Health and wellbeing improves in Winchester thanks to public health funding

Press Release: 10/07/2014

Table tennis

Winchester residents are benefiting from a number of new physical activity-based health and wellbeing projects which form part of a new look Active Lifestyles Scheme.

The seven different projects have been set up as part of a successful City Council funding bid to public health which will see over £14,000 invested into improving health and wellbeing across the district.

With an ambitious target of engaging with over 600 inactive residents, the scheme looks to improve mental and physical wellbeing through offering activities and a social element to each project.

Each project forms part of the Active Lifestyles Scheme which includes a local exercise referral scheme based at River Park Leisure Centre. Participants need to be referred onto the scheme for a specific condition such as diabetes, obesity, stress, anxiety or depression.

Once referred there are numerous physical activity opportunities to enjoy outside the gym environment. The number of activities on offer has been enhanced by the recent public health funding where one opportunity is the ability for general practitioners to refer people who are recovering from cancer. The project ‘Living and coping with and beyond cancer’ encourages referrals and the use of physical activity to enhance the quality of life after and during the recovery period.

There is a new Steady and Strong Class, a specific activity programme for sedentary adults starting at River Park Leisure Centre on Wednesday 16 July which costs only £3 per session. The class aims to improve balance and build lower body strength through the use of simple exercises. Other Steady and Strong classes are also available across the district including sessions at Kings Worthy and Compton.

Residents can also enjoy one of the many Health Walks that are available daily across the district as part of the active lifestyles scheme, and funding has helped to create new beginner and intermediate running groups. These groups leave from River Park Leisure Centre and Winchester Sports Stadium on Thursdays and Mondays respectively.

Cllr Jan Warwick, Portfolio Holder for Environment, Health and Wellbeing, said:

Our health and wellbeing portfolio at River Park Leisure Centre has improved significantly over the last three years. This funding will really help us to drive more opportunities for the community at a local level and I’d urge anyone who is interested to contact the team and get involved.

Peter Leamore, Vice Chair of the Winchester District Sport & Physical Activity Alliance, said:

The SPAA has a commitment to improve the physical activity levels of the district and these opportunities have been put on for people who are less likely to visit the gym on a regular basis. It shows how our leisure facilities can operate on a more inclusive basis and provide interesting opportunities for all.

Other schemes include Going for Gold, an older persons table tennis project that will culminate in a county-wide finals day in October. A new Cardiac Rehabilitation class starting in the Autumn offers those who have recently recovered from heart surgery and attacks the chance to engage in low-level fitness activity and a bank of outdoor gym classes that use local outdoor facilities to engage residents on their doorsteps.

The Active Lifestyles Scheme continues to encourage people who have had a stroke, any neurological ailment or live with multiple sclerosis to engage in physical activity through one of their two weekly circuits-based Neuro Fit classes. If you are interested in any of these projects please visit for more information or to book a space or talk to someone about the scheme please call 01962 848532 or email