The Pivot to Active Wellbeing: A Manifesto for Change

stretching exercise during pivot to active wellbeing physical activity prehab class

So how do you solve a problem like unsustainable Leisure Centres? A Manifesto for Change…

Following a discussion with a colleague recently about how we would redesign the landscape if we could for leisure centres and leisure services generally given half a chance, I decided to capture our thoughts and post them on Linkedin. I chose an intentionally ‘provocative’ title and something certainly struck a chord with 10,000 views achieved and a host of comments from some luminaries from the sector and a call from the DCMS and an invitation to present at the national ‘Evolve’ conference In London. 

I would love to hear your thoughts on the 15 point ‘manifesto’ so here it is: 

 Manifesto for change…

  1. Take us out of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and move us to the Department of Heath and Social Care generally and specifically the Office of Health and Inequalities and Disparities (OHID) 
  2. Sign a partnership agreement between the NHS and Sport England on behalf of the sector and invite operators to sign up to a pledge that commits them to standards of delivery (private and public)
  3. Audit current built facility provision across the country identifying gaps 
  4. Consider how to close gaps using schools, colleges etc and alternatives to facility based provision 
  5. Create a national wellbeing strategy with built facilities (leisure centres) providing hub and spoke models in local Communities 
  6. Invite the private sector to get involved with strategic land options 
  7. Invite investment from pension funds for purpose built or repurposed facility provision 
  8. Create a proposition that attracts commercial sponsors (any company want to sponsor the award winning Prehab4cancer? Hell yes!!) 
  9. Procure long term contracts with providers who can demonstrate whole hearted buy in and compliance to the strategy 
  10. Government to invest capital in all buildings to reduce carbon and costs as part of their carbon reduction plan
  11. Work with social prescribers, integrated neighbourhood teams etc to a common plan locally 
  12. Learn from best practice and roll out inclusion policies such as Active Tameside generating income and saving local authorities ££ on their social care costs 
  13. Industrial scale roll out of prehab services – as any long term conditions as possible (save NHS £££) 
  14. Invest in staff development including leadership as well as direct provision such as exercise on referral qualifications etc
  15. Invest in local community groups and individuals who are or can deliver to the strategy alongside larger operators

Some from our sector are pushing back on the term ‘pivot to active wellbeing’ arguing that we have been supporting the NHS and contributing to health for many years. I agree many of us have been doing exactly that but it has not ben our agreed ‘purpose’ and our proposition so much as it is has not been accepted by either the government or health colleagues.  So we have much more to do to understand our place in the wider system and we need to be honest and open to constructive criticism if we want to really be part of the solution.  We cannot just will it so – we need to understand why we are not taken seriously and make the changes.  

What do you think? Let us know! 

Andy King

Director, Miova