Horizon Leisure Launches Free Active Play Membership for Vulnerable Families 

Published on: December 1st 2023

CHARITABLE trust, Horizon Leisure, has launched an Active Play membership for vulnerable families in the Hampshire area, giving them 12 months free access to a range of leisure facilities. 

The scheme will see 60 families benefit from free access to Horizon Leisure’s Adventure Play and Oceans of Play (soft play), plus pre-school bounce classes, pre-school gymnastics, public family swimming and even swimming lessons. 

The Active Play membership, funded by Hampshire Council, aims to provide physical activity intervention in a leisure centre setting, enabling eligible children aged 0-5 in Hampshire whose families experience financial hardship, to develop crucial physical activity skills.  

Mike Lyons, CEO Horizon Leisure says: “Horizon Leisure has a commitment to providing accessible and affordable leisure. Our goal is to create enjoyable experiences that motivate people to enhance their health and wellbeing; positively influencing their lives. The Active Play programme aims to increase the uptake of physical activity in children aged 0-5, particularly those living in areas of greater deprivation. 

“The long-term health impact of encouraging an active lifestyle from a young age is significant.  This initiative not only promotes physical health by encouraging active play, but also provides essential mental health support, reducing stress and anxiety for vulnerable families. 

“Active play is also educational development opportunity for children, teaching crucial skills such as teamwork, communication and problem-solving. By participating in active play, families engage socially, reducing social isolation.” 

Households in Hampshire receiving at least one means-tested benefit, including income support, housing benefit etc were eligible to apply for one of the 60 available family memberships.  Horizon Leisure will be tracking and evaluating the impact of this programme to ensure it meets its goals in making a positive difference to the lives of vulnerable families.