Date posted 18 May 2022

Better leisure centres, sports facilities, pools and gyms across the UK have launched a new initiative that offers Ukrainian refugees a free Better Health Centre membership or a lesson or course membership, for a fixed three-month period.

The scheme is open to refugees who were living in the Ukraine prior to January 2022, along with all other International refugees who have been granted refugee or asylum status by the UK Government.

The initiative has been structured to be as simple as possible, recognising the challenges already faced by this vulnerable group.  Individual refugees can apply directly, while family hosts, charities such as RESET, the Red Cross and the Refugee Council and our own in-centre staff can also apply on behalf of a refugee by emailing either E: supported.membership@gll.org to apply for a leisure centre membership or E: supported.lessonandcourse@gll.org to apply for a specific lesson or course programme.  Applications should include the following information:

  1. First Name
  2. Last Name
  3. Date of Birth
  4. Email Address
  5. Phone Number
  6. Gender
  7. Selected Leisure Centre
  8. If applying for lesson or course membership, the name of selected lesson or course

Applicants are also asked to attach proof of eligibility for the scheme to their email.  Better will accept any of the following documents dated within the last 12 months:

  • A letter from the Home Office confirming refugee or asylum status
  • A Ukrainian Family Scheme Visa
  • Proof of application to the UK Government as a Ukrainian refugee

Applicants for the free membership scheme will receive a reply direct to their email address.

Commenting on the new initiative, Joseph Rham Customer Experience Director for Better leisure centres said: “We have all been moved by the plight of Ukraine’s refugees and those from other countries who have found sanctuary in the UK in recent years.  We know the huge benefits that all forms of exercise can have our physical and mental well-being and hope that this initiative will play a small part in making refugees’ experience of life in the UK a positive one.”

Ukrainian Refugee Membership Scheme – Customer FAQs

Who can apply for this membership scheme?

The scheme is open to all Ukrainian refugees and other International refugees, who have applied for refugee status or been granted asylum in the UK.

Are there any age restrictions?

No, the scheme is open to both adults and children.

What sort of memberships are on offer?

There are two options on offer.  Firstly, a Better Health Centre membership for those wishing to use the facilities of their local leisure centre, such as gym, exercise classes, sports facilities and swimming pools.  The second option is a lesson or course membership – for example a course of swimming lessons or a course of tennis or gymnastic lessons.

How long does the membership last?

The memberships will last for three months.

Is the membership free?

Yes, these memberships are totally free.

Which Better leisure facilities are participating in the scheme?

All Better-operated facilities across England and Wales are participating in the scheme, including leisure centres, gyms and swimming pools.

For a full list of our geographic locations visit: https://www.better.org.uk/leisure-centres.

How do I apply for this membership?

The application process is simple. Email either E: supported.membership@gll.org  to apply for a leisure centre membership or E: supported.lessonandcourse@gll.org  to apply for a specific lesson or course programme.  Applications should include the following information:

  1. First Name
  2. Last Name
  3. Date of Birth
  4. Email Address
  5. Phone Number
  6. Gender
  7. Selected Leisure Centre
  8. If applying for lesson or course membership, include the name of your selected lesson or course

What documentation do I need to provide?

You are asked to attach proof of eligibility for the scheme to your email.  Better will accept any of the following documents:

  • A letter from the Home Office confirming refugee or asylum status
  • A Ukrainian Family Scheme Visa
  • Proof of application to the UK Government as a Ukrainian refugee

Can someone apply on my behalf?

Yes, a member of a host family, a refugee charity such as RESET, the Red Cross and the Refugee Council and our own in-centre staff, can also apply on your behalf.

How long will it take before I know whether my application has been successful?

We will respond to applications within three working days.

I have a further question about the scheme, who can I ask?

You can email: supported.membership@gll.org or speak to a member of staff at your local Better operated leisure facility.

 

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