Presentation by Chris Duncan, Martin Miles and Peter Smith providing further details from Everyone Active following their presentation to the Committee in March 2022. To include updates on: works undertaken at the Gainsborough Leisure Centre, outreach programmes across the district and ongoing improvement plans.
The Chairman welcomed to the meeting Martin Miles, Regional Contract Manager, Chris Duncan, Regional Wellbeing Manager, and Peter Smith, Contract Manager, from Everyone Active. The Committee heard that their presentation would cover aspects and updates from their presentation to the Committee in March 2022, and was to include updates on the works undertaken at the Gainsborough Leisure Centre, the outreach programmes across the district, and ongoing improvement plans. This also followed answering questions and issues raised at the previous meeting. Questions from Members after the presentation would be welcomed.
In Mr Miles’s presentation, Members heard that the usage since the implementation of the new gym had increased by 79.9% and that the use in February 2018 had 5657 gym visits compared to 793 bowls visits. In an update on the usage by visitors before the pandemic, there was a consistently increased number of visits to the Health and Wellbeing Hub, with a 20.56% increase in participation. Addressing the move of the two gyms into the Indoor Bowls Hall, Mr Miles explained that it was to create the Health and Wellbeing Hub, to address the unmet demand for gym usage and deliver bespoke targeted health interventions. There was also the need to deliver a commercial return for West Lindsey District Council.
Moving to maintenance issues, Mr Miles explained that the focus for the Gainsborough Leisure Centre was on previously allocated priority issues, predominantly in the ‘Wet Change’ area, and included improvements on lockers, accessibility, the sauna and showers, toilets, and upgrading the pipework. There were also to be new water fountains, roof repairs in the gym section, and a new front door operating system for the reception area. Members heard that there was planned maintenance work during Christmas, including pool tank inspections.
In responding to cleanliness issues, Mr Miles explained that formal inspections were the main focus and informed Members that an external cleaning contractor was employed every 12 weeks for deep cleaning.
Members thanked Mr Miles for his presentation portion, for addressing the main maintenance issues, and those significant improvements were scheduled.
The Committee then heard from Mr Duncan, who gave an outline of what was said at the March 2022 meeting and explained to Members that the attention of his presentation was on post-lockdown issues and improving the social engagement by Everyone Active. There was a need to work collectively across healthcare, education, local authorities and leisure providers to encourage lifestyle behaviours to support longer-term health and well-being. It was recognised that there was now a holistic view to achieving greater societal well-being, with organisations such as the NHS and Sports England starting to shape national strategies. Members heard that the core theme was on children and young people.
It was explained to Members that for Children's and Young people’s well-being, there were 12 young people on the activity membership, 40 plus girls playing in the GA Girls Wildcats events, and a programme working with 12 to 15 children and their families with a view to focusing on lifestyle as a whole. This was further supported by the Youth Futures Project with Gainsborough Trinity Foundation and Lincolnshire Police and a new roller-skating programme.
In the tackling inequalities programme, Mr Duncan explained that there were 30 Ukrainian refugees supported with activity programmes. Everyone Active also offered 30 residents in the Gainsborough South West ward health support in the 'Heart & Soul' programme, with resources to help stay active at home. This holistic programme was also supported by the BRIC Free Swimming Initiative, which facilitated 15 families with access to Swimming, and a newly started initiative with Acis for a volunteer education programme.
Moving to social prescribing for emotional and mental wellbeing, Mr Duncan explained that the programmes had expanded to Market Rasen, with support from Lincolnshire Voluntary Centre Services. Twenty-five people were on the social prescribing programme, with significant improvements in the participants noted. There was also a highlighting of the health walks in Gainsborough and the possibility of other locations in the district hosting health walks led by the Co-op group and Gainsborough Trinity Foundation. This required focusing on sustaining the programmes and training volunteers to lead the walks. The University of Lincoln's support as a health faculty was further noted.
Mr Duncan described the services for long-term health conditions and health ageing processes, which included 120 clients through the exercise referral programme, the engagement with four care homes in the district, and 20 residents supported through the Wellbeing Master Class Series. It was highlighted that a similar programme could be opened in Market Rasen with two new hires and that successful pilots in care homes facilitated expansion plans. About other facilities, the support for early intervention for Parkinson's patients was highlighted, in addition to working with the Lincoln City Football Club Foundation for cancer treatment.
