National Award for Howe Bridge Community Project

Inspiring healthy lifestyles, a charitable trust which operates leisure centres and health programmes on behalf of Wigan Council, has won the Demonstrating Social Impact accolade at the prestigious Community Leisure UK Awards 2020 for its work with young people and families at Howe Bridge Leisure Centre.

The Howe Bridge Community Engagement Programme delivers affordable access to play and adventure facilities to young people and families in Wigan and Leigh.  It has grown year on year and now offers several sessions a week for children and families with a variety of needs.

The programme utilises the Adventure Zone and hosts skate, climbing and play area sessions at a low cost three nights a week.  Included in this is GoGa Rush, (Go Out Get Active) on Fridays which is aimed at providing inclusive sessions for disabled and non-disabled people of all ages to get active together. A Tuesday GoGa Rush session, which is designed for young people with autism or sensory processing difficulties, provides a safe space for families to enjoy activities they may not otherwise have access to.

Pete Burt, Managing Director of Inspiring healthy lifestyles said: “This award really means a great deal to us. It is recognition of the hard work our staff put into projects and testament to the value they have to the communities they support. 

“The Howe Bridge Community Engagement Programme, which has been greatly supported by Wigan Council, has been key in us developing our wider community offering and has seen massive benefits to those that attend”

“News of winning this award has come at a difficult time for our industry as we and many other charitable trusts across the country await a reopening date and news on vital government funding to support and build on the great work we do and the wonderful communities we serve.” 

Coun Jim Moodie, lead member for leisure at Wigan Council said: “I am proud to see programmes such as The Howe Bridge Community Engagement Programme available in the Wigan Borough and glad Wigan Council is able to support Inspiring healthy lifestyles in running this and other similar projects.

It is wonderful to see projects developed in the borough receiving national recognition and leading the way in supporting communities.”

Over the past year attendees of the Thursday session at the project have held several ‘Skate Lock Ins’ which have included participants taking part in all night skate-a-thons to raise money for local charities.

The Howe Bridge Community Engagement Programme which is held at Howe Bridge Leisure centre has been put on hold during the Covid-19 response and looks forward to reopening following government guidance in the future.

Community Leisure UK is the membership association that specialises in charitable trusts which deliver leisure and culture services across the UK.

You can find out more about our GoGa and Active Inclusive sessions here.

Last updated: 10 July 2020