Sign of the times as Glasshoughton toddlers make chatter matter!

Local toddlers from Sing and Sign, the Wakefield baby-music group which meets at the Glasshoughton Centre on Leeds Road, got together for a sponsored singalong for the ICAN charity. Chatterbox Challenge is a sponsored event, encouraging little voices to make a big difference by raising vital funds to support children who struggle to communicate. This year’s ‘Out in the Garden’ theme saw little ones dressing up – some as bumble bees, or little garden animals and enjoying action songs and nursery rhymes to help support the many children in the UK with a communication difficulty.

Although the under twos who attended were too young to ‘chatter’, they joined in with gusto thanks to the phenomenon of “baby signing”. Children’s charity ICAN who run the event invited the support of Sing and Sign, the UK’s leading baby signing classes.

Local Sing and Sign teacher Emma Robertson says, “Babies may be too young to talk but they have lots to say! With baby signing, it’s quite amazing how their communication is encouraged. In Sing and Sign classes we see this every day and it is a real pleasure for parents in our groups to sponsor their own babies communication for this event, and in the process help other children who find communication difficult.”

Parents across the Wakefield region raised a fantastic £385, one of the highest totals across the UK. Sing and Sign raised a staggering total of £8,915.

Call Emma Robertson (Sing and Sign) on 07786 981484 to book a place on Sing and Sign, or the Glasshoughton Centre for more details on 01977 511 234, or email

Disabled circuit training highlight of Craig’s week

Glasshoughton’s circuit sessions with a difference for people with mental and physical disabilities have been so popular, three courses have already run this year with more planned. The group meets on Fridays from 1.30-2.30pm in the Centre’s state of the art half million pound activity studio.

Coalfield-funded sports and active lifestyles development officer Craig Moss explains, “Of all the dozens of programmes I run at the centre, I have to say the people with disabilities circuit session is the highlight of my week. The commitment and passion shown by each of the participants is second to none. When I started looking at ensuring we welcomed every group in the community to use our facilities here, I went out to the care homes to invite residents in for a variety of healthy lifestyle activities. Millennium Care were the first to get involved and we have now held three courses for their residents. The enjoyment, socializing and laughter they bring to each other and the centre is absolutely fantastic. They are here to live life to the full and that’s what we help them do. One of our disabled members who plays on the outdoor multi use games area regularly even went to South Africa to represent his country in the World Cup. You can imagine the excitement that generated.”

Millennium Care activity coordinator John King agrees, “Craig has been running these sessions for us for a year now. His previous experience of working with those who have learning difficulties clearly helps. The group has got used to him, and consistency with our service users who have autism especially, is so important. He’s the kind of guy who bends over backwards to make sure they really enjoy keeping fit, we are seeing significant improvements in the coordination of those who had real difficulties. It’s the little things which are so rare, like remembering their names and what’s happening in their familes that really makes them feel special. He’s even booked onto an autism awareness course, so he can really understand and work with our clients. I can’t say enough good things about Craig and the Glasshoughton Centre.”

Kids get connected to shed the pounds

Connect 3 is a fantastic new fun fitness programme just launched at the Glasshoughton Centre to help children aged 5-16 control their weight.

Centre health and active lifestyle coordinator Craig Moss is delighted by its early success. “We decided to offer Connect 3 in the centre because of our commitment to reaching out to all sections of the community. Children who are finding it hard to control their weight need the top quality instruction and support that this proven programme provides, together with Glasshoughton’s top quality facilities in our state of the art activity studio and outdoor multi use games area.”

Sessions are run by Craig from 4.00pm – 5.00pm on a Monday after school and are already proving very popular.  Children have often been referred by their schools after weight monitoring letters are sent home, doctors or other health professionals, but can also self-refer.

“Just turn up”, says Craig, “We know there are plenty of kids out there who simply don’t want to play football, but do want to lose weight and reap the rewards in terms of new skills, new friends and increased self esteem. We often find children have been bullied over their weight and we know the Connect 3 programme can really make a difference in their lives.”

Darren’s face-book fits at the Glasshougton Centre


They say it’s not what you know, but who – so when Glasshoughton healthy living centre decided to make the most of social media opportunities to connect with their customers, sports and active lifestyles coordinator Craig Moss knew just the man.