Members heard of the significant conversations and collaboration with parish councils and rural areas, focusing on addressing issues with rural deprivation. This included dialogue sessions and a hope to run new sessions in 2023, which would consist of education events and engagement with agencies and volunteers to provide services. It was confirmed that it was anticipated for this work to commence prior to the end of December 2022.
In addressing updates to challenges in the community, Mr Duncan explained a desire to work on an interagency response with the organisation's partners. Members heard that Everyone Active worked with community partners to assist with service delivery, third-sector organisations to meet the funding criteria and access funding opportunities, and also the health sector, such as GP Practices and hospitals, with the aim of educating and changing views around physical activity.
At the conclusion of the presentation, questions from Committee and Visiting Members were invited, with thanks extended to the presenters for the detailed information provided. Members were appreciative of the updates, hearing about the work since the previous visit by Everyone Active to the Committee, and of work that was ongoing in the district, in addition to the planned maintenance programmes. Many Members requested further contact and engagement with Everyone Active for issues and programmes within their wards. There were multiple examples raised by Members of groups that had started strong, but due to various factors such as lack of staff, the activities had fallen by the wayside. There were also conversations about sharing visitor numbers to the events and sites operated by Everyone Active, and Mr Duncan referenced that other organisations had shared similar usage data.
There was discussion on the development of a swimming pool at the Market Rasen Leisure Centre, with Mr Miles explaining that it was up to West Lindsey District Council to provide the funding for the development, but emphasised that any changes should come through the local democratic process, and a consideration of financial costs associated. In a related discussion, the work required on the gallery improvements at Gainsborough Leisure Centre was to be considered after the improvements to the wet areas.
Regarding the Market Rasen Leisure Centre, Members raised concerns about the outreach work, and the limited staff numbers, or those staff being unavailable to undertake the outreach work. Mr Miles clarified that there was a primary focus on facilities based staff, with the outreach engagement team requiring a separate team. It was also emphasised that with different skill sets needed and a desire for sustainable projects, the teams would have other staff, and possible volunteer usage to fill the demand for the programmes.
Note: Councillor S. Bunney left the meeting at 7.21pm.
Enquiries were raised regarding the outreach and communication programmes by Everyone Active, and the participation of the council in this aspect. Mr Duncan explained that starting a programme in a village was focussed on how to engage the community and make it sustainable. He confirmed he was more than willing to work with Councillors and their communities to identify additional opportunities. There was also a conversation about the role of West Lindsey District Council in its engagement, with the parish newsletter, the involvement of the neighbourhood teams, and the directory from the council all playing a role.
In response to a series of questions regarding a focus on weight loss in young people, Mr Duncan explained that the referrals were to the providers, and the operators would supply the programme, which included multiple sports, learning opportunities about fitness and health, in addition to working with Gainsborough Trinity Foundation colleagues. There was a reference to OneYou Lincolnshire resources to engage with the parents of the children in the programme. Members also heard that the Fit Kids programme was working well, had been commissioned in different areas, and that there were also other national programmes that supported parents and kept children focused on their health. It was also expressed that there was a keenness to explore how the fitness journeys were to be sustained after the programme. It was also heard that part of the education aspect was based on the pilot study that involved cooking and feedback into the service.
Note: Councillors C. Darcel and C. Hill left the meeting at 7.31pm.
Conversation was also held on the work of Parkinson’s and dementia support within the district, with a noted preference for co-operation with third-sector bodies, transport groups, and health organisations, such as Parkinson’s UK. Mr Duncan emphasised that the University of Lincoln was working on a paper that focused on the lived experiences of individuals with Parkinson’s, and there was space for many different programmes. In a later raised enquiry, support for individuals with dementia was raised, and Mr Duncan highlighted the connection of other groups, such as local churches, and County based agencies were providing support, in addition to the work done by Everyone Active.
In response to a previous meeting that discussed the community-based facilities, the Chairman highlighted the difficulties faced by residents of Newtoft concerning the leisure centre opened in 2018, and reiterated that she had requested visitation and support. Mr Duncan explained he was waiting for a contact, and would liaise with the Chairman and the local group to find a solution.
The Chairman thanked Members for their comments and discussion and, on behalf of the Committee, thanked Mr Miles, Mr Duncan, and Mr Smith for their time and detailed presentation and welcomed the extensive work plans for the future.