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08 Feb 2008

ISPAL rewards GLL referral scheme
BY Tim Nash

Sports trust Greenwich Leisure (GLL) has been presented with an award by new industry body, the Institute for Sport, Parks & Leisure (ISPAL), in recognition of its success in helping the residents of Greenwich keep fit and healthy.

The ISPAL Health & Physical Activity Recognition Award was given to GLL’s Healthwise Physical Activity Referral Scheme (PARS), which has seen more than 3,500 people - including the unemployed, retired people and ethnic groups with health inequalities - benefit since it was launched in 2005.

The initiative is a partnership between the leisure trust, Greenwich Teaching Primary Care Trust and Greenwich Council.

“Healthwise is a good example of successful partnership working,” said Paul Cluett, director of QLM, who assessed the scheme for the ISPAL award.

“It offers an easy-to-access, affordable, 'one point of entry' for clients. The scheme's success stems from combining a high quality service with a multi-disciplinary approach – linking patients to other physical activity and health options around the boroughs and with our partnerships to promote healthy living. GLL also scored top marks for its monitoring of the scheme – often a weakness for PARS.”

“We're delighted at how Healthwise has increased awareness and improved the health and well being of so many Greenwich residents,” says Mark Sesnan, GLL's managing director, who received the award from Peter Mann, ISPAL Chairman.

“The scheme provides residents experiencing ill health with easy access to an affordable range of physical activity options. Individuals are equipped with the tools to improve their health whilst reducing their future health risk. It also proves how successful partnership working can be when all the agencies have a shared ambition.”

Photograph: (from left) Caitlin Thomas, GLL's corporate health manager; Barbara Rowe, patient; Jamie Ross, Healthwise manager; Vic Rowe, patient and Vicki Dunn Healthwise project co-ordinator with the ISPAL award in the fitness centre at the Waterfront Leisure Centre in Woolwich.

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