Fit4Life Cumbria

Phase 1 -  £5889 (1 May 20 - 31 October 20) 

Having re-opened in September 2020 following the initial Covid-19 lockdown only around 20% of usual users returned to the centre due to regulations dictating reduced numbers along with a vast amount of the client base still being encouraged to shield.  This had a significant impact on the organisation financially.

Outgoings were increased due to the need for cleaning products and equipment and with the reduced footfall, meant that the Tackling Inequalities Funding was used to ensure there was a service available for those that were able to and felt confident enough to access.

Early in the initial lockdown Fit4life considered virtual delivery but soon realised that given their target audience it was not going to work. Dougie spent a lot of time creating paper plans and posting them out to clients to offer some sort of support to keeping them active, which received really good feedback from members.

Phase 2 - £8290 (1 August 20 - 31 March 21)

Since re-opening in April 2021 following the third lockdown, Fit4Life saw a significant reduction in the amount of people using the various Fit4Life services compared to pre-Covid times. The attendance rate across all three Fit4Life Centres was down between 50-60% compared to the same period 2 years ago.

This left Fit4Life with a significant monthly deficit, which if not addressed, would have resulted in the closure of this much needed service, which has helped thousands of local people over the last 17 years. Due to the nature of Fit 4 Life’s target audience, namely older people and people with chronic health conditions, the impact of Covid and lockdowns on Fit 4 Life has been unprecedented.

Whilst it was expected that it would take a while to rebuild all the various services back to pre-Covid levels, it was not anticipated to have taken so long. The hope was that after re-opening in April, the number of returning customers would steadily increase throughout the first few months as the vaccine programme was rolled out with numbers being back to pre-Covid levels by now. There was an initial slow but steady increase in people returning but unfortunately this increase has now plateaued with many people stating that with Covid infection rates starting to increase again that they would be too anxious to return at the moment.

A significant number of people who have previously attended Fit4Life for many months and years have stated that they are currently unable to start back at the gym due to a worsening of their conditions during the lockdown periods. This highlights the importance of Fit 4 Life in keeping people fit and mobile and the need to keep the service going in order to prevent more people becoming like this.


Phase 4 £2625  (1 April 22 - 31 March 23)

Most of the care home and residential home settings in Allerdale have seen a marked reduction in physical activity over the last two years, as a result of instructors no longer delivering through the pandemic and not returning, shortage of necessary funds, or shortage of staff time and expertise to deliver internally.

This project will enable Fit4Life Cumbria Limited to deliver physical activity sessions, over the course of ten weeks, in four care home settings – all of which align with one of Active Cumbria’s short- or medium-term priority places and have identified physical activity as something lacking within their current provision.

Each setting has identified a minimum of eight to ten residents who would enjoy and benefit from participation in physical activity sessions, although the sessions will be inclusive of all abilities and have a focus on social interaction and enjoyment to promote wider participation to up to 15 residents per setting.

10 sessions of 60 minutes will be delivered by a Fit4Life instructor including band work, mobility and active games, with a focus on standing and postural stability where applicable, in a communal space within each setting. As well as the obvious physical benefits of the sessions they will also present an opportunity for the residents to engage socially with one another and members of staff. Two members of care home staff will attend each session with the aim of gaining the knowledge, experience and confidence which will enable them to deliver in-house following the funded delivery – as the sessions progress the Fit4Life instructor will encourage the staff to take more of an active role in the delivery of the session to ensure a smooth transition to in-house delivery when the funded sessions cease.