Cookies information uses cookies to make the site simpler. Find out more about the cookies we use.

Close banner

NHS staff in Exeter tap into leisure activities to boost fitness and health

Published: 13 January 2023

Health and fitness at St Sidwell's Point

NHS staff in Exeter are being given more opportunities to stay fit and active thanks to a partnership with Live and Move and Exeter Leisure.

The initiative to trial a unique timetable of activities across Exeter has been described as a “breath of fresh air” by Jack Phillips from Devon Partnership NHS Trust.

From swimming to yoga, NHS staff have been trying out the benefits of regular activity sessions that are designed to fit around their shift patterns.

Jack got in touch with Exeter Leisure – the City Council’s leisure provider - after they attended an open evening at the new St Sidwell’s Point Leisure Centre.

At the time of the approach the popular This Girl Can campaign was going on at Wonford Sports Centre. This Girl Can Wonford was a collaboration between Live and Move – the Sport England pilot led by Exeter City Council - and Exeter Leisure, to bring 12 weeks of a variety of free activity sessions into the community, to women in the Wonford area who wouldn’t usually be able to prioritise getting involved in physical activity classes.

The Exeter NHS leads were excited about the prospect of partnering with Exeter Leisure to give members of their staff the opportunity to access leisure facilities too, in a way that would fit around their work schedules. They were keen to offer regular physical activity sessions to staff because of the massive benefits movement has to wellbeing.

Exeter Leisure, supported by Live and Move, put on a six-week timetable in November and December, of activities and classes specifically for people signed up through the workplace membership trial. A variety of different activities were on offer, including swimming, yoga, football, racket sports, running track, gym, as well as health and wellbeing workshops focusing on stress management and healthy eating.

Jack said: “The partnership with Exeter Leisure and Live and Move has come as a breath of fresh air for NHS staff. We have had amazing feedback from staff members attending and utilising the offer.

“Not only have they found the facilities fantastic but the welcoming staff have really put people that have never tried a fitness class or gym at ease and given them confidence to ask for advice.

“Providing team sports as well, was a perfect way to reintegrate staff that have been working from home and developing an avenue to reduce social isolation. We are ever so grateful and hope to continue the partnership going forward.”

Live and Move are now evaluating the success of this project and hope to learn how best to offer routes into workplace leisure memberships, to give more people more opportunities to be active, in ways that work for them.

Live and Move’s vision is that Exeter and Cranbrook are places that everyone can have an active lifestyle, everyday. To find out more about what we are doing, visit the Active Projects page on our website or email to get in touch.

Share this page on...