North Norfolk leisure centres launch free scheme for kids in care

Chldren in a swimming pool

Leisure centres in north Norfolk are launching free membership for children in care and care experienced young children. - Credit: Everything Active

Leisure centres in north Norfolk are set to offer free membership to children in care and young people who have been in care.

Everyone Active, which runs the centres, say they want to reduce barriers between children and young people participating in sport and physical activity.

Stuart Jardine, contract manager, said: “We are immensely proud to launch this partnership in north Norfolk.

"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, that activity is for all, and we want to offer them a safe space to enjoy our sports and activity offering.”

The North Norfolk District Council centres involved are The Reef, Fakenham Sports and Fitness Centre, Victory Swim and Fitness Centre, North Walsham Sports Centre, Stalham Sports Centre, Cromer Sports Centre and Cromer Academy Gym.

The scheme gives the youngsters access to a range of facilities depending on their age, including gym, swim, soft play and group exercise.

Rob Young, assistant director for sustainable growth at North Norfolk District Council.

The six-lane, 25m swimming pool at The Reef leisure centre in Sheringham. - Credit: Ella Wilkinson

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

File photo of Stuart Jardine from Everyone Active - which runs The Reef in Sheringham for North Norfolk District Council.

File photo of Stuart Jardine from Everyone Active - which runs The Reef in Sheringham for North Norfolk District Council. - Credit: Ella Wilkinson

Councillor Virginia Gay, NNDC's portfolio holder for leisure, wellbeing and culture, said: “In our country there are more children than ever in care.

North Norfolk district councillor Virginia Gay, portfolio holder for leisure, wellbeing and culture.

North Norfolk district councillor Virginia Gay, portfolio holder for leisure, wellbeing and culture. - Credit: Supplied by Virginia Gay

"By making our leisure and sports centres free for these children, we may give them the access to health and fitness that so many other children enjoy.”

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 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.

For more information visit: www.everyoneactive.com/about-us/what-we-offer/health-and-wellbeing