Campaigners step up their fight to save keep fit class

Coun. Jackie Morris is presented with a petition by members of a keep fit class held at the gymnasium in the Riverside complex which is under threat.
Coun. Jackie Morris is presented with a petition by members of a keep fit class held at the gymnasium in the Riverside complex which is under threat.

The fight has been stepped up to save a ‘vital’ keep-fit class at Bulwell Riverside Gymnasium from having to close.

A petition signed by users of the Physical Activity on Referral Service (PAoRS) was handed this week to the Sheriff of Nottingham, Coun Jackie Morris, who is a Bulwell member of the City Council.

The twice-weekly sessions, run by the YMCA, are for people with medical problems which include heart conditions, diabetes and arthritis.

Up to 30 people attend every session and users say the exercises have greatly improved their health and wellbeing.

Twelve sessions are offered free, after which there is a charge of £4 for each one.

The class is earmarked to be scrapped later this month, due to a withdrawal of Nottingham City Council funding.

The council are planning to re-commission their healthy lifestyle service, which would mean reducing six contracts to just one.

The proposed new contract is due to be finalised in April and the council insist that the service would still be affordable.

But Coun Morris said: “I regard this class as absolutely vital and I am trying to find a way to keep it going. I hope there can be a breathing space while looking for a solution.”

The class instructor, Charlotte Kenny, stressed that as well as increasing quality of life, It was an opportunity for people to meet socially on a regular basis.

A consultation event about Nottingham City Council’s plans was held at Bulwell Riverside.

Coun Alex Norris said: “The council has had to make more than £200 million in savings over the last six years and needs to save a further £27m for 2017-18. The scheme has helped more than 10,000 people ‘embrace physical activity and adopt healthier lifestyles’.”