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The role of culture & leisure in improving health & wellbeing

NLCF logoChief Cultural & Leisure Officers Association (cCLOA) have published a guidance document that aims to help commissioners and providers of culture and leisure services in England understand and engage more effectively and collaboratively with this key agenda. The report has been commissioned through the National Leisure and Culture Forum (NLCF) and has been supported by AD:uk in the provision of some of the case studies.

The guidance aims to improve understanding about the structures, frameworks and outcomes relating to public health and has been welcomed by Public Health England, National Institute of Clinical Excellence, LGA, Sport & Recreation Alliance, Arts Council England, Sport England and CIMSPA.  The document also highlights, through a series of case studies, how culture and leisure can help to tackle unhealthy lifestyles, address the social determinants of health, offer cost effective approaches, bring creative solutions and engage communities, families and individuals in managing their wellbeing.

cCLOA believes that proactively responding to this agenda provides an opportunity for the sector to position itself as a key part of the solution and Iain Varah, Chair of cCLOA said “Our document highlights the importance of collaborating on the health and wellbeing agenda and is the starting point to further reposition leisure and culture in the current financial local government climate. To achieve this, local authorities will need to work closely with their leisure and culture providers, voluntary groups and organisations to support and enable them to welcome people with the poorest chances of good health outcomes.  For some authorities this will mean repositioning their cultural services so that they become more focused and better targeted.  Local authority leisure and cultural services were born out of the 1875 Public Health Act; Victoria Park Hackney, which opened in 1845, and was a direct result of public health concerns and sanitary conditions, as was the first Public baths in 1842 in Fredrick Street Liverpool.  Improving health and wellbeing is a global problem, but it has local solutions and is now back in the responsible hands of local authorities.  We hope this document acts as a mandate for shared action.”

You can download a copy of the guidance at: http://www.cloa.org.uk/images/stories/Print_version_-_The_role_of_culture_and_sport_in_improving_health_and_well-being.pdf