Freedom Leisure receives funding to help Wealden communities improve health and wellbeing

Freedom Leisure, the not-for-profit leisure trust which manages three leisure facilities in Wealden, and Wealden District Council will be working together to deliver a wide range of free activities to improve both the physical and mental wellbeing of the community and enable better access to health and leisure facilities and activities across the district.

people on exercise bikes in gym wearThe initiative has been made possible following government approval of Wealden District Council’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund bid.

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is part of the UK government’s Levelling Up agenda which gives local authorities the opportunity to improve pride of place and increase life chances by investing in communities, supporting local businesses and people..

Toby Reed, Freedom Leisure’s area manager in Wealden said, “We are delighted to be working with Wealden District Council on this hugely beneficial scheme. Our vision is to improve lives through leisure, this funding will enable us to achieve that vision and engage with members of the community that may be previously couldn’t access their local community health and wellbeing facilities.”

From February, Freedom Leisure will begin a range of activity sessions that will appeal to all ages and abilities across Heathfield, Hailsham, Polegate and the surrounding villages.

The instructor led sessions will include New Age Kurling and Boccia which will take place at various Retirement Living schemes and community cafés across Wealden as well as activities targeting families such as Active Play Sport Sessions and walks along parts of the Cuckoo Trail.

Freedom Leisure will also be facilitating a 12-week Menopause Support Course at Freedom Leisure Hailsham. The sessions will incorporate exercise-based classes in the gym and the swimming pool. Participants will also benefit from mental health wellbeing seminars and classes to enable them to better manage the symptoms of menopause.

Councillor Philip Lunn, Wealden’s portfolio holder for Leisure, and Councillor Pam Doodes, the authority’s portfolio holder for Public Health and Community have welcomed the government funding.

Councillor Lunn said, “This is fantastic news and the programme of activities will cater for people of all ages within our communities.”

Councillor Doodes said, “The funding secured by us will give people better access to health and leisure facilities than they might normally have. These are free activities and I hope people will enjoy the benefits of them.”

These sessions are free to the local Wealden community and can be accessed by emailing Freedom Leisure’s Healthy Communities team on

For more information and to discover how to take part, please search online for ‘Healthy Communities Wealden’.