Exercise Referral: Active & Healthy 4 Life scheme

Please note this scheme has been suspended due to COVID-19.

Active & Healthy 4 Life is our exercise referral scheme for residents with medical conditions. It runs in sports centres across the district and is a 12-week personalised fitness programme drawn up and supervised by qualified instructors.

Who is it for? 

The scheme is for adults with one or more of the following medical conditions: 

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Back pain
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Joint replacement
  • Osteoporosis
  • Asthma
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Diabetes

Active & Healthy for Life is our exercise referral scheme. It operates in accordance with the Department of Health’s National Quality Assurance Framework (NQAF) for Exercise Referral systems.

Access to the scheme is by referral by a GP or other medically qualified person working at a GP surgery or other medical centre by completing a referral form. 

The completed and signed referral form should be given to the patient as he or she will need to take this to their initial assessment at a participating sports centre. It is the patient’s responsibility to contact the sports centre of their choice and make an appointment for their initial assessment. 

To find out more about the scheme, please contact AandH4L@scambs.gov.uk.

Initial assessment: £8.00

Final assessment: £8.00

Sessions: £3.00 each, payable in two instalments of £36.00

Access to the scheme is by referral from a GP or another health professional such as a physiotherapist or nurse. You can ask to be referred, and if your health professional is happy to refer you, he or she will complete the referral form and give it to you. You then make an appointment at the sports centre of your choice for an initial assessment.

Bring the referral form with you to this appointment.

All referral instructors are qualified and registered on the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPS) at level 3, and qualified to support you with the medical conditions that the scheme is designed for.

At your first appointment, the referral instructor will do an initial assessment. This will provide the instructor with the information needed to devise a suitable exercise programme and may include some simple physical tests.

The referral instructor will devise a 12-week programme to meet your needs, consisting of two 1 hour sessions a week. Sessions are supervised by the referral instructor allowing you plenty of support and encouragement.

When you have completed the programme, the referral instructor will do a final assessment. This is your chance to review and look to the future. The referral instructor will help you decide how to continue with regular exercise. This may mean continuing with gym sessions, or exploring other options such as exercise classes, walking, running or cycling groups.

The Chief Medical Officer called exercise a ‘wonder drug’ or ‘miracle cure’ (Annual Report 2009). 

Regular physical activity reduces shortness of breath in people with COPD and increases their ability to exert themselves. It lowers blood pressure and leads to reductions in cholesterol levels. There is a wealth of evidence showing the effectiveness of exercise in the treatment of depression. It has a significant beneficial effect on blood sugar level and works well as a treatment for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. 

Osteoarthritis is sometimes thought to be related to “wear and tear” yet physical activity improves symptoms of osteoarthritis by up to 83% and does not lead to worsening of this condition. It has benefits in reducing pain, increasing function, improving quality of life and mental health. Exercise can lead to improvement in low back pain and increase muscle strength and co-ordination.

This information is taken from the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges Report: Exercise: The miracle cure and the role of the doctor in promoting it, (February 2015)

Active & Healthy 4 Life operates at eight sports centres in South Cambridgeshire. All sessions are one hour long. Please check session times with the centre as they may be subject to change.

  • Cambourne Fitness and Sports Centre 01954 714070 or email: cambourneinfo@everyoneactive.com, sessions on Tuesday and Thursday at 10:00 am.

  • Comberton Fitness Centre 01223 264721 or email: commed@combertonvc.org, sessions on Monday and Thursday at 9:30 am and 10:30 am

  • Cottenham Sports Centre 01954 288760 or email: info@cottenhamsportscentre.co.uk, sessions on Tuesday and Thursday at 4:00 pm

  • Gamlingay Fitness Centre 01767 651785, sessions on Tuesday and Thursday at 1:30 pm and 2:30 pm

  • Impington Sports Centre 01223 200404 or email: sportscentre@ivc.tmet.org.uk, sessions on Tuesday at 11:30 am and Friday at 11:00 am

  • Melbourn Sports Centre 01763 263313 or email: info@mc-sport.co.uk, sessions on Monday and Wednesday at 6:00 pm and Tuesday and Thursday at 10:00 am

  • Sawston Sports Centre 01223 712555 or email: info@sawstonsports.com sessions on Monday and Wednesday at 8:00 pm and Wednesday and Friday at 11:00 am

  • Swavesey Village College Sports Centre 01954 234453 or email: sport@swaveseyvc.co.uk sessions Monday to Thursday at 3:30 pm and 4:30 pm


South Cambridgeshire District Council may use your anonymised data for monitoring and evaluation purposes, but not for any other purpose, and that your personal data will not be shared with any other organisation. Full details of our Privacy Notice can be read online.

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