On March 21, the Community Leisure UK team with the support of member representatives attended the LGA/ADPH annual public health conference and exhibition 2019. The theme of this year’s conference covered what we can do to develop and support resilient communities. It was a busy day with many interesting presentations highlighting opportunities for the future of community leisure and culture trusts.
Cate Atwater, Chief Executive at Community Leisure UK, and Mark Tweedie, Chief Executive at Active Northumberland, prepared and presented a policy session on how community leisure trusts can be a partner in building resilient communities, raising awareness among attendees about the importance of the trust model and the collaborative power between community trusts, local policy and decision makers. Having the support and real-life examples of our members at hand, the presentation included a public discussion around the social impact of our members’ work.
Attendees of the presentation were keen to hear about the trust model, asking both Cate and Mark some critical, yet important questions. Through this discussion, people were further introduced to the non-profit distributing model behind our members’ work and what that means in practice; our members are passionate, inclusive, and engaged in providing public (health) services.
Meanwhile, Kirsty Cumming, Engagement and Policy Manager at Community Leisure Scotland, and Michelle Childs, Health Development Manager at Life Leisure, championed the work of our members throughout the day at a dedicated stand at the conference’s exhibition. On exhibit were not just our Charter of Integrity and our infographics on the trust model and the value of being a member, as most of our exhibit presented case studies highlighting our members’ work and impact on their local communities.
Visitors of the exhibition were pleased to hear about the work of our members and seemed visibly impressed with the wide range of services provided. Many stayed for a longer talk or decided to attend Cate and Mark’s presentation after visiting the stand. Other exhibitors were also interested in our and our members’ work and made time to come by our stand besides managing their own.
Presentations and exhibits on the conference covered a wide range of topics – from discussing mental health and social exclusion to discussing tools to measure community resilience. The Community Leisure UK team were pleased to attend and see opportunities for future collaborations with other attending representatives and organisations. Above all, the conference focused on success stories and opportunities available to the public health sector to foster resilient communities – for which we made the case that leisure and culture trusts have an important part to play.
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