News release from 01/03/2022

£300 grants available for community fitness and wellbeing activities

Ouutdoor fitness class with people exercising

South Cambridgeshire District Council is urging instructors to apply for up to £300 to lead fitness and wellbeing activities in their communities.

Anyone who leads an existing group or who wants to set up a new initiative in the District, such as leading a walking group in their local park or running a weekly yoga class in a village hall, could be eligible for the small grant. Providers running multiple groups can also apply to fund multiple programmes. Activities could range from walking football/rugby/netball, to chair-based exercise classes, diabetes walking groups, yoga for the over 60s, baby yoga classes or more.

The grant, which is funded by Cambridgeshire County Council, is to help deliver physical activity programmes provided by the District Council in partnership with Living Sport.   It is designed to cover costs such as venue hire for up to six weeks, with new participants being entitled to four free sessions. Once the free sessions are complete, participants would be expected to begin paying a small fee to continue participation, meaning that the initiative should become a sustainable source of income for the instructor.

Councillor Bill Handley

Cllr Bill Handley (left), South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Lead Cabinet Member for Community Resilience, Health and Wellbeing, said: “The importance of maintaining a good level of health, both physically and mentally, was highlighted for all of us during the pandemic and now that we are beginning to return to more day-to-day normality this is an excellent opportunity to get mind and body moving again. These grants will help provide more choice for residents in our communities to join in fitness or wellbeing sessions closer to home, so we very much hope there will be a good uptake by local instructors.”

Cambridgeshire County Cllr Susan van der Ven, chair of Cambridgeshire’s Health and Wellbeing Board, said: “The need to maintain and improve people’s wellbeing has never been more apparent, so I am delighted the county council has been able to fund these grants for South Cambridgeshire District Council. This will give residents more access to fitness classes and prevent the need to travel long distances to do so. The more we can encourage people to enjoy and embrace an active lifestyle the better chance of enjoying good health, both mentally and physically."

If you’re interested in applying for the £300 grant, you will need to demonstrate that there is need for your proposed programme in the local area. You could liaise with the parish council or Primary Care Network to check whether there is a gap in provision in the community or a specific health need that isn’t catered for. Individual instructors, Primary Care Networks or people running community facilities or leisure centres are all eligible to apply.

Applications for the grants will be invited throughout 2022.