Education link-up helping Wigan Borough residents Be Well

Staff at local leisure centres are now in an even better position to support Wigan Borough residents with long-term health issues thanks to specialist training and development.

Wigan Council’s Be Well health and wellbeing movement has been linking with leading fitness industry training provider Health and Fitness Education (HFE) to increase its team members’ knowledge of obesity, diabetes and other conditions such as hypertension, arthritis and back pain.

The training has been designed to help Be Well instructors give the best possible exercise advice and tailor workout programmes based on each individual’s needs – boosting recovery from, and management and prevention of, injuries and illnesses.

Councillor Chris Ready, Wigan Council’s portfolio holder for communities and neighbourhoods, said: “Our long-term conditions team and our specialist referral services such as weight management, the Let’s Get Movin’ family fitness programme and our active ageing team have already been helping thousands of local people with their expertise and in-depth knowledge.

“But we’re really passionate about going the extra mile to support residents with their health and wellbeing, which is why we’re upskilling as many members of our team to be able to offer the best possible advice, insight and information.

“All our Be Well members get a free personal exercise plan that’s just for them and these qualifications from HFE help our instructors tailor programmes that perfectly meet each person’s needs and support them achieve their own unique goals.”

According to the trusted Social Value Calculator, Be Well made a positive impact worth £13.46m across Wigan Borough last year – improving the subjective wellbeing of residents and alleviating the pressure on the NHS by reducing GP appointments and lowering people’s risk of various conditions from cancer and Type 2 diabetes to hip fractures and depression.

The tie-in with HFE over the past 18 months supports Be Well’s efforts to increase that value – with some 30 staff already completing or beginning training programmes leading to industry recognised qualifications which are aligned with the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA) Professional Standards.

HFE is a well-established and highly-respected provider of fitness instructor and personal training courses (external link) to the active leisure sector, specialising in health and wellbeing programmes such as the Level 3 Diploma in Exercise Referral (external link) and Level 4 Certificate in Obesity and Diabetes (external link).

Rick Gardiner at HFE, said: “We look forward to continuing to work alongside the Be Well team, supporting the growth and development of their health and wellbeing services across Wigan Borough and helping them empower local people to lead happier, healthier lives.”

Be Well has seven local leisure centres across Wigan Borough – with facilities in Ashton-in-Makerfield, Hindley, Howe Bridge, Leigh, Standish and Wigan town centre as well as Robin Park. For more information visit Be Well homepage.

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