Leisure facilities in Waverley are to offer free membership to people living with Parkinson’s.
Farnham and Haslemere leisure centres, as well as those in Cranleigh and Godalming, will take part in the initiative alongside charity Parkinson’s UK.
The free membership has been announced by Waverley’s new leisure operator Everyone Active and will give access to gym, swim and group exercise classes.
Synergy Dance online classes are also available. Free carer membership will be available, if required.
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.
Being physically active can play an important role in living well with Parkinson’s. People living with the condition find various activities, from walking to dance, beneficial in managing their symptoms.
David Love, Everyone Active area contract manager, said: “We are immensely proud to launch this partnership with Parkinson’s UK in Waverley and hope it will make a real difference to many people’s lives.
“We want to encourage the whole Parkinson’s community to exercise and are confident we have an activity for all, no matter what your age, ability or fitness level.
“Being more active will help members to live well with Parkinson’s, improving their physical fitness and mental wellbeing, as well as having fun.”
Waverley Borough Council portfolio holder for community services, leisure and equality, diversity & inclusion, Councillor Kika Mirylees said: “We are committed to providing opportunities for all people to improve their level of fitness and fully support this fantastic initiative.
"If you are not affected yourself, but know of anyone who would find the complimentary memberships useful, please do let them know as it could have a very positive impact on those residents living with Parkinson’s.”
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.
“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.”