Free access to leisure centres for people experiencing homelessness

Published: Friday, 28th May 2021

With leisure centres now reopen as lockdown continues to ease, Oxford City Council has relaunched a free access scheme for people experiencing homelessness in Oxford.

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

The scheme provides free access to swimming, gyms and exercise classes at Barton and Ferry leisure centres and Leys Pools & Leisure. It is open by referral from any organisation working with people living in the adult homeless pathway.

Once the initial period ends people can renew their free membership for another three months. After this, they will be able to do so at the discounted rate of £19.50 a month or by paying the discounted pay as you go rate for individual classes or sessions. Standard rate memberships at the leisure centres vary from £30 to £47 a month.

Support workers who want more information or who would like to discuss an individual application should email James Baughan at [email protected]

“We’re reintroducing free and discounted memberships at our leisure centres as people with experience of rough sleeping should have the same opportunity to access leisure and creative activities as the rest of Oxford's community. Homelessness can take a heavy toll on physical and mental health, and physical activity can help to counteract these effects and improve people’s health and wellbeing.” 

Councillor Diko Blackings, cabinet member for affordable housing, housing security and housing the homeless  

Other free and low cost options for keeping fit

GO Active has some great free health walks, jogging groups and much more. Find out what's available by visiting GO Active or by emailing Emma Collins at [email protected]

GO Active Outdoors helps you make the most of Oxford's parks, green spaces and waterways. Find out about the city's fit trails, outdoor gyms and more on the GO Active Outdoors website.

The council’s Activity Hub was launched at the start of the pandemic and provides online advice on exercise, mental health, learning and cultural activities.