The battle to keep Britain's leisure centres open
Posted: Thu, 16 Jul 2020 14:56
Sean Ingle reports for the guardian that what people don't always see is that we are more than just a swimming pool and a gym," says Natalia Stothard, the business manager of the Pelican Centre in Tyldesley, Greater Manchester, as she starts to convey just how much the unprecedented crisis facing Britain's leisure centres also risks devastating communities across the land – including her own.
"There are high levels of deprivation within this borough – that's why we have holiday camps where children are provided with a free meal at a really reduced rate," says Stothard, who took over the centre in 2012 after it faced being shut down because of austerity cuts. "And if somebody is in trouble in the community, they will come as they know it's a safe space.
"We also have a lot of retired members – one of our most popular sessions is Young at Heart swimming. We've even got a member who's in his 80s, who only comes in for a chat, which is lovely. But now we are increasingly worried."
Further information is available on the guardian website