This project aims to serve communities with low activity levels by utilising dead and non-traditional spaces to provide ways for Londoners to find their way to move more.
The first-of-its-kind activity space, named the ‘CommUNITY Space’, has been turned into a “warm zone” and wellbeing space which provides free activity sessions, warm meals, and support and advice to the local community for the next three months.
The CommUNITY Space was a once-vacant shopping unit which has since been transformed into a wellbeing space which provides a safe and comfortable environment for the local community to be active.
There is a range of free activities on offer including yoga, dance, archery, table tennis, Zumba, boxing, and spin classes, as well as women-only sessions which have been created in consultation with local women and girls.
The CommUNITY Space has receive additional funding from Sport England’s Together Fund, of which over £500k is being distributed by London Sport to grassroots clubs, sporting organisations, local authorities, and charities in London to help address deep-rooted health inequalities worsened by the pandemic and the cost of living crisis. The additional funding will enable more free sessions to be hosted in Lewisham Shopping Centre.
Other resources on offer include, hot refreshments and meals provided by Felix project, a ‘MammaKind’ baby bank supporting children up to 5 years with essential provisions and pop-ups and guest speakers on topics like cost-of-living and nutrition.
The importance of spaces like these has sadly been emphasised by the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and more recently, the cost-of-living crisis.
A recent London Sport report which explored the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on sport and physical activity, showed that over a third of Londoners (38%) are finding the crisis to negatively impact their ability to be active, and that two-thirds of Londoners (66%) have changed their activity habits as costs continue to rise (compared to 46% across the UK).