Children in care to receive free leisure passes

leisure passes for looked after children
Young people and staff from Havering Council view the facilities at Sapphire Ice and Leisure in Romford
Published: Tuesday, 3 August 2021

Children in care in Havering can now get free access to Council-run leisure facilities to help improve their wellbeing and fitness.

Working with Everyone Active, Havering Council has arranged for young people between the ages of 18 to 25 years to use the gym, swimming pool and all fitness facilities within its three leisure centres.

The Health and Beyond leisure pass is available to young people preparing to leave care, who are in foster care or living in residential care. 

The name of the pass was chosen by young people as part of a competition. Anyone eligible will be contacted by Everyone Active to let them know how to apply. 

So far 54 people have put their names forward, but up to 100 young people living in the borough are expected to benefit from the pass.

Chay, who was given a Health and Beyond pass, said:

“I currently already have a gym, but it is not advanced like this one. This is much better. It has got a wide range of exercises that I can do and it also saves me money as well. It is also better because it will be free.”

Councillor Robert Benham, deputy leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Education, Children and Families, said:

“The new Health and Beyond pass is an investment in our young people in care not only for now, but also for the future. We know that exercise is a good all-rounder for improving our physical, emotional and mental health. 

“We think it’s vital that young people look after themselves and this is one way that we can encourage them to do so.”

“By giving them easier access to our first class facilities, it will allow them to use the swimming pools and gyms, as well as organise their own group activities, so they can work out together.”

Tom Fletcher, Everyone Active’s Manager, said:

“Everyone Active are extremely pleased that the partnership with Havering Council has enabled the new Health and Beyond pass to become a reality. It’s extremely important that we give our young people the opportunity to be active and develop lifelong healthy habits. 

Hopefully these first young trailblazers will pave the way for many more young people to get active.” 

Young people will be able to use their passes at Sapphire Ice and Leisure, Romford, Central Park Leisure Centre, Harold Hill and at the new Harrow Lodge Leisure Centre in Hornchurch.

It follows the Council’s offer of free swimming sessions for school aged children and young adults during school holidays until the end of summer 2022.