Well, what a year it has been. I doubt any of us would have predicted such a turbulent 2020, and here at Actif we are acutely aware of the way in which the pandemic has affected so many people’s health and wellbeing. Through multiple service closures, we have been limited in the way in which we could help you stay fit and healthy, in body and mind, but that’s never stopped us caring about you or doing what we can.
For example, many Actif staff members were redeployed to all sorts of roles across the county, including working in field hospitals, care homes, PPE stores, TTP, enforcement, food banks, school hubs and more.
Whenever sport and leisure activity has been permitted to happen, we have opened our doors and made it as safe and affordable for you to visit our facilities by reducing our membership prices. But we understand the nervousness many of you have and therefore currently continue to ‘auto-freeze’ memberships so you don’t have the hassle or financial burden of making a decision on your membership.
Since September, we have been running our fantastic new ‘Actif Anywhere’ online platform, offering over 20 fitness and activity classes per week. Offered free to subscribed members for a limited period and just £10 to others, we know this has been a ‘lifeline’ to many, gaining 5 star reviews across the board and attracting people from all over the UK to work out with us interactively.
Our NERS team have been supporting those of you who have been referred to us for health reasons – they’ve made over 4,000 phonecalls to over 500 people sending almost a thousand home exercise programmes, in addition to session delivered through Actif Anywhere.
Our health-specific work is set to expand with funding sourced to develop our ‘falls prevention’ work.
Our community sport team have worked with clubs, national governing bodies and Sport Wales to leverage over £60,000 of grant funding to ensure sports clubs can continue to operate in these times. That is aside from ensuring activity continues to happen in/for schools. Training for leaders has been taken online for schools and family centres, and walking sports, Mums let’s Move and family sessions have been led in targeted areas receiving positive feedback from participants.
We can’t thank you enough for your patience and positivity as we’ve worked our way through all of this. We know the tough journey is not over and we will continue to do all we can to help you maintain and improve your health & wellbeing in 2021. We have lots of exciting developments that we’ll tell you more about ‘next year’ such as a huge initiative for people aged 60+, investment in a range of activities via the Welsh Government’s ‘Rescue Package’ funding, further development of Actif Anywhere, new and enhanced facilities, energy efficiency projects and more. Lockdown does not mean ‘stand still’ and whilst we stride forward, we hope too that your Actif journey strides forward, bringing all the benefits that exercise has – not least making each of us more able to fight Covid as has been publicised by the World Health Organisation globally and Public Health Wales locally.
All that remains is for me to wish you as happy and healthy a Christmas as possible, and a New Year that might not start as we would want but with the confidence that together we will soon reach happier and healthier times.
Actif Senior Sport and Leisure Manager
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