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Saturday, 29 January 2011

Lifestyle centres to be rolled out in Cheshire East


l-r       Becky Snelson, Duty Manager,    Maria Tatters, Macclesfield Leisure Centre Manager, Dan Lyons, Recreation Assistant  and     Cllr. Andrew Knowles,

An ambitious plan to set up four brand new lifestyle centres is set to be piloted throughout Cheshire East.

As the Council looks to transform the way it provides health and wellbeing services to its residents, the towns of Congleton, Crewe, Macclesfield and Wilmslow will each get its own centre providing leisure, library and some social care facilities.

The scheme will bring a host of activities for both young and old under one roof to encourage social care users to lead healthy, happy lives and to provide a range of facilities to all residents.

Any one centre would include a host of activities from basketball to PC tuition, water aerobics to poetry reading and badminton to tea dances.

Councillor Andrew Knowles, Cabinet member with responsibility for health and wellbeing, said: “This is a bold, ambitious and forward-thinking plan which will bring leisure centres, libraries and some social care services under one roof. We will also provide a more targeted approach to delivering services for young and old alike.

“For day care users without intensive care needs, the centres will encourage integration and independence and also stimulate fitness, reducing demand for more intensive social care in the long-term.

“With public health responsibilities coming back to local authorities, these hubs will help to prevent long-term illnesses such as heart disease.

“This underlines our commitment to improving life opportunities and health for everybody in Cheshire East.”

New-build lifestyle centres are intended for Crewe and Wilmslow initially with Congleton and Macclesfield to follow.

The plans will help to reduce health and social inequalities in Cheshire East while continuing to offer facilities that support health improvement to the whole Council area, which are key elements of the recent ‘Healthy Lives, Healthy People’ public health white paper.

The creation of lifestyle hubs would create the opportunity for ‘lifestyle coaches’ who support individuals, develop programmes and organise activities.

Cabinet members have unanimously supported the proposals and the Council is now working to make this vision a reality.

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