Assessment to get best from sports centres
South Lanarkshire Leisure chiefs have carried out an assessment to check services such as those at the sports centre in Eastfield provide the“greatest health and wellbeing benefit”for the community.
They say they have developed a new way of planning, delivering and monitoring the work that they do.
South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture (SLLC) say there is a growing recognition worldwide that taking part in cultural activities such as attending a show, visiting a library or going to a museum can support better wellbeing just like going to the gym or taking part in sport and outdoor activity.
General manager Gerry Campbell said:“The health impact assessment (HIA) process is a powerful way to focus in on what we do and make sure we are getting the greatest community benefit.
“Using our sport, leisure and cultural venues offers people intrinsic benefits, a chance to learn, gain skills, participate in the community and have fun.
“That can lead to wider benefits such as increased employability, reduced isolation, better wellbeing and, in the case of sports facilities, more physical activity.
“There is good evidence that these are associated with positive impacts for health.
“The HIA helps us plan when, where and how to deliver and promote services to encourage everyone but particularly those who might gain the most, to make use of them.”
An HIA takes what is known about how an activity can impact on health and wellbeing and applies that knowledge to specific settings.
The results then provide evidence to help design services to deliver the greatest benefit for individuals and the wider community.
In addition the results from the initial HIA can be used later to test if that activity is delivering the benefits that had been anticipated.
South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture chair Hamish Stewart said:“I think this project highlights once again how much work and thought goes on behind the scenes at SLLC and I would encourage people across South Lanarkshire to find out what is on offer in our venues and country parks as they are sure to find something that appeals.”