Published on 9th February 2024

Leisure pass

#FeedCheltenham activity pass offer extended after 150 food bank users benefit from pioneering scheme.

More than 150 people have benefited from free leisure activities thanks to an innovative local partnership to help Cheltenham’s food bank users boost their health and fitness.

Following the success, the Feed Cheltenham leisure pass is being relaunched this year, enabling people to gain access to more swim, gym, classes and soft play sessions.

This is part of Cheltenham’s response to the cost of living crisis. People using local food banks and pantries were offered a chance to access a #FeedCheltenham pass to enjoy a range of activities at Leisure at Cheltenham.

The pass is supported by the NHS and run by the Borough Council, Feed Cheltenham Network and Cheltenham Trust. It 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. It also offered holders 20% off Cheltenham Trust events.

The card has been a great success with over 150 active users.

People are being offered the chance to renew their pass to gain more free access, with new subscribers also welcomed.

Cllr Max Wilkinson, cabinet member for economic development, culture, tourism and wellbeing said: “I’m a huge believer in the power of physical activity to change people’s physical and mental health, so I’m really pleased that so many people are using this scheme. This will help people get healthy and be happy too. We know that not all our residents have the same opportunities to lead healthy lives and that cost is often a barrier. And with the rising cost of living, nice-to-have activities won’t be at the forefront of many people’s minds. This is why we are committed to continuing our strong partnership working with #FeedCheltenham, NHS and the Cheltenham Trust to help make sure people have the confidence and the tools they need to look after their wellbeing and lead a healthy lifestyle.”

That’s not all, food pantry and food bank customers who didn’t take advantage of the activity passes last year will have another chance to take part. Additional invitation cards will be made available, which then can be taken to Leisure at Cheltenham where it can be exchanged for a free 12 months #FeedCheltenham pass.  

Linda Grice, who heads up #FeedCheltenham said: “What better news then to bring back this life-changing scheme which has already benefited so many of our food pantry users. Trying to make ends meet during the cost of living crisis is no easy feat, which is why I’m delighted this card will continue to remove barriers for people looking to boost their health and wellbeing. After the success of last year, it’s exciting to relaunch these activity passes and help make a huge difference to people’s lives.”

Laurie Bell, CEO of The Cheltenham Trust, said: “Bringing back the activity passes really is a great start to the New Year and The Trust is pleased to yet again support this partnership with the council and local food pantries. Offering free and discounted access to the some of the facilities at Leisure at Cheltenham during the cost of living crisis will bring about a multitude of health benefits for people across Cheltenham. We understand how important it is for people to be able to access sport and fitness and activities and the positive impact this can have on their health and quality of life.”


For press enquiries, email [email protected] or call 01242 264231


#FeedCheltenham is part of YMCA Cheltenham. Email #FeedCheltenham 

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, Sandford Park, Burrows Playing field 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, cabinet 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