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Residents asked for their views on leisure in their local community

Women at a group exercise class with steps & weights

An online survey is allowing North Herts residents to share their views on physical activity and the leisure opportunities available in their local community.

The survey, conducted by Everyone Active’s Active Communities team, is a key part of Everyone Active’s strategy to improve residents’ mental and physical wellbeing, after the leisure provider took over the management of North Herts’ leisure facilities on April 1.

Stretching beyond the leisure centres themselves, the survey is a new way for individuals to share their thoughts on what they would like to see within the local community, considering their budgets, location and confidence levels when it comes to social interaction and fitness.

So far, the Active Communities team has reached out to a number of residents through email and social media, however there are plans for members of the team to visit local libraries, senior groups and other community clubs to spread word of the initiative and help those without access to technology complete the questionnaire.

Initially, the results of the survey will be used to target senior residents, individuals with learning disabilities and those in underserved communities to improve accessibility to social groups for all.

The Active Communities team will then explore other initiatives, such as a menopause support group and youth activities, to ensure residents of all ages and abilities have access to at least one community session tailored to their needs.

Many community groups established through the survey will include a social aspect after each session, to help improve attendees’ mental wellbeing and reduce loneliness.

Kirsty Jones, area activity and wellbeing manager, said: “As we have recently begun our partnership with North Herts Council in running the district’s leisure and sporting facilities, we feel there is no better time to reach out to residents to find out what community initiatives they feel are missing from the area.

“Having successfully completed consultations like this in other parts of Hertfordshire, we know how vital they are in providing all residents with a voice when it comes to their mental and physical wellbeing.

“We are passionate about providing equal social and fitness opportunities for everyone no matter their age or ability, and hope that through this initiative we can start to achieve this goal throughout North Hertfordshire.”

Sarah Kingsley, North Herts Council's Service Director for Place, added: “We’d like to encourage all North Herts residents to take part in the survey and give us feedback on the local leisure offer. This will improve our understanding of our communities needs and views and help plan activities to meet their needs.

The survey is open until 31 May to all residents of North Herts and takes no longer than five minutes to complete.

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