200 tenants will benefit from free fitness memberships and community champion opportunities thanks to city partnership.

A new scheme has been launched to increase physical activity rates and quality of life for 200 Newport City Homes (NCH) tenants who are isolated, inactive and in need of support. NCH has partnered with Newport Live and Sport Wales to offer residents six-month memberships at Newport Live venues, giving them access to facilities and services including Newport Live gyms, group exercise classes, pools and racquet sports, plus health checks, motivational support and personal support packages.

The scheme will also identify and upskill a number of ‘Community Champions’ from the 200 tenant members, for individual development purposes and so as they can go on to deliver sport and physical activities across their communities.

Newport City homes has 11,000 homes within the city and around 12,000 tenants living in their accommodation. The scheme will be eligible to those living in low socio-economic communities with average household incomes of less than £15,000.

“Evidence indicates that people of low income are most likely to suffer from poor physical and mental health, and report more social isolation, so increasing participation in physical activity can provide huge benefits to physical and mental health and reduce serious health conditions such as coronary heart disease and diabetes,” said Leigh Williams, Sport and Physical Activity Development Officer at Newport Live. “The tenant membership aims to give vulnerable people a helping hand to benefit them and their communities. So many eligible members are people who would love to be more healthy and active but are limited by finances or health circumstances and may not know where to start. This scheme will help them get on track safely, empowering and inspiring them to become happier and healthier.”

In return for the memberships, tenant members will make a number of commitments, including taking part in at least three sessions of physical activity every two weeks and complete health and wellbeing questionnaires throughout their membership.

“Taking part in sport and physical activity can make a big difference to physical and mental health as well as develop skills and confidence and reduce social isolation,” said Lauren Carter-Davies, Senior Officer at Sport Wales. “However, our research tells us that cost can be a barrier to participation. This is why Sport Wales is delighted to support the Newport City Homes Tenants Membership Scheme to hopefully remove this barrier and get more people in Newport enjoying sport. We are keen to learn from this scheme about what works and what doesn’t so that the learnings can inform the design of other schemes in the future.”

Newport City Homes’ Sustaining Communities Team Leader Sam Reed said: “At Newport City Homes, we always put the resident at the heart of what we do and this is the latest scheme to help encourage residents to live happier, healthier lives. It is an excellent example of partnership working in the city to improve the quality of life of our residents. The free membership will allow residents to access a number of activities including gym, swim, group exercise and racquet sports. We hope that this inspires them to embrace an active lifestyle, as research shows that physical and mental well-being are closely linked. Exercise can impact on your entire outlook on life. It’s never too late to start improving how fit and active you are.”

The Tenant Membership was officially launched at Newport Live’s Newport Centre on Tuesday 29 May by Newport Live Chair, John Harrhy and was attended by key partners in the scheme; Sport Wales, Aneurin Bevan Health Board, Newport City Council (Community Development) and Families First.

Tenants who would like to be considered for tenant memberships can call Michelle Carlyle on 01633 227887.

For more information about Newport Live services and memberships, visit newportlive.co.uk or follow @NewportLiveUK on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.