RESIDENTS who struggle to enjoy the facilities at leisure centres due to issues associated with travel can now enjoy a free seat on a community bus thanks to a partnership.

Clacton Leisure Centre and Leisure World Colchester have become more accessible through the partnership between Sport For Confidence, Community 360 and Community Voluntary Services Tendring.

The service collects participants in a mini bus from their home and drops them right outside the leisure centre where they can enjoy a number of inclusive sporting sessions run by a team of Sport for Confidence occupational therapists and sports coaches.

Sophie Garratt, occupational therapist at Sport For Confidence said: “The scheme has been life changing for so many people.

“At Sport For Confidence we are constantly seeking new ways to tackle inequalities that exist in sport.

“We want to help those who face barriers to entry gain access to the many mental, physical and social benefits associated with physical activity.”

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: Helping Hand - Susan Stonard benefits from the new service as Martin drives Helping Hand - Susan Stonard benefits from the new service as Martin drives

Sport for Confidence sessions welcome people with cognitive and physical impairments, creating opportunities for them to take part in meaningful and fulfilling sporting activities.

Sophie added: “Until recently, many people were unable to take advantage of our services because they couldn’t get to the leisure centre due to financial challenges, finances, mobility issues or difficulties with travelling independently.

“This new, free to access, transport service removes these barriers and reduces the risk of social isolation and inactivity.”

On Mondays at Leisure World Colchester, Sport For Confidence runs a ‘Love To Move’ group movement session that helps reduce the risk of cognitive decline.

All participants, many of whom are living with dementia, are making use of the free transport service and see the sessions as a fun way to maintain or improve their health.

Love to Move is now being delivered in Clacton Leisure Centre and the occupational therapists are working with care homes to encourage residents to utilise the free transport to access the group sessions to improve quality of life.

If you are interested in finding out more about the Sport For Confidence programme at Leisure World Colchester or Clacton Leisure Centre visit