Published on 10th May 2023

Discount offered to Cheltenham food bank clients for inclusive access

Hundreds of people could benefit from free swim, gym and fitness classes as part of Cheltenham’s response to the cost of living crisis.  Up to 600 people who use food banks and food pantries are being offered the chance to secure a #FeedCheltenham pass for activities at Leisure At Cheltenham.

The pass gives access to 12 free activities including swim, gym and soft play, in addition to a year of discounted access to pay as you go activities.  The pass also gives holders 20% off Cheltenham Trust events.

Cllr Max Wilkinson member for economic development, culture, tourism and wellbeing said: “Physical activity is proven to help people improve their health.  In fact, it can be a silver bullet for mental and physical wellbeing.  Sadly, the cost of living crisis means that so many people across Cheltenham have had to make sacrifices and it’s these nice-to-have activities that often fall by the wayside.  I hope this innovative partnership between the Council, #FeedCheltenham, the NHS and the Cheltenham Trust will help people enjoy themselves and improve their wellbeing too – whether that’s restarting an old fitness routine or starting some gentle exercise for the first time.”

Food pantry and food bank customers will be offered an invitation card by food pantry and food bank staff. The card can then be taken to Leisure at Cheltenham where it can be exchanged for a free 12 month #FeedCheltenham pass.  Up to 600 people could benefit.

Linda Grice, who heads up #FeedCheltenham said: “I’m delighted that this scheme has been launched. I know how many of our food pantry users have found it difficult to make ends meet during the cost-of-living crisis so this card, which will help remove the cost barriers for people to be active, could make a huge difference to people’s lives.”

Laurie Bell, CEO of The Cheltenham Trust, said: “The trust is pleased to support this partnership with the borough council and the local food pantries to offer free and discounted access to some of the facilities at Leisure at Cheltenham during the current cost of living crisis. We recognise the importance of health benefits that sport and fitness can provide, and the positive impact it has on overall wellbeing, particularly mental health during challenging times.”

Cheltenham Borough Council has worked with partners from #FeedCheltenham and NHS Gloucestershire to secure funding for the inclusive activity pass, with funding coming from the Council’s Strengthening Local Communities grant and the Cheltenham Integrated Locality Partnership.

For media enquiries, contact: [email protected] telephone 01242 264231.

Notes: Additional easy to access outdoor fitness equipment is also available in Cheltenham’s award winning parks and open spaces at Benhall Open spaces, Caernarvon park, Elmfield park, Grange Field, Prestbury playing field, Montpellier park and the Honeybourne line.

Photo: left to right at Leisure At Cheltenham - Sue Nelson - Cornerstone Food Pantry, Richard Gibson, head of communities, wellbeing & partnerships, Councillor Max Wilkinson member for economic development, culture, tourism and wellbeing, Shelley Dobson-Stevens, head of leisure and sport - The Cheltenham Trust, Faith Rooke-Matthews project manager - Springbank Community Project, Linda Grice - #FeedCheltenham lead, Faiz Bankole health and wellbeing manager -The Cheltenham Trust