10 ways that Edinburgh Leisure gives back and supports the people of Edinburgh

| Monday 3rd July 2023 9:15am

In the heart of communities, Edinburgh Leisure is the largest provider of sport and leisure facilities across the city. And while you may be familiar with most of our venues, as a charitable trust we also provide activities for everyone as they move through their lives. And every penny we receive goes back into improving the health and wellbeing of Edinburgh.

1)     There’s more to Edinburgh Leisure than our venues

Did you know that Edinburgh Leisure delivers 22 projects within our Active Communities programme, which aim to break down barriers to physical activity and help people to lead healthier, happier, and more active lives.  We currently support over 10,000 people in Edinburgh every year affected by health conditions, disabilities, inequalities, and poverty to get active and stay active.

2)     Volunteering

Volunteers are the backbone of our Active Communities programme. They make an enormous difference to people’s lives and quite simply, many of their projects, couldn’t exist without them.

Have time on your hands? Perhaps, you could consider volunteering for Edinburgh Leisure?  No matter which role you undertake as a volunteer, training and support is provided.

While you support us to help our participants get and stay active, we will support you to get the most out of your time with us, empowering you to make your volunteering experience what you want it to be. 

Get an overview of our different programmes, and register your interest in any that suit you. A member of that team will get in contact with you with more information and explain the next steps.

3)     Proud to have supported 3,200+ Ukrainians and refugees.
Over the last year, Edinburgh Leisure has supported 3,240 refugees, asylum seekers and migrants to access their gyms, swimming pools and fitness classes free of charge through the Relocated People Programme, to protect their health, wellbeing and connect to their new communities.

4)     Supporting care experienced and young people to enjoy healthy and active lives
We’ve supported 1,000 care experienced children and young people to enjoy the healthy and active childhoods they deserve through Looked After & Active and You Can.

5)     Be Strong, Be You
In the last year, we’ve also supported 40 young people ((with the aim of supporting up to 70 more young people by December 2023) experiencing mental health issues through a project Be Strong, Be You to recover and thrive.

A two-year pilot working with young people (aged 12-18) who are experiencing mental health conditions, it uses the power of physical activity and sport to help them improve their physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. 

Our team is currently liaising with the City of Edinburgh Council on how to take a more strategic approach to sustain and expand this provision and were delighted to receive an additional £10,000 to expand the pilot project to eight high schools, which includes Castlebrae, Holyrood, Portobello, St Thomas’, Liberton, Gracemount, James Gillespies, and Boroughmuir High Schools, up to December 2023. 

Meanwhile our Healthy Active Minds programme supports people living with mental health conditions, such as depression, stress or anxiety to be active and live well.

6)     Ageing Well
Run by Edinburgh Leisure in partnership with NHS Lothian, Ageing Well delivers a range of city-wide activities which support people to become, and remain, active in later life.

The emphasis is on meeting new people and making physical activity accessible and
enjoyable. All Ageing Well activities are subsidised with voluntary contributions starting from as little as £1.

From ‘tending’ an allotment to playing board games to bike courses and Nordic Walking and not forgetting our walking groups that meet at different locations across the city, we guarantee you a fun time, where you can make new connections and friends.

7)     Get Active
Not been active for a while, then Get Active is the programme for you. Our Get Active classes have been specially designed to encourage inactive people to become active and support people participating in our Active Communities projects to stay active. We offer a range of low-level activities, at different locations across the city, which are open to everyone, no need for a referral. Classes are charged at only £4 for non-members.

8)     Fit for Health
We support people living with long-term health conditions (including cancer) to better manage their condition and live better through physical activity.

A 16-week physical activity referral programme delivered by Edinburgh Leisure in partnership with the Edinburgh Health & Social Care Partnership, sessions are delivered across various Edinburgh Leisure venues. This physical activity programme is for those aged 16+ who have a long-term health condition (e.g. cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, heart failure, cancer, arthritis or diabetes/risk of developing diabetes). 

9)     Steady Steps
A community-based physical activity referral programme delivered by Edinburgh Leisure and supported by the Edinburgh Health & Social Care Partnership, our Steady Steps programme helps support adults who have had or may be at risk of having a fall, helping to build their strength and mobility. 

The programme is delivered over 16 weeks with participants attending weekly sessions at one of our venues. Participants are also encouraged to complete home exercises twice a week for the duration of the programme.  

10)  Positive Destinations
Positive Destinations helps young people Not in Employment, Education or Training (NEET) to get ready for the job market, supporting personal development and increasing motivation.

Each group goes through a programme of development over a period of weeks with learning focussed on sports specific coaching courses, for example, studying for sport leadership qualifications. Workshops include developing communication skills, teamwork, leadership, and organisation skills, through mock interviews, teamwork tasks and problem-solving challenges.

After completing the course, participants will be given a work placement at one of our venues where they will be immersed in all aspects of the Sport and Leisure management environment.  Progress is closely monitored throughout all stages of the course and the participants are given ongoing guidance whether they chose to remain in school or to pursue a career in sport and leisure following their Standard Grade exams.

So, wherever you’re at on the map or in life, Edinburgh Leisure is here to help the people of Edinburgh enjoy a healthier, happier, and more active life

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