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Free golfing experience for Luton carers

Local carers are being encouraged to take some time out for themselves and sign up for a free golfing experience at Stockwood Park Golf Centre.

The one-off event will offer a day’s respite for those who freely give up their time to look after someone because of ill health, disability or old age on a long term basis. Active Luton has organised the event as part of Carers’ Week 2013 after successfully applying for funding through Luton Borough Council’s Carers’ Support Fund.

Read more: Free golfing experience for Luton carers


Cash boost for Luton Diving

Active Luton has been awarded a £10k grant from the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) to further develop and promote diving in the region.

Diving has already seen a surge in popularity locally since the opening of the world class Inspire: Luton Sports Village last year and the new funding will ensure that this continues. The money will be used to fund a three year ‘beacon’ programme which aims to increase local participation in the sport and will offer elite coaching to the region’s best young divers.

The programme is being developed by two experienced divers, Harry Glover and David Jenkins, who have trained with and been coached by the very best in British diving. Glover and Jenkins are employed by Active Luton to develop the sport locally.

A number of dive camps and coaching sessions will be run at Inspire where locally selected young divers will benefit from experienced coaches and world class facilities. With additional coaches and expert training being offered, it is hoped that the programme will eventually lead to more people from Luton competing in international diving competitions.

Harry Glover, Diving Development Officer, said: “We are delighted to be awarded this funding and can’t wait to get everything up and running. There are a number of talented young divers here in Luton and I am confident that this programme will lead to many of them going on to achieve international success.”

Helen Barnett, Chief Executive at Active Luton, said: “I would like to thank Harry and David for all the work they have done to develop diving locally. We have had hundreds of people sign up to our diving courses in recent months and this latest funding will ensure that we can get the very best out of our most promising divers.”

Cllr Mohammed Ashraf, Portfolio Holder for sports and arts, said: “We said from the beginning that Inspire was more than just a venue that anyone can use to get active and become healthier. It is also very much about developing future sporting champions and this funding is a big step towards achieving this.”

Find out more about diving in Luton here




Increasing life expectancy for women in Luton

How we can improve life expectancy for local women, which is almost two years less than the national average of 82.6 years, is a key theme in the recently published Public Health Report for 2012-13 for Luton.

Gerry Taylor, Director of Public Health for Luton, says good progress has been made in addressing health inequality issues, with a reduction in the life expectancy gap for men. She adds: “We have not been so successful with the gap for women. My aim is to look at this matter in more detail and try to determine what we need to do to tackle it.”

Read more: Increasing life expectancy for women in Luton


Riverbank Primary School to open in Luton

An area of Luton where community concerns have been mounting over lack of school places is set to benefit from a unique and exciting new primary school.

River Bank Primary School, a brand new Active Education Academy Trust Free School for boys and girls, will open in September on the site of the former Wardown Swimming and Leisure Centre in Bath Road.

The school is founded by local leisure trust Active Luton that has a team of educational and sports specialists with a proven track record in raising standards and supporting children’s social and emotional development.

River Bank Primary School will offer a broad and balanced curriculum based on the most recent and relevant research relating to primary education, with a strong emphasis on physical activity, health and wellbeing. The Bath Road site has enough space for school buildings and associated outdoor play areas and is a short walk for all pupils within the proposed catchment area. The site will be developed to include classrooms and offices, as well as indoor space for both school and community use. The reception year at River Bank will provide places for 120 pupils from September 2013, with additional year groups being added each year. The school will have the capacity to accommodate 840 pupils by 2018.

Helen Barnett, Chief Executive of Active Luton, said: “In addition to helping to alleviate the desperate shortage of school places in Luton, River Bank Primary School will be a friendly, happy school that gives children opportunities, responsibility and trust in an environment that is both stimulating and rewarding. The brand new building and state-of-the-art facilities, including a dedicated sports hall, will inspire both teachers and children to give their very best.

“We are offering something really unique that not only includes a broad and balanced curriculum, but also a focus on building children’s self-belief while improving their health and wellbeing. I would encourage any parent unsure of what primary school their child will be attending this September to get in touch.”

For further details please call 01582 400272 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Further information can be found on the school website www.riverbankprimary.org



Fitness offer for Lewsey residents

Lewsey residents have been given extra motivation to get healthy this Spring thanks to a special offer for free and subsidised sports and exercise sessions.

Local sports trust Active Luton has announced that they are giving away 40 three-month gym vouchers for the £1.5million Lewsey Sports Park which offers first class fitness, squash and boxing facilities for local residents. The special offer entitles each individual to free weekly gym sessions, unlimited access to the centre, a gym induction, health and fitness guidance and a personalised programme from a Lewsey Sports Park health professional.

The 40 lucky residents will also receive a free ‘Go 4 Less’ card, a Luton Borough Council-funded scheme offering year round discounted rates at Active Luton facilities across the borough.

Funding for the project has come from the Council’s ‘Your Say, Your Way’ scheme which is all about increasing opportunities for local people to get involved in decision making.

Back in March Lewsey residents came together and voted on projects they wanted to see funded in their area, and Active Luton’s Lewsey Sports Park voucher was one of the projects agreed by the community.

Helen Barnett, Chief Executive of Active Luton, said: “Lewsey Sports Park is a fantastic sports and fitness centre in the heart of the community and is within walking distance for most people in the neighbourhood. “We are hopeful that this latest offer will encourage a number of new users who
want to improve their general health and wellbeing. The fact that Lewsey residents voted for this project at the recent decision day shows that improving health and fitness levels is a major priority for the area.”

Pam Garraway, Corporate Director for Housing and Community Living, said: “The ‘Your Say, Your Way’ programme gives residents a number of opportunities to influence local decision making. The great benefit is that the Council and taxpayers know that money is being spent where the community really needs and wants it, which in this case is improving the health and wellbeing of Lewsey residents.

