A leisure centre in Brent is set to offer free membership to people living with Parkinson’s from this month.
Vale Farm Sports Centre, run by award-winning operator Everyone Active in partnership with Brent Council, are taking part in the new initiative alongside charity Parkinson’s UK which will launch on World Parkinson’s Day – Monday, April 11.
The free membership will give access to gym, swim and group exercise classes.
In addition, all members will be offered a personalised exercise prescription through EXi, the easy-to-use exercise referral platform, with Synergy Dance online classes also available. Free carer membership will be available, if required.
Parkinson’s is the fastest-growing neurological condition in the world and there is currently no cure. It affects around 145,000 people in the UK and there are more than 40 symptoms, from tremor and pain to anxiety.
Being physically active can play an important role in living well with Parkinson’s. People living with the condition find various activities, from walking to dance, beneficial in managing their symptoms.
Chris Williams, Everyone Active’s contract manager, said: “We are immensely proud to launch this partnership with Parkinson’s UK and hope it will make a real difference to many people’s lives.
“Our customers and colleagues are among the estimated one million people who are affected by Parkinson’s in the UK.
“We want to encourage the whole Parkinson’s community to exercise and are confident we have an activity for all, no matter what your age, ability or fitness level.
“Being more active will help members to live well with Parkinson’s, improving their physical fitness and mental wellbeing, as well as having fun.”
Tom Ingram, Corporate Partnerships Manager at Parkinson’s UK, said: “We’re delighted to partner with Everyone Active, who have very generously offered complimentary membership for people living with Parkinson’s and their carers.
“Being physically active is important for everyone. It supports both physical and mental health and depending on what you choose, can provide social support and interaction, all of which can really help people living with Parkinson’s and those providing informal care.
“Developing a regular physical activity habit can make a person feel more in control when living with the condition. Quality of life can be enhanced and independence and confidence maintained.
“We hope that with the support of Everyone Active, the Parkinson’s community can enjoy physical activity and use it to make a real difference to their lives.”
Melanie Smith, Director of Public Health at Brent Council said: “We all know how important keeping active is for our mental and physical health. I’m really pleased that the local Everyone Active leisure centre can provide free membership to people with Parkinson’s and their carers. We hope that many of our residents will take up this opportunity.”
Those with underlying health conditions such as heart problems, diabetes or breathing issues should contact their GP before starting any new activity.