“I do a lot of sport and activity work in Knottingley High School” says Craig, and I knew Darren ran the BTEC music course there. He had a background in IT and ran a web design company which had produced a fantastic website for the band he plays in and several local businesses. We needed someone to help us connect with all our tens of  thousands of sports centre users and local families through Facebook and other social media- Darren seemed the ideal choice.” Darren Watson joined the centre staff earlier in the year and works every Friday afternoon, blogging, twittering and ensuring the website is up to date. He has also been sending out the centre’s email newsletters to keep families informed of the vast range of activities available at the centre.

“We have nearly 60,000 people through the door here each year”, says Darren. “It’s a massive job to keep them all involved and updated with everything we’re doing, from car boots to family picnics, the new Zumba dance craze to snow stopping play. I’m very proud of the site and love making sure everyone is fully aware of what over 40 groups meeting here can offer. We’re making sure Glasshoughton is moving with the times- keeping our customers happy and connected in the way they told us they prefer.”

Centre manager Derek Stead agrees, “The recent extreme weather makes it even more important to give customers up to the minute information through news and events. We have a terrific new photo gallery of all our centre’s activities, so folk can see themselves having fun. Our social media strategy is all about helping people get involved- connecting and becoming part of the community- that’s the heart of what Glasshoughton stands for really.”

Future Jobs joy for Chris and Rob at the Glasshoughton Centre

Things are looking up for formerly unemployed local lads, Chris Moules and Rob Sperrin. Both 24-year olds have secured work at the Glasshoughton Centre under the Future Jobs Fund.

Centre manager Derek Stead has been delighted with their valued assistance and progress at the healthy living centre.

“Chris joined our team as an admin assistant back in January to help with the dramatic increase in visitors passing through reception. We noticed the centre getting busier and busier once the word had gone out about the fantastic facilities and number of diverse new groups available in our state of the art activity studio. In fact, visitor numbers have been up over 10,000 to nearly 60,000 in the past year since the facility opened, so Chris has his hands full!”

Chris, a former retail manager whose secret passion is playing in a heavy metal band, was made redundant when his store closed nine months before finding work at the centre. “It was tough to find work during this recession” Chris says. “My advisor put me forward for the job at Glasshoughton and I was delighted to get it- a great Christmas present! It’s given me a sense of purpose and put order back into my day. I had a big slump last summer and got very down. I enjoy being part of the team here and keeping busy and active.”

A hundred and eleven caretakers for the Glasshoughton Centre!

It’s true. When Mick Jacobson retired after six years as centre caretaker, 111 people applied for his job.

Centre Manager Derek Stead explains, “We thought there would be a good response in the current climate, but we were overwhelmed by the number and quality of applicants. We are delighted to welcome Neil Bolland onto the team to continue the high standards our customers have come to expect for the centre to be clean, safe and welcoming.

Like Mick, Neil used to work down the pit at Glasshoughton before he came above ground and found his way to us!”

Neil (48) who has been a keen motorsport participant but now confesses to being a chair watcher, explains, “I’m actually a builder and plasterer by trade for the past twenty years, but had been out of work for 18 months before I got the job at the Glasshoughton Centre. Ironically after all that time I was offered a job with the council the day before, but they agreed to wait till I’d had my interview here. I’m absolutely over the moon to be offered the job at Glasshoughton, there was such a nice atmosphere and I felt so at ease I had to take the job. I’m looking forward to everything, it will be full of variety and I’ll be meeting so many different people.”

A recently-advertised cleaning post attracted 44 applicants, Derek says. “With the support of our funders, we are delighted to be offering these much-needed opportunities to local people. We recognise every team member has an important part to play here. Only this week, we are delighted that the Coalfields Regeneration Trust has agreed to support a brand new post of hospitality and events manager to help us further develop our rapidly expanding events and conferencing business.”

The hospitality and events manager vacancy will be advertised shortly, please contact the centre for details.

To book any kind of meeting, event or conference from 2 to over 200 people in Glasshoughton’s top quality facilities, please contact centre manager Derek Stead on 01977 511234, or via the centre’s website at

First birthday bonanza at the Glasshoughton Centre

May 2010

Glasshoughton’s state of the art half million pound activity studio was opened by Yvette Cooper MP a year ago and is celebrating its first birthday in style.

Manager Derek Stead explains, “2009 has been a great year for the Glasshoughton Centre. We successfully completed our new activity studio extension on time and within budget, and ever since this valuable new facility opened its doors, we have been delighted with growing demand from a wide range of users from dance to drama, circuit training to business training events and conferences for well over 100 people. With over forty active lifestyle groups meeting every week, plus all the business and public sector customers, we are thrilled that we have seen over 50,000 people from the local community enjoy using the centre this year- around 12,000 of them new to the centre.

