Major investment in Abbotshall Road Facilities

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Minister hails new Healthy Lifestyle Centre in Catford as a model for community led services after £498,000 funding boost.

On Monday October 19th, Marcus Jones MP, Minister for Local Government at the Department for Communities and Local Government opened a Healthy Lifestyle Centre in Catford created by Lewisham based community interest company Community Teachsport through a community asset transfer of a derelict Council owned playing field.

In the presence of local MP Heidi Alexander, Sir Steve Bullock, Mayor of Lewisham and Mike Diaper, Executive Director of Sport England, Jones said the project, situated in the 287 acre housing estate built by Archibald Corbett over a 100 years ago, replicated Corbett’s ideals of encouraging families to lead healthy lifestyles through healthy living and the development of the centre by community groups working collaboration is a great example of the effect of Government’s Localism Act 2011 which devolves power from Central and Local government to allow community groups to develop and run services specifically for the benefit of their own locality.

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Community Teachsport raised over £500,000 from ten different funding streams, including £99,250 of National Lottery funding from Sport England, to regenerate the playing field and construct the centre’s building to provide junior football and cricket and sports day facilities, changing rooms, an exercise and fitness hall, community meeting rooms, a community café and community garden. Response to the initiative from the local community has been magnificent with the centre being fully used seven days a week.

Ross Walker, MD, Community Teachsport said: ‘This project has been the culmination of four years continuous graft which has resulted in a magnificent facility for all the community to enjoy for many years to come and has made all the hard work truly worthwhile.’

‘Active Lifestyles for All’

The day also saw the launch of an exciting community led health project managed by Community Teachsport called ‘Active Lifestyles for All’ and funded by a £498,000 National Lottery grant through Sport England’s Get Healthy, Get Active programme.

Active Lifestyles for All aims to support inactive residents aged 14 and over in Lewisham’s Neighbourhood 3 area to lead a more active lifestyle through providing free individual 13 week activity programmes for inactive residents to participate in 30 minutes of sport related activity per week. It will work in partnership with local GPs, Pharmacies and Secondary schools to receive referrals and support over 1,000 participants a year to become active and have no need to consult their GP in future.

The project, a partnership between Community Teachsport, Lewisham Public Health and the South East Public Health Collaborative at King’s College London, has received £498,000 over three years and it has been forecast the project could achieve a social return on investment of £40 for every pound spent and could become a model in the future for social prescribing.

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Speaking at the launch, Mike Diaper of Sport England said “We are delighted to award a further £498,000 of National Lottery funding to Community Teachsport, alongside our initial investment into the facilities at Abbottshall Road to help get more families in Lewisham active. Putting sport literally at the heart of the community, both the Active Lifestyles for All programme and the new Healthy Living Centre, will make sport more accessible and enticing to thousands of people living locally, and will no doubt encourage many to take practical steps to living healthier more active lives.”

Funding provided to date for the Healthy Lifestyle Centre:

  1. The London Marathon Charitable Trust £142,000
  2. Sport England Protecting Playing Fields £49,250
  3. Sport England Inspired Facilities £50,000
  4. Sport England Small Grants £10,000
  5. The Mayor of London Facilities Fund £70,000
  6. The Mayor of London Pocket Parks £5,000
  7. Veolia Environmental Trust £50,000
  8. Lewisham Council £65,000
  9. Premier League and the FA Facilities Fund £28,250
  10. London & Quadrant Housing £10,000

Funding provided for Active Lifestyles for All: The National Lottery through Sport England £498,000

Teachsport 2010 CIC Limited trading as Community Teachsport is a not for profit community interest company delivering projects in and around Lewisham and South London aimed at young people and their families, that create healthy lifestyles for all the family. It also helps disadvantaged young people from all spheres of society to engage in the community and increase their self worth and leadership potential. Linked to these projects it delivers training programmes designed to increase the opportunity of long term employment for young people.

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Gareth lives in South East London and loves supporting communities and social projects both in real life and online.

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