Health and wellbeing training programme will empower new wave of transformational leaders

Key staff in Greater Manchester’s community leisure and physical activity sector are being selected to take part in our new Transformational Leadership programme. Our new programme aims to steer the transition from being ‘fitness and facilities’ managers to become future leaders of public health, wellbeing and communities.

We want to inspire the region’s community leisure workforce to offer new ways of helping people across Greater Manchester live healthy, happy and fulfilled lives. Our programme has been created to empower our member-organisations’ staff to play a greater role in developing new wellness services and innovative, cross-sectoral responses to current and emerging population health needs.

Our programme will cover key topics that will help staff understand their role within the wider ecosystem and look at wellness, NHS and social care systems with a view to identifying more collaborative ways of working with other professionals and community groups.

A new cohort of leisure sector leaders will have the latest insight and skills to help the sector more effectively address the huge health and physical activity inequalities that exist across the region’s diverse communities. 

The leadership programme is supported by GreaterSport and made possible with investment from the National Lottery, through the Local Pilot in Greater Manchester with Sport England. The Transformational Leadership programme has been designed and delivered in partnership with the training provider Future Fit Training and we would like to thank them for their continued support.

Andy King, Chair of GM Active, which is now a community interest company (CIC), said: “It is vital that staff across the community leisure sector understand much more about the wider community we serve and how we can better play our part in improving health and wellbeing services for everyone across Greater Manchester.

“We need transformational leaders to help us achieve a shift in our workforce’s mindset. It is clear that leaders already exist across GM Active – we don’t need to build this group but we want to enable them to grow, do more and be better connect to the eco-system that they are part of.

“Our leadership programme will bolster the knowledge and understanding of our staff to meet the demands of their roles and the changing needs of our communities. They will have the skills and knowledge to ensure their facilities and services are part of the whole system approach and contributing to the sector’s pivot from leisure to wellness.”

The GM Active Leadership programme has five parts. It covers the principles of leadership, creating culture, understanding today’s leisure and wellness sector including key agendas, services and organisations; whole system thinking, health inequalities, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and leading for renewal.

A distinctive feature of our organisation is our promotion of co-working between physical activity and clinical healthcare providers. Our new training programmes reflect this and act as a ‘skills passport’ for continuous professional development in the leisure industry.

Elaine Briggs, Director of Education at Future Fit Training, said: “Following many months of collaboration with some of the sector’s most respected leaders, we are thrilled to launch the Transformational Leadership programme to the GM Active workforce. This course is the first of its kind, created in partnership with and delivered by experts in their field, the training aims to equip individuals with the skills to reimagine the sector landscape, connect with their communities and wider organisations and deliver on both their local outcomes and those of the Sport England ‘Uniting the Movement’ strategy.

“We believe this training is vital to ensure that we are creating leaders of the future who understand how they can influence change in their own communities and create a joined-up approach to health and wellness, while motivating their teams through dynamic and passionate leadership.”

Watch an introductory webinar about our new programme: