It was, without doubt, a nervous time for us all here at Active Tameside as we prepared to throw open our doors post lockdown.
Would people want to ditch their newly discovered home workouts?
Would they feel safe returning to our centres despite our strong reassurances about impeccable cleanliness regimes, hygiene and social distancing measures?
There were plenty of unknowns and uncertainties running through our minds, we can tell you!
The only thing we were sure about was how much we’d desperately missed you all and couldn’t wait to welcome you back – safely.
While we were still able operate many of our vital outreach services during lockdown and help to keep our online communities active and entertained through social media, there was so much more we wanted to do to continue empowering Tamesiders to live their best life.
And we were determined to make that happen.
Well, what a difference a few weeks makes!
We’ve been truly overwhelmed by the response we’ve had from our communities across the borough and we’re delighted to say you’ve certainly embraced the opportunity to swim, gym and ‘exercise-class‘ your way back to fitness.
Before we give you some real insight into what’s been going on at Active Tameside since we reopened in July – teaser alert! – we just wanted to share with you why leisure trusts like us are a little bit different and so essential to the communities we serve.
We’d also like to highlight why everyone who attends our centres – now more than ever – are so important to us and to the much bigger picture of why we exist.
Unlike commercial leisure operators, we’re a charity that ploughs every penny of profit we make back into our centres so we can continue to provide affordable access to high quality facilities, helping to have a huge and much-needed impact on the health and wellbeing of our local population.
It also goes to help fund the specialised services we run beyond gyms and swimming pools, those which make a massive difference to the people they help such as our Everybody Can service, ensuring EVERYONE can live well, feel great and reach their potential.
Among others there’s also Live Active which makes physical activity accessible and available to the most vulnerable, including those with long-term health conditions and older residents.
And Active Education which delivers high quality physical education curriculum to literally thousands of primary school children across Tameside and Glossop every year.
These are life-changing services and by supporting Active Tameside, not only are you able to improve your own physical and mental health, you’re also helping us to provide a genuine community impact, in other words, make a massive difference to so many.
So, thank you – and thank you for all your tremendous support during these challenging times. A perfect example of how we’re stronger together.
Here’s a taster of how that support has been shaping up over the last few weeks as we’ve phased the reopening of our centres and resumed activities – all while ensuring the safety of all our users and staff is first and foremost.
We’re delighted to announce we’ve so far had over 112,000 bookings – and counting! – which is a true testament to Tamesiders’ commitment and passion for fitness and that of all our staff to hit the ground running.
We saw over 1,000 Live Active bookings – great to see we’re really reaching out to those who will especially benefit from physical activity – and almost 500 bookings for our Ashton-based Tameside Cycle Circuit.
Through our Active Education service, we’re currently working with 42 Tameside and Glossop primary schools to bring PE to 11,000 children as well as delivering weekly extra-curricular activities to 1,000 youngsters and Bikeability and Little Bikers sessions to another 1,900 children.
Find out more about Active Education and watch our video here.
Not even a pandemic could stop our vital Live Active and Everybody Can services – all continued under strict social distancing and hygiene measures of course.
Throughout lockdown Live Active staff delivered 27 specialist fitness classes and five health walks every week.
And the great news is we’ve now begun screening again for new referrals.
Everybody Can worked to ensure its most vulnerable clients were given all the support they needed during the enforced four-month coronavirus confinement and has emerged stronger than ever to currently assist 257 people a week.
Despite Covid, it’s now expanded its Adult Day Service capabilities to cater for a further 56 people a month and has almost double its weekly outreach targeted support hours to over 100.
It’s Supported Internship scheme to enable young people to get work-ready is now at full capacity and already underway and its Social Enterprise Cafes have fed over 100 people a week since reopening in early August.
View some of the amazing work the service does here.
So, as you can see, we’ve been rather busy, and we’re not done yet!
We’re gradually resuming as many activities as possible and beyond gym, lane swimming and fitness classes – we’re now offering badminton court hire, squash court hire, football pitch hire, children’s swimming lessons and childrens gymnastics lessons.
And we’re working tirelessly to bring back more of the things you love us for when it’s safe to do so.
In the meantime, we’re offering many ways for you to keep active and healthy and booking is ever so easy. Simply register, login or sign up for membership here and reserve your slot.
As we’ve learned in recent months, exercise is now more essential than ever in helping us to better care for our health and wellbeing – from helping us to boost immunity and fight off infections quicker to tackling the mental health issues which can plague our daily lives.
As stated by the NHS and numerous healthcare professionals, ‘step right up – it’s the miracle cure we’ve all be waiting for’!1
We’re committed to helping our communities through whatever lies ahead by doing what we do best.
We thought we’d leave the final word to one of our members who absolutely sums up the ethos of what we strive to achieve at Active Tameside.
This is what Samantha Shaw had to say in her Facebook review about her local centre:
“Active Ashton is not just a leisure centre, it’s the hub of the community, a family and a lifeline to so many people – young, elderly, disabled and is an invaluable centre for everyone to use.
Its amazing staff and the services they provide are a vital part of everyone’s wellbeing and mindfulness. It’s a place to meet and catch up with friends and actively enjoy exercise. At Active Ashton we aren’t just a number we are like family!!”
Inspiring words indeed and much appreciated by us all.
We hope to see you in one of our safely re-opened centres very soon.
Don’t forget you can download our free Active Tameside app here to conveniently view our timetables and make bookings as well as access exercise videos, healthy hints and tips and all our latest news.
Your card, your choice. Choice is a great thing in life, so you’ve come to the right place. With so many ways to spend your Active Choice Card you’ll never be stuck for fun family times, fitness and wellbeing times, Fuel cafes catch-up times and for those activity must-haves (forgotten the goggles, stylish swimwear) you can also spend it at our in-centre stores.