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A FIRST for Wales as a local authority and delivery partner are rated EXCELLENT for joint QUEST Active Communities assessment. QUEST recognised the impact the partnership between Halo Leisure and Bridgend County Borough Council is making in tackling inactivity and improving participation by awarding an EXCELLENT in their recent Active Communities assessment.

 It’s the first time that Quest has assessed a partnership approach in Wales between the local authority client and the delivery partner. The grade recognised the contributions of schools, clubs, communities and wider partnerships and the efforts that are being made to increase physical activity levels and that ‘working together can be stronger’.

The QUEST assessor noted that the partnership ensures both organisations are in a strong position to secure funding and deliver high quality programmes that are clearly making a real impact and improvements on the activity rates across the region.

Councillor Dhanisha Patel, the council’s Cabinet Member for Wellbeing of Future Generations said “One of our biggest achievements has been the partnership we have formed with Halo Leisure.  Since our leisure partnership began in 2012 we have seen a 9% increase in visits to our centres and a major investment in facilities. I’m really proud that our centres do so much more than just helping regular gym goers to get fitter. Our life centres have become THE place to meet up to be active, at whatever pace and however you choose.”

Simon Gwynne, Partnership Manager for Halo Leisure said “Together we have improved our focus on older people, disability, disadvantage and gender equity.  We have some great local initiatives such as the Active 4 Life and Olympage programmes whilst national initiatives such as disability sport, Exercise Referral and Free Swimming have all supported our achievement. The Quest assessors also noted the collaborative work being done to ensure equal opportunities for people to take part in physical activity, including residents from financially disadvantaged backgrounds, with the successful ‘Access to Leisure’ scheme achieving over 145,000 visits last year.”

Simon went on to say “Quest has recognised that excellent results can be achieved from working together. Six years into the contract, the partnership is creating a county where physical activity is on the up. Our collaboration in Bridgend County has enabled us to drive real improvement and inspire staff to develop innovative approaches that are delivering wellbeing outcomes.