St Peter’s and Padiham leisure centre doors thrown open to war refugees looking to settle in Burnley.
Free 14-day BLC leisure passes are being offered to refugees coming to Burnley as part of the government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme.
Our free passes will be offered to all Ukrainians arriving in the town after fleeing the Russian invasion of their homeland.
So far, several individuals and some families have taken advantage of the offer, which we are also extending to people on the Afghan Relocation and UK Resettlement schemes – for those who have helped the UK’s war efforts in that country and those deemed vulnerable due to their religion, sexuality and/or gender.
Our Head of Group Operations, Scott Bryce, says:
“The importance of access to facilities such as ours is a good start to help people to integrate, make new friends and look after their health and wellbeing, which is very important given the circumstances and hardships those on these schemes have endured to make a new life in the UK.”
The passes – the first of several schemes we are launching to share out free leisure passes within the borough – can be used at St Peter’s in Burnley and at Padiham Leisure Centre.
Some of the first Ukrainians to take up the offer were given a tour and induction at St Peter’s by BLC’s Health and Fitness Co-ordinator Rebecca Mcdevitt along with a translator.
“One of the ladies and two children were really excited to use the swimming pool, while another lady was used to going to the gym and has been to fitness classes before, so she seemed really interested to get back to working out, and swimming.”
Any UK citizen with a home or spare room can sign up for the Homes for Ukraine scheme if they can offer accommodation for at least six months. Non-British citizens must have leave to remain in the UK for at least six months. Organisations with accommodation available can also register their interest.
Our photograph shows our Health and Fitness Co-ordinator Rebecca Mcdevitt with Maryna Namuilyk, Olena Burava and children Mark (4) and Artem (9).