This much-needed investment from our partners has enabled us to put on a much wider variety of activities than we were able to previously- in particular the dance, drama and fitness classes have taken off. So much so, that we have started classes on Saturdays, early mornings and late into the evening, which we are proud to say opens up the Centre to a much larger new audience of people. With groups for teens, families together, disabled people, children…there really is something for everyone to enjoy at whatever level of fitness and the centre’s main outdoor sports of bowls, cricket and football continue to entertain and attract very many local people.”

Many of the groups are now full and more events are being put on all the time to cater for those on the waiting list. At quieter times in the day, local fitness entrepreneurs can even have a free trial period, with Glasshoughton’s marketing support to get their group up and running profitably. Derek attributes much of Glasshoughton’s success to the regular information flyers distributed direct to the community and the new website which launched the day the studio opened.

“It’s updated weekly with all the news and events, new groups and staff which has been very well received by the ever increasing numbers visiting the site, booking events, telling us what the community would like to see and subscribing to our popular monthly email newsletters for parents of under fives, over fives or sportspeople.”

While many companies have sadly had to shed staff in this tough economic climate, Glasshoughton has been able to buck the trend with the support of coalfield cash to get people more active, more often through the appointment of Craig Moss, the centre’s specialist Sports and Active Lifestyles Officer in the summer of last year and recent recruits, Chris Moules and Darren Watson joining the centre in Admin and IT. Rachel Rayner, Glasshoughton’s award-winning children and families coordinator continues to attract many hundreds of local children to the biggest and best Big lottery funded programme ever seen at the centre, providing a popular and successful range of courses and family learning events from pantomimes to baby massage, music to science and cookery.

Andy Locke, Senior Programme Manager at the Coalfield Regeneration Trust concludes, “The Trust recognises the important role facilities such as the Glasshoughton Centre play in responding to community need. We have invested in the building and in staff and have seen the centre evolve into a 21st Century one stop shop. It is an excellent resource for the people of Glasshoughton and I hope the celebrations continue for many years to come.”

Please call the centre for more details on 01977 51 1234, or email We recommend anyone to check out our website where you can find details of all our groups for fun, fitness and families, plus sign up for regular email newsletters to discover everything that’s happening at the centre.

Free trial period for new activity groups at the Glasshoughton Centre

April 2010

The welcoming period is a new project offering free room rental to local sport and active lifestyle groups from 9am to 4pm, just starting at the Glasshoughton Centre. The centre’s state of the art half million pound fitness studio was opened a year ago this week.

Coalfield-funded sports and active lifestyles development officer Craig Moss explains, “Over the past year, we have been delighted at the response to this fantastic new community facility. From opening our doors last March, we have grown to over twenty groups enjoyed by hundreds of people every week using the studio from 7am to 9pm. From chair exercise to box ‘n’ stretch, street dance to drama, there really is something for everyone and we are having to add extra groups to cope with the increased demand. We are not resting on our laurels however. There are times in the day, what we call our “happy hours”, when we could offer some extra activities. We would love to see more yoga, pilates, tai chi, aerobics and different forms of dance and drama sessions setting up to offer even greater variety to the community.”

Centre manager Derek Stead added, “We do recognize however, that the first few weeks of a group’s life can be financially challenging while leaders build up numbers to make the group viable. That’s why we’re encouraging new sports and active lifestyle group leaders to use the centre to launch their activity in the day between 9am and 4pm. To support these new groups we are offering free room rental for a limited period, plus help with marketing and other benefits such as a webpage on our site advertising the group and our regular email newsletters and flyers to thousands of people in the local community. This could be a fantastic start for someone looking to start a new business or grow an existing one and the centre’s trustees are keen to support that kind of enterprising behaviour in these challenging times. Without coalfield regeneration money for Craig’s post, these kind of opportunities would simply not be available to benefit so many others.”

One such group leader is Carrie Marsh who moved her “Carrie on Fitness” group to the centre when she heard the new studio had opened last March. Carrie enthuses, “Moving to Glasshoughton was the best thing I’ve ever done. My Hips, Bums and Tums class has really taken off. The marketing support through Glasshoughton’s community flyers, website and word of mouth is amazing, every time I take a class a new lady turns up, many of whom have picked up my flyers while attending other groups in the centre like slimming!

I used to hold classes in a hall where I just paid and had no help whatsoever. It was all down to me so I simply sent leaflets out – now I’m already talking to Craig about starting another class straight after school drop off for mums who want to get fit.

