Supporting our most deprived communities to live active healthy lives

Edinburgh Leisure | Monday 2nd October 2023 0:05am

£10 Get Active Pass - Supporting our most deprived communities to live active healthy lives 

As the UK gets ready for Challenge Poverty Week (Monday, 2nd October to Sunday, 8th October), Edinburgh Leisure, the largest provider of sports and leisure facilities across the city, is working in local communities to support more people living in poverty and affected by inequalities to be active and well.

Poverty and poor health are inextricably linked. Despite Edinburgh being one of the wealthiest cities in the UK, Edinburgh faces some of the greatest levels of inequality.  The Edinburgh Poverty Commission estimates that almost 82,000 people are living in poverty. In terms of life expectancy, a boy born in in the New Town can expect to live 21 years longer, than a boy born in Niddrie.

Forty-four percent of adults living in the most deprived communities in Scotland do not meet the recommended amount of physical activity compared with twenty-eight percent of adults living in the least deprived areas.

Helen Macfarlane, Director of Wellbeing at Edinburgh Leisure said: “Being active is one of the best things we can do for our health, wellbeing, and quality of life. Yet many people living in poverty can face barriers to being active, such as cost, lack of confidence, and knowledge of what support is available.  

“As part of Challenge Poverty Week, we’d love more adults experiencing poverty and inequalities to take out our £10 Get Active Pass and enjoy the life-changing benefits of being active with Edinburgh Leisure. The card is not available to buy online but anyone eligible can pop into any Edinburgh Leisure venue and sign up. It really is making a huge difference to people’s lives.”

One participant explained the positive impact it is having on their life: “I don't often leave the house but since I've taken out a £10 Get Active Pass, I've been going swimming regularly which makes a huge difference to my mental health.

“I couldn't afford a membership, so the £10 Get Active pass has been a godsend. It's helping me both mentally and physically and encouraged me to meet new people.”

The Edinburgh Leisure £10 Get Active Card is aimed at people on a very low income and offers off-peak access to the gym, swim, saunas and steam rooms, and group fitness classes, up to 4 pm, 7 days a week.  Fitness classes can be booked on the day of use.”

Edinburgh Leisure is a charity on a mission to keep people active and well. They run over 50 sport, leisure, and school venues across the city and are committed to creating opportunities for everyone to be active and stay active.

Each year Edinburgh Leisure’s’ Active Communities' team supports more than 10,000 people who face the greatest barriers to being active, including those affected by health conditions, disabilities, inequalities, and poverty to improve their health and wellbeing. They deliver over 20 different programmes city-wide, which aim to break down barriers to physical activity and help people to lead healthier, happier, and more active lives.

Each year, they raise over £800,000 from external funders to provide a range of targeted projects and activities which enable people on low incomes and those living with long term health conditions to be active to protect their health, well-being, and quality of life. The funding is an investment into health and wellbeing, providing a significant return by reducing the need for people to access more expensive health and social care services.


  • The £10 Get Active Pass is available for those receiving the following benefits:  Universal Credit; Guaranteed pension credit; Income support; Income based Job seekers allowance; Income-related Employment Support Allowance (ESA); Working Tax Credit; Child Tax Credit; Housing Benefit. Proof of eligibility and ID must be provided before the pass can be purchased.
  • The pass is valid for one month from the date of purchase.
  • Does not include access to the Turkish Baths at Portobello Swim Centre