Council introduces free access to leisure centres for people experiencing homelessness

Published: Thursday, 10th October 2019

Oxford City Council is introducing free access to its leisure centres for people experiencing homelessness in Oxford.

From 14 October, the council is offering a free three month introductory membership to its leisure centres for anyone accommodated in hostels or supported housing through Oxford’s adult homeless pathway.

The trial scheme will provide free access to swimming, gyms and exercise classes at Barton and Ferry leisure centres, Leys Pools & Leisure, Oxford Spires and Rose Hill community centre. Anyone interested in a free trial membership must apply through their support worker and make use of their membership within four weeks.

After the initial three months people who want to continue their memberships will be able to do so at the discounted rate of £19.50 a month. Standard rate memberships at the council’s leisure centres vary from £30 to £47 a month depending on the centre and type of membership.

“We’re bringing in free introductory memberships at our leisure centres because we believe that people who are experiencing homelessness should have the same opportunity to access leisure activities as the rest of Oxford’s community.

“Today is both World Homeless Day and World Mental Health Day. Physical exercise is good for mental health and wellbeing and we want to do what we can to promote this, particularly as we know homelessness can extract a heavy price on people’s physical and mental health.”

Councillor Linda Smith, deputy leader and cabinet member for leisure and housing

Support workers who want more information or who would like to discuss an individual application should contact James Baughan on 01865 529191 or email