Thurrock Community Leisure
Thurrock Community Leisure have various programmes that support the local community in getting more physically active with 12 week programmes that are free of charge. They introduced an aqua weight management programme to residents, utilising Impulse Leisure Centre Blackshots to deliver aqua aerobics.
With some of the most socially deprived communities deriving from Thurrock, it is important that free programmes are available to ensure participants can attend without the pressure of having to pay. This not only supports them financially, but also helps to improve their mental wellbeing.
At the beginning of the weight management programme, members of the group were given a consultation in which their data was collected. Data collected included height, weight, ethnicity, sexual orientation and BMI, which was kept on record to measure attendance and progress. It was important to encourage inactive people in the local community to move more to improve their overall physical and mental health.
Participants found the programme beneficial to both their physical and mental health as they formed close friendships which were supported by social media platforms and group chats. Since the sessions finished, many participants have carried on with swimming, and now regularly attend the leisure centre.
Through Find Your Active small grants funding, thanks to London Marathon Foundation, following Ford RideLondon-Essex, Active Essex helped to fund the programme ensuring it could be free of charge and supported qualified instructors to deliver aqua aerobics. This is a low impact cardiovascular form of activity, which is good for improving heart health and strengthening muscles, aiding weight loss.
Good location choice was particularly evident, as free parking and disabled access was provided. The swimming pool itself is easily accessible for those with restricted mobility, accommodating participants who were previously restricted from physical activity because of access issues to swimming pools.