Sussex Business Times introduces Wave Leisure and takes a look at their new year’s resolutions for 2017

Wave Leisure Trust  The Downs Leisure Centre in Seaford CEO Duncan Kerr Please Credit  - Simon Dack / Vervate
CEO Duncan Kerr. Credit – Simon Dack

“It’s time to set some goals,” said CEO of Wave Leisure Trust, Duncan Kerr. “We need to improve the health of our members, customers and our community and 2017 is going to be the year to do it, and our GP Referral Scheme is a great place to start.”

At the end of 2016, the Sussex-based, not-for-profit Trust, Wave Leisure (Wave), launched a new GP Referral Scheme and, after just two months in operation, it is already improving people’s health and changing lives for the better, and it is one of the Trust’s key priorities for 2017.

Wave, which promotes wellbeing, fitness, and healthy lifestyles across East Sussex has, in-conjunction with GPs at Old School Surgery in Seaford, started the ‘Move More’ pilot project.

Working together, the GPs and Wave’s Health and Wellbeing Co-ordinator, Luke Greenwood set-up a new referral scheme where patients can be seen by Luke for a 30-minute consultation regarding their condition and medical history, which also takes into consideration personal barriers, goals and other support needs. Luke uses an ‘I Centric’ approach, which explores activities that best suit the individual, and one which they will enjoy, continue with, and improve at. It also explores barriers which may have stopped them from exercising in the past. The lifestyle behaviour change is measured with short, medium and long-term goals which are monitored and evaluated.

The ‘Move More’ scheme has already identified that a common theme is the impact of obesity on the body, which results in various, sometimes chronic conditions, but which can start to be treated and improved by regular exercise and more movement.

Speaking about Move More, Luke said: “Since starting the scheme, I have already seen several small positive changes that have occurred in our client’s wellbeing, and how once the mind informs the body, the body then informs the mind, and has a huge benefit to physical and mental wellbeing overall.

Wave Leisure Trust  The Downs Leisure Centre in Seaford Please Credit  - Simon Dack / Vervate
Wave Leisure Trust
The Downs Leisure Centre in Seaford
Please Credit – Simon Dack / Vervate

“Comments made to me in just a few short weeks have identified this mindset, and it is very encouraging seeing the almost instant change in clients.”

Wave offers a diverse range of activities to suit every individual, but the most common activities that are showing successful results include yoga, a strength and balance class, which addresses fall prevention; swimming and general gym-based exercise programmes. The scheme also addresses emotional wellbeing, which is a key element of Wave’s overall strategy.

Once deciding on a programme of activity at the surgery, Luke and the Team at Wave then arrange to meet clients in the Downs Leisure Centre in Seaford, and individuals are taken – quite literally – by the hand through the new process. From experience, the Wave Team understand the anxiety people feel about walking into gyms, so the hand holding approach helps to encourage people through the initial process and nurtures them back to better health.

The hope is that once the impact of the pilot scheme has been recorded, Wave can look at getting additional funding to roll Move More out across other locations, in conjunction with the work of local CCGs, GPs and help deliver Public Health objectives.

Duncan added: “In 2017, we will continue the pursuit of ensuring that Wave is recognised for the role we can play as part of the Primary Healthcare Pathway, supporting GPs with time and patient management whilst ensuring those in need gain access to support and facilities to lead healthier lifestyles. Our purpose is to ‘Inspire Active Lifestyles’ and this will remain our priority through 2017. Clearly, in order to achieve our purpose we need to deliver against key targets in a number of areas but, as highlighted earlier, by having one ‘ultimate’ goal, the message across the company becomes very simple and clear.

“Fundamentally, we want to provide a great service across a range of services and quality facilities, accessible to all ages and ability levels.”

The Move More Project is for all age groups and clients currently range from their mid 20s to their mid 70s. With guidance from the Wave Team, behaviour change at any age can happen over a three-month period, taking a state of dependency to independence.

Wave Leisure The new uniforms at Downs Leisure Centre Seaford Please Credit - Simon Dack / Vervate www.vervate.com 01273 275162 0797 3677 017
Credit – Simon Dack

CEO Duncan Kerr concluded: “Delivering to our Community’ is one of Wave’s core business objectives. The challenge is how we ensure this contributes to our businesses’ sustainability. Supporting community initiatives and reaching out to support those in greatest need requires significant partnership working and throughout 2017, we will continue to bring new partners to projects and continue to be creative and re-imagine our role in the community.

“Building on our successes, including our Quest Award for Peacehaven Leisure Centre as the “Best Facility Managed” in the UK, we will continue to ensure our facilities are attractive and fit for purpose for customers and provide a quality service to ensure customers have a positive and fulfilling experience when visiting our centres.”

For more information about Wave, their GP referral scheme or their 2017 Wave Pledge campaign go to www.waveleisure.co.uk

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