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More than 20,000 residents sign up for Southwark Council’s free swim and gym

Over 20,000 residents have signed up to the council’s free swim and gym programme, which was launched on August 2.

The council has said 11,000 people signed up in the first month, adding to the 11,915 who had already signed up in the fourteen month pilot phase.

The scheme offers free access to swimming pools and gyms at all Southwark leisure centres, all day on Fridays, as well as on Saturday and Sunday afternoons after 2pm.

It follows an extension of the scheme for elderly residents, who now have free access seven days per week.

Councillor Maisie Anderson, cabinet member for public health, parks and leisure said: “With busy lifestyles, the rise of technology and the cost of living – getting fit is not easy. This scheme is a fantastic way of addressing the cost barrier that holds many people back.

“Many councils are finding it harder to fund schemes to tackle obesity and inactivity. While it’s been a challenge to deliver in the face of rising cuts, I am really proud of the work we have done on our new leisure contract that means this scheme will not cost the council much needed funds.”

Councillor Anderson also began the council’s Road to Rio challenge earlier this month, which celebrated the opening of the Olympic Games by urging residents to “run, walk, cycle, swim or even row” a total of 9,254km – the distance from Southwark to Rio de Janeiro.

Visit www.southwark.gov.uk/freeswim andgym for more information.

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