Leisure centre set to expand programme of free membership for children in care and cared experienced young people

Forum Leisure in Wythenshawe is expanding its programme to support children in care and care experienced young people.

Alongside its current offering, which provides free access to its leisure facilities, from this month, the scheme will cover the wider Manchester area and also benefit children who have left care.

The Forum Centre’s leisure operations, managed by award-winning operator Everyone Active in partnership with Wythenshawe Forum Trust and MCR Active, are taking part in the new initiative to reduce the barriers between children and young people participating in sport and physical activity.

The free membership will give them access to a range of facilities depending on their age, including gym, swim, soft play and group exercise.

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.

This year, Everyone Active has 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.

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 can be accessed and set up through a referral system from local council family support teams.

Phil Bowers, Everyone Active’s contract manager, said: “We are immensely proud to expand this scheme in Wythenshawe. 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, offering 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/