All three major leisure centres in Harrow will be offering free membership to children in care and care experienced young people from this month, it has been announced.
The centres, including Harrow Leisure Centre, Hatch End Swimming Pool and Bannister Outdoor Sports Centre, which are run by award-winning operator Everyone Active in partnership Harrow Council, are taking part in the new initiative to reduce the barriers between children and young people participating in sport and physical activity.
According to latest figures from the Department for Education for children looked after (CLA) in England, the number of children in care is at an all-time high, at more than 80,000 children or 67 in every 10,000.
The free membership will give them access to a range of facilities depending on their age, including gym, swim, soft play and group exercise.
Everyone Active launched its national Community Health and Wellbeing Strategy, with the aim to “meet the needs of individual communities through programmes that support people to be physically active, and to feel happy and healthy” earlier in the year.
As part of the strategy, this membership will support children in care or care experienced young children, with free access to leisure facilities that can help improve their physical health and mental wellbeing.
The complimentary membership for cared for children and care experienced young people can be accessed and set up through a referral system from local Council Family support teams.
John Sewell, Everyone Active’s area contract manager, said: “We are immensely proud to launch this partnership in Harrow. We understand the vital role we play in supporting all areas of the community and feel this membership will make a real difference to many young people’s lives.
“We want to provide opportunities for young people and children who have been in or currently are in care, that activity is for all, and we want to offer them a safe space to enjoy our sports and activity offering.”
For further information, visit: https://www.everyoneactive.com/about-us/what-we-offer/health-and-wellbeing/