impact of someone being treated after hurting themselves in a fall, it costs an average of £36 per person for a GP visit, while a visit to A&E without admission costs more than £90, rising to £100 with admission. An in-patient hospital stay for a hip fracture costs almost £9,000 per person on average, while the cost of a lengthy geriatric stay is £14,600.
Arcadia Library and Leisure Centre and Hough End LC, both Manchester, first launched a pilot for a water-based muscular skeletal (MSK) programme in spring 2022, which has since become part of a wider MSK UK research and innovation project.
Named Good Boost, the classes support those living with muscle and joint pain, and the programme has a land-based equivalent called Escape Pain – all delivered as under GLL’s Better banner.
Our case study features two participants who tell how Good Boost has benefited their physical and mental health.
Cheryl was referred to Bury Leisure’s Live Well scheme by the stroke team at Fairfield Hospital in Bury as a result of a series of falls while recovering from her stroke. Meanwhile, Janette was referred by her physio after a number of falls for very different reasons.
Both wanted to improve their stability, their wellbeing and their confidence. Live Well officers who supported the pair, plus feedback from the ladies themselves show the positive impact the Live Well scheme has had on both lives.
Myths such as black people have heavy bones and don’t float, along with finding swimming a chore while trying to manage Afro hair have been well and truly put the sword thanks to a project aimed at engaging African and Caribbean women in swimming lessons.
The 10-week courses were aimed at improving water confidence while giving those taking part the self-assurance to go swimming independently following the project, which would in turn provide positive movement towards improved health and wellbeing.
One of the participants says: “I have a frozen shoulder, painful joints and arthritis. The exercise helped with the pain. It made me more flexible. Mentally it uplifted me, and I felt better for going. (It was) good chatting with other people, it was an evening out and I looked forward to it.”
Osteoarthritis (OA) can develop in any joint in the body, but when it affects knees or hips, mobility can be affected leading to disability. This painful condition is most common in people over the age of 45 and poses a large and costly burden to the health and social care system due to joint replacements.
For the last 12 months, our colleagues at Be Well in Wigan, where musculoskeletal conditions like OA, are more prevalent than the national average, have taken a more proactive approach and look to engage with residents earlier on and prevent them entering the pain/medication cycle.
Stroke patient Alan Phipps illustrates the crucial role public sector leisure has to play in supporting the NHS.
Alan joined the Moving On After Stroke sessions at Rochdale Leisure Centre to help with his recovery after suffering a stroke in April 2019, later embracing more of what was available from Your Trust to improve his health, including a nutrition and wellbeing course, gentle exercise sessions, and a 10-week functional fitness course.
His story is one of several illustrating the sterling work being done by our colleagues at Your Trust to help and support locals with health, fitness and wellbeing.
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