A new St Edmundsbury-based campaign to raise awareness of the benefits of physical activity to quality of life has been launched by Abbeycroft Leisure in Haverhill and Bury St Edmunds.
The ‘Active St Eds’ campaign, supported by St Edmundsbury Borough Council, Suffolk County Council, NHS Suffolk, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trusts, aims to inspire people to increase their physical activity to improve their quality of life. It is hoped the campaign will leave a lasting legacy from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The campaign will focus on the ‘quality of life’ benefits of activity such as exercise to improve stress management, sleep, anxiety, chronic conditions such as back pain and diabetes, and social benefits such as increased self esteem, improved relationships and meeting new people.
The campaign will feature ten individuals/families as ‘cover’ stars on a new ‘Inspire Me’ poster campaign across Haverhill and Bury St Edmunds Leisure Centres and a film to inspire others to fit physical activity into their lives. The film will be premiered at this year’s St Edmundsbury Sports Awards in September.
To help measure the success of the campaign, a new ‘Active Points’ scheme will be introduced at Abbeycroft Leisure from August where people can collect points every time they take part in an activity at Abbeycroft’s Centres in Bury St Edmunds and Haverhill or at one of their many events and activities held in the community. Registration for a leisure card to collect Active Points opens on July 1.
Anyone in the borough can apply for a leisure card and those who are current members of Abbeycroft’s Centres will be able to collect points on their current card. Every 100 points will be equivalent to 75 pence which can be redeemed against 400 retailers online including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Argos, PC World, B&Q, Dorothy Perkins, and Peacocks.
Sports Clubs, schools, colleges and businesses across St Edmundsbury will also be able to collect points to use as a group or organisation.
In addition, a new campaign ‘Active St Eds’ web portal has been launched at www.acleisure.com/active-st-eds which features real life stories of people from St Edmundsbury whose lives have been improved by physical activity, tips for keeping active, articles on how physical activity can improve quality of life written by local healthcare experts, and details of how to sign up for Active Points.
People will be invited to fill out an Active St Eds pledge card which outlines how they will increase their activity in 2012.
Warren Smyth, Chief Executive of Abbeycroft Leisure, said: “In this Olympic year Abbeycroft wants to inspire people in the borough to start some form of physical activity and understand that the benefits of exercise go beyond the traditional reasons of losing weight and inches.
“We hope the wonderful stories from people who live in Bury St Edmunds and Haverhill on how exercise has benefited them and their lives will inspire others in their community to start something to keep active. The Active Points scheme we hope will further encourage people with a great way to keep track of how much activity they are doing coupled with the bonus that the more exercise they do the more they save on the High Street.”
The campaign will complement Suffolk’s most active county initiative launched in February as part of a countywide collaboration with partners across Suffolk to help make Suffolk the most active county in England.