Get Hartlepool Active initiative in running for national award

Published Tuesday, 29th June 2021

A Hartlepool Borough Council initiative that aims to get more local people active has been shortlisted for a national award.

Under the brand of Get Hartlepool Active, the authority’s Leisure, Recreation and Participation team is one of eight finalists in the Healthy Communities Award category of the ukactive Awards.

Having been shortlisted on the basis of a written submission, team representatives will give a virtual presentation to a judging panel on Thursday (July 1st).

The winner – along with those in a number of other categories – will be announced at a forthcoming awards ceremony.

The Council’s entry centres on the work done to break down barriers to participation in physical activity.

Ian Gardiner, Head of Leisure, Recreation and Participation, said: “It is great news that the team has been recognised and shortlisted for such a prestigious national award and it is testimony to the dedication and commitment of staff at all levels.

“The Council is committed to promoting healthy lifestyles and encouraging and supporting people to become more active is key to that.”

Team members deliver a range of initiatives to help them engage with the community, with a particular focus on those likely to be least active across the town.

These initiatives include:

  • Get Fit For Free - People can access 6 fitness classes a week, virtual fitness classes, a swimming session plus some additional extras, including adult and children swimming lessons.
  • Walking netball and football sessions - These aim to tackle social isolation issues faced by many older people, as well as providing them with an opportunity to return to a sport that they might no longer be able to do in a traditional sense due to reduced mobility.
  • Looked After Children Scheme - This aims to help those in care access fitness facilities without any financial barrier to themselves or their carers. This scheme also extends to care leavers until they are 18.
  • Free Swims for under 16s - This aims to ease the financial pressures of keeping children active, particularly during the summer holidays.

The Council’s awards submission also covered the marketing of these initiatives, the ways in which their effectiveness is measured and how evaluation is used to further develop initiatives going forward.