27 Sep 2021 World leisure: news, training & property
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Health Club Management
2021 issue 3

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Leisure Management - Write to reply

HCM letters

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Fuel the debate about issues and opportunities across the industry. We’d love to hear from you – healthclub@leisuremedia.com

Could operators help families whose kids have been cooped up? photo: shutterstock/Denis Moskvinov

In the spirit of collaboration and working from the premise that very few ideas are new, I used Linkedin to sound out the industry about ways we can strengthen both our commercial and social offering as we move towards re-opening.

I was so pleased with the reaction I’m hoping others will join the discussion. The areas for consideration were as follows:

1. Incentivise vaccine refusers
Can we target those who are nervous or reluctant about vaccination by incentivising them using leisure and cultural offers?

IDEAS: free membership, tickets to shows, personal training sessions, wearables.

2. Means meet needs
Given some people have reportedly been stashing cash as they can’t go abroad, for example, yet might well be carrying excess weight and be in poor shape generally, is anyone designing products and/or services to help accelerate positive change?

IDEAS: advanced payment membership offers, weight management courses, nutritional advice and healthy food delivery services, wearables plus advice, personal training bundles.

3. Needs without means
Can we design similar programmes to assist with the above, but targeting deprived communities and those that need help most?

IDEAS: aim to be commissioned to boost their resilience. Organise social prescribing activities with Link Workers and voluntary sector referral schemes using parks and community venues. Run community engagement events to co-create activities with the communities not just for them.

4. Family time
Can we help families be more active with a ‘summer of fun’ for kids who’ve been cooped up for far too long?

IDEAS: kickstart a new era in family activity in centres and parks. Create programmes in the streets. Organise huge open weekends that offer a range of family activities. Run summer play schemes utilising Marcus Rashford holiday hunger funding and Sport England’s £10m to open school facilities. Focus on big bold ideas to really boost healthy lifestyles.

If you’d like to hear how others have responded to the above call for ideas and would also like to share your ideas please get in touch: andy.king@link4life.org.

Andy King, Link4Life

Stepping up to support the NHS
Dr Davina Deniszczyc, Nuffield Health

At this challenging time in our sector’s history, I want to highlight the valuable contribution that many of Nuffield Health’s fitness and wellbeing professionals are making to support the recovery of the nation from COVID-19.

Twenty eight of our fitness and wellbeing professions have been seconded to work with the Buckingham Healthcare NHS Trust to help the COVID-19 efforts, within family liaison, clerical, operational and administrative positions including COVID-19 swabbing.

The 28 are from Nuffield Health’s Fitness & Wellbeing Centres in Aylesbury, St Albans, Hemel Hempstead, Oxfordshire, Wokingham and Ealing and they’re working at the NHS Trust’s Stoke Mandeville, Amersham and Wycombe hospitals.

Their work is highly valued, as Tunde Adewopo, divisional director of specialist services at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust explains: “Partnering with Nuffield Health locally to be able to bring some of their employees to work with us at the trust couldn’t be more timely.

This is supporting our medical and nursing colleagues, helping to free up their time and enabling them to focus even more on caring for our patients.”

This is part of a programme across Nuffield Health in support of NHS trusts and builds on the COVID-19 Recovery Programme that is now running at 17 of our fitness and wellbeing centres across the UK, ahead of a larger rollout to over 40 sites by May 2021.

The programme blends physical therapy and mental health support and is run in partnership with local NHS trusts.

Former NHS patients will work with a rehabilitation specialist for personalised advice and on a recovery plan, consisting of a six-week virtual programme of at-home exercises, before moving to one of our fitness and wellbeing centres.

We’ll share the outcomes with the NHS and other healthcare providers. With gyms reopening, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I hope the sector’s safety record, value and importance is recognised, so we can work to build a healthier nation.

The programme blends together physical therapy and mental health support and is run in partnership with local NHS trusts
Members of the Nuffield health clubs teams switched roles to provide COVID support / photo: shutterstock/Alexander Raths

Originally published in Health Club Management 2021 issue 3

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