The welcoming period I was offered made all the difference to starting my gentle exercise group, which grew from five to fifteen people in only three weeks. It meant I wouldn’t be out of pocket until I started making a profit. I would honestly recommend this service to anyone, like me you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.”

If you feel your business or group could benefit from the welcoming period or would like to book into Carrie’s class, please call Craig Moss for more details on 01977 511234, email craig or check out the classes on the website

Coalfield cash brings World Cup to Knottingley primaries

A taste of the World Cup is coming to Knottingley primaries early, thanks to coalfield funding for the schools work of sports and active lifestyles development officer Craig Moss at the Glasshoughton Centre.

Craig explains, “the coalfield monies allows me to work with all the hundreds of children in Knottingley primaries to improve the quality of PE lessons. I can provide a valued extra pair of hands and fresh ideas to pressured PE teachers who really appreciate our involvement over the past months.”

Craig has been running PE lessons and football coaching for girls and boys mainly 8 and 9 year olds to get them more active, more often as part of the government’s anti-obesity drive. These will culminate in a big Word Cup-style tournament around June. The sessions have been so successful, plans are already underway to roll the project out to Castleford schools.

Lindsay Anfield is the school sport coordinator for Knottingley High School and its seven linked primary schools and is keen to endorse the value of the project. “This has been an exciting initiative helping us meet our PE in school sport targets and I know the heads of all these schools have been really grateful that this Coalfield  Regeneration Trust money has helped encourage all our pupils to be more active. We have definitely seen improvements in the children’s health and fitness already, and I have personally been impressed by the way Craig has got boys and girls of all abilities participating, many of whom had never been interested in taking part in football before. The children I have spoken to have really looked forward to every session as a highlight of their week!
We can only add a big thank you to everyone involved and our hopes that this fantastic project will be rolled out across more sports.”

Please call Craig Moss for more details on 01977 511234, or email craig We recommend anyone to check out our website where you can find details of all our groups for fun, fitness and families, plus sign up for regular email newsletters to discover everything that’s happening at the centre.

New disabled people’s circuit session at the Glasshoughton Centre takes off!

March 2010

The Glasshoughton Centre has always been keen to welcome all members of the community, but its groups have expanded even more recently with the arrival of circuit training session with a difference, for people with physical or mental disabilities. The group meets on Fridays from 1.30-2.30 in the state of the art half million pound activity studio, which was opened exactly a year ago.

Coalfield-funded sports and active lifestyles development officer Craig Moss explains, “we now have dozens of groups meeting in the studio, benefiting hundreds of people each week, but we particularly wanted to welcome disabled members of the community so everyone feels wanted here. We can adapt the circuit so anybody of any ability can join in and benefit in some way. The response has been amazing already. We have twenty people with disabilities attending regularly, and more on a waiting list to start a second group, so please contact me if you are interested.

John King, activity coordinator from Millennium Care whose service users attend Craig’s circuit sessions told us, “It was extremely important to us that the activity and resources team and those individuals we support felt comfortable and relaxed with Craig. He proved highly motivated, enthusiastic and patient to run our circuit training sessions and I would like to thank him for his hard work. We hope we can continue to take advantage of the centre’s facilities and Craig’s obvious rapport with our client group.”

Please call Craig Moss for more details on 01977 511234, or email craig We recommend anyone to check out our website where you can find details of all our groups for fun, fitness and families, plus sign up for regular email newsletters to discover everything that’s happening at the centre.



December 2009

It’s that time of year again…oh yes it is, oh no it isn’t! Panto season is upon us and the Glasshoughton centre still has some tickets left for the amazing Pocket Panto version of Dick Whittington on Monday 21 December from 6.30pm at the centre. Tickets are FREE due to Big Lottery funding, available from Rachel Rayner, the centre’s children and families coordinator.

Rachel says, “We invited Pocket Panto because they produce terrific small scale traditional family pantomimes with large scale production values out in the local community. Using a cast of three talented professional actors, Pocket Panto promise to bring us the whole pantomime experience! With live singing, dancing, slapstick, audience participation and with the emphasis very much on family entertainment, there will be something for everyone- just what we pride ourselves on at the centre.”
To receive our monthly Glasshoughton email newsletter with details of the huge range of fitness and family activities on offer this Winter, sign up by calling the team on 01977 511234, email or via the centre’s website at


December 2009

There are seasonal staff comings and goings at the Glasshoughton Centre in the run up to Christmas.

