Better leisure centres, sports facilities, pools and gyms across England and Wales are supporting refugees resettling in England and Wales with a free Better Health Centre (Off-Peak) membership for a fixed six-month period.
The scheme is open to all refugees who have been granted refugee resettlement status in the last 12 months 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 submitting an application in the link below.
Applicants are asked to upload evidence of a Residence Permit with Refugee Settlement status as proof of eligibility for the scheme.
Commenting on the 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 England and Wales 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 England and Wales a positive one.”
Refugee Supported Membership Scheme – Customer FAQs
Who can apply for this membership scheme?
The scheme is open to all refugees who have been granted refugee status in England or Wales in the last 12 months.
For information about how to apply for supported memberships in Belfast, please click here.
Are there any age restrictions?
No, the scheme is open to both adults (16+ years) and children (11-17 years).
What sort of memberships are on offer?
There are two options on offer. For adults (16+ years), a Better Health Centre (off-peak) membership is available for those wishing to use the facilities of their local leisure centre, such as gym, fitness classes, sports facilities and swimming pools.
For children (11-17 years), a Better Health Centre Junior membership is available for youth wishing to enjoy activities including junior gym, junior fitness classes and swimming.
How long does the membership last?
The memberships will last for six 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.
For supported memberships in Belfast, please click here.
How do I apply for this membership?
The application process is simple. Individual refugees can apply by completing an application form here.
What documentation do I need to provide?
You are asked to upload photographic proof of eligibility for the scheme to your application. We will accept a Residence Permit with Refugee Settlement status as proof of eligibility for the scheme.
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 14 days. If incorrect proof is provided, your application will be automatically rejected and you will need to reapply providing correct proof.
I have a further question about the scheme, who can I ask?
You can email: firstname.lastname@example.org or speak to a member of staff at your local Better operated leisure facility.