“We are committed to making this happen for them so I am delighted that we can offer these vouchers to new users in the Lewsey Community.”

Vouchers are available from Lewsey Sports Park reception on a first-come-first-served basis. Residents must live in LU4 3 postcode to qualify (proof is required). The offer is aimed at new users so current members do not qualify. For more information call 01582 60 42 44.

For more information about ‘Your Say, Your Way’ project and other initiatives that have been funded in Farley and in other Luton wards, go to



Snow update

Stockwood park golf course is closed due to poor weather conditions. All other centres remain open as normal.

Active Luton operating hours during the Easter holidays

Read more: Active Luton operating hours during the Easter holidays


Cancer survivor exercise programme extended

Active Luton has been awarded almost £35,000 from Macmillan Cancer Support to continue
its successful exercise programme for residents who are undergoing treatment
for cancer.

The programme, which is run in partnership with Macmillan and the Luton and
Dunstable Hospital (L&D), is aimed at improving the physical and mental
wellbeing of cancer patients.

With support from Macmillan nurses and L&D cancer experts, Active Luton’s
healthy lifestyles team works closely with the participants to deliver specific
exercise programmes which cater to each individual’s needs.

Patients on the programme receive 12 free physical activity sessions which include gym,
swim and fitness classes in any Active Luton facility. The golf driving range
and badminton court have also been used in specific circumstances.

At the end of the 12 sessions participants then receive a discounted rate at
Active Luton’s facilities and a free health check every six weeks to monitor
their progress.

The programme supported 115 people in 2012 and the latest funding will see it
extended until the end of 2014.

Patients can be referred via their Macmillan Clinical Nurse Specialist or GP, but it is
also possible for people to refer themselves by contacting Active Luton

Peter Loney is one patient who has found the programme ‘invaluable’ to his recovery.
Peter commented: “I am so grateful to my Macmillan nurse who badgered me to
take part in the Active Luton programme. Words can’t express how positive and
full of energy I feel after a session at the gym and a chat with my support team.”

Helen Barnett, Active Luton Chief Executive, said: “The feedback so far has been
overwhelmingly positive and is making such a difference to people’s lives.
Exercise is vitally important to the health and wellbeing of patients so we are
delighted to receive this latest funding.

“Going through cancer must be a very terrifying experience but we know exercise, can
help with the recovery, so I encourage anyone receiving t treatment to get in
touch to see how we can support them.”

Gemma Crane, Macmillan Development Manager, Mount Vernon, said: “We know that it’s
really important for people affected by cancer to be physically active and that
it can make all the difference to people’s health and wellbeing. Macmillan
Cancer Support is pleased to be funding Active Luton for the next two years,
having seen excellent results from the first year’s pilot. I recommend that
anyone affected by cancer and interested in finding out more about exercise
options get in touch with Active Luton.”

For more information

  • contact Matt Corder at Active Luton on 01582 40 02 72
  • or complete the contact form here

Get fit and healthy with 'Active Women'

Active Luton is making it easier for women in Luton to get fit through its Active Women programme.

The programme encourages women aged 16 years and over to increase their sport and physical activity levels for fun, social, recreational or competitive purposes. There are a number of community-based programmes taking place across Luton providing local women the opportunity to participate in a variety of sports and fitness programmes.

To reduce barriers to participation, the programme works with women in a variety of community settings to make it easier for them to get involved.

One person who has benefitted from Active Women is Deborah Farmer who has increased her running since joining the programme. Deborah commented: "At first I could only manage five minutes before I got a headache and had to stop. Now, thanks to Active Luton, I am an active woman, running and training up to four times a week and taking 5k races in my stride.

"Becoming an active woman has obviously made me fitter, but more than just that, I feel more alert, focused, confident and ultimately, alive!"

Active Luton, who run sports and recreation activities and facilities across the town on behalf of Luton Borough Council, will be putting increase emphasis on its Active Women programme after a recent national survey revealed that just one in eight women in England play sport regularly.

The Active People survey also revealed that women's participation lags behind men's and the gap between the two genders is increasing. The same research also shows that women from disadvantaged communities play even less sport, with just one in 10 taking part regularly.

As a result Active Luton will provide further opportunities for women to get fit and stay healthy through a variety of female-friendly local sports clubs, fitness activities and women-only swimming sessions in its facilities.

Helen Barnett, Chief Executive of Active Luton, said: "Time constraints, childcare arrangements, transport, self confidence or simply lack of interest are some of the reasons why participation levels are low amongst women. We are doing what we can to break down these barriers to stimulate local demand for sport amongst women

"As well as the physical activities, the programme also provides links into coaching and mentoring to help develop leadership qualities and to maximise long term participation levels."

Cllr Mohammad Ashraf, Portfolio Holder for sports and arts, said: "I hope residents take advantage of Active Women as it is a great opportunity to meet new people and at the same time lead a healthier lifestyle."


Lewsey pool re-opening confirmed

The re-opening of Lewsey Sports Park Pool has been confirmed as Saturday 2nd February 2013.

Originally swimming clubs and the Hydra Learn to Swim programme were due to move back into the refurbished pool on the 26th January, with public facilities opening on the 4th February.

After discussions with the contractors and Luton Borough Council, Active Luton have agreed to put the opening date back by a week to the 2nd February to allow contractors to complete additional work and to ensure the facility is properly tested and cleaned to the highest standards ready for customers to use again.

Clubs and swim school customers are being communicated with directly to update them on the situation and options available.

To celebrate the re-opening we're planning a community weekend in February with free tasters, free swim sessions, tours and prizes on offer. More details on this will follow next week.








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