Free Parkinson’s memberships available for those throughout Dacorum

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Leisure centres across Dacorum are offering free membership to people who are living with Parkinson’s.

Berkhamsted Leisure Centre and Hemel Hempstead Leisure, run by award-winning operator Everyone Active in partnership with Dacorum Borough Council offer the initiative co-designed with the charity Parkinson’s UK.

Nearby Redbourn Leisure Centre is also included in the initiative, which is also managed by Everyone Active in partnership with Redbourn Recreation Centre & Playing Fields Trust.

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Now in its third year, the Everyone Active and Parkinson’s UK free membership provides access to gym, swim and group exercise classes, as well as online Synergy Dance classes.

A group cycling sessionA group cycling session
A group cycling session

A free membership will also be given to up to three carers to provide additional support if needed.

Currently, Everyone Active support 41 individuals in Dacorum and Redbourn with Parkinson’s.

Parkinson’s is the fastest-growing neurological condition in the world and there is currently no cure. It affects around 145,000 people in the UK and there are more than 40 symptoms, from tremor and pain to anxiety.

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Being physically active can play an important role in living well with Parkinson’s. Those living with the condition can find various activities, such as swimming, walking and dance, beneficial in managing their symptoms.

Karen Cottrell was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2022 at the age of 48 and has been utilising the membership at her local Everyone Active centre for a little over a year. She says: “Having a diagnosis for Parkinson’s at such a young age can add not just a physical, but also a mental challenge to your life.

“Having access to a membership so that I can attend exercise classes and the gym not only helps with my socialisation, but also my physical and mental wellbeing.

“Keeping mobile is important when you have Parkinson’s and knowing that I can access leisure facilities for free without worrying about the financial burden is fantastic – it really feels like someone is fighting in my corner and giving me the support that I need.”

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David Tenny, Everyone Active’s general manager, said: “We are immensely proud to be partnering with Parkinson’s UK for the third year running, and truly believe the membership makes a real difference to the lives of those living with the condition and their carers.

“We want to provide a safe and welcoming environment where the whole Parkinson’s community feel supported as they exercise, and are confident we have an activity for all, no matter what your age, ability or fitness level.”

Tom Ingram, corporate partnerships manager at Parkinson’s UK, said: “We’re delighted to partner with Everyone Active, who have very generously offered complimentary membership for people living with Parkinson’s and their carers.

“Being physically active is important for everyone. It supports both physical and mental health and depending on what you choose, can provide social support and interaction, all of which can really help people living with Parkinson’s and those providing informal care.

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“Developing a regular physical activity habit can make a person feel more in control when living with the condition. Quality of life can be enhanced and independence and confidence maintained. We hope that with the support of Everyone Active, the Parkinson’s community can enjoy physical activity and use it to make a real difference to their lives.”

For further information or to join,

Those with underlying health conditions such as heart problems, diabetes or breathing issues should contact their GP before starting any new activity.

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