Local lad Darren Watson, who also works at a sports college and tours nationally with his signed band, has just joined the centre to offer some much needed IT support. Darren will ensure Glasshoughton’s website continues to be a constantly updated source of news and information about all the events and many new courses happening at the centre. He is also responsible for getting out a regular email newsletter to the hundreds of local people and groups who are keen to have all the very latest news and what’s on delivered to their in box!

Sadly, at the same time caretaker Mick Jacobson will be retiring. Centre manager Derek Stead said, “Mick has been the centre’s valued caretaker for the past six years, and has taken on additional voluntary roles as chairman of Glasshoughton Welfare football club and team physio on match days. Mick, a former school caretaker and electrician at Glasshoughton colliery for twenty five years, will be greatly missed by colleagues and customers alike as he retires.”

The caretaker vacancy will be advertised shortly, please contact the centre for details.
To receive the Glasshoughton email newsletter, sign up by calling the team on 01977 511234, or via the centre’s website at


November 2009

This week is Global Entrepreneurship Week with events around the country, and celebrates social enterprise day, when organizations that exist for the benefit of their communities are particularly recognized.

Locally, the Glasshoughton Centre, formerly a miner’s welfare centre and now a leading healthy living centre, will be celebrating by hosting it’s 100th training and conference event since it’s launch by MP Yvette Cooper in March.

Centre manager, Derek Stead explains, “We are delighted to be celebrating this landmark event in social enterprise week. Our directors and staff are committed to developing the centre fully as a social enterprise highly valued by the local community. We have worked with well regarded Leeds-based social business consultants Camberwell, to create a sustainable development strategy which maximizes resources and identifies new opportunities for the future.”

He adds, “The huge growth in conferencing and events has pleasantly surprised us. We are delighted that our superb new facilities are now regularly booked to host events for 40 to 100 people from the public, private and community sector, creating an income which in turn benefits the local community.”

Typical events at the Glasshoughton Centre include Wakefield and District housing department’s tenant events, planning days and staff inductions for the community health services, PCT workshops, family learning courses through the Workers Educational Association and teambuilding football for local employer Costain.

Craig Snow from Costain adds, “We have established and continue to build an excellent working relationship with the Glasshoughton Centre, which gives benefits to both of us. The staff and facilities are spot on. We use the centre for everything from small meetings to large presentations, football and cricket- it’s even part of our travel plan.”
It’s not all business for the social enterprise though! The village group, together with children and families coordinator Rachel Rayner believes there’s no better time of year than Christmas for socialising, and Glasshoughton aims to be right at the heart of the community’s celebrations. With a Christmas fayre, children’s cookery events and panto coming up, there’s a chance for everyone to join in!

To book any event at the Glasshoughton centre, from conferences to parties, or to find out more about all the forthcoming Christmas events, contact the team on 01977 511234, or check out the constantly updated website at


September 2009

Since local MP Yvette Cooper officially opened the superb new half-million pound activity studio, the Glasshoughton Centre has rapidly cemented its reputation as a first class healthy living centre- the area’s “go to” place to get fit, make friends, learn new skills and feel part of the community. The final piece in the jigsaw was the appointment of sports and active lifestyle development officer Craig Moss, to join the centre’s dedicated staff team to get the fitness, family and fun message out there.
A fabulous programme of exciting sporty and active events was planned to run all through the summer holidays- there was only one problem- Craig, a big sport enthusiast who really does practice what he preaches, got a little too active and broke his knee in a rugby match.

“It couldn’t have come at a worse time,” remembers Craig ruefully, “I’d just got settled in, had really got a grip on what our valued centre users and the local community wanted over the summer to help entertain the children and keep the family active and had promoted so many great events, when the accident happened.”

Derek Stead, centre manager at Glasshoughton, takes up the story, “naturally we were both very sorry for Craig and disappointed for our customers, so we immediately set about finding a replacement over the summer. Sadly, sports development workers in the summer at no notice proved impossible to find, even with the council and other partners pulling out all the stops to help us, so we were forced to cancel our programme.” There is a silver lining to this cloud though, as Derek is keen to point out, “Craig’s back to fitness now, and together with our award winning children and families coordinator Rachel, we can assure the community that we have a fantastic programme lined up for the autumn term.”

Rachel explains, “For children and families, we have a super mix of all the old favourites, plus plenty of new activities for the community to try. We are delighted to have secured top trainers in both baby massage and yoga, we’ve started dads and children’s monthly cookery courses due to popular demand, and have all ages catered for from energetic tots to out of school multi sports sessions. Ideal for burning off energy.”

Now he has recovered, Craig will be back pursuing the active lifestyle he encourages others to adopt. He adds, “as well as our full programme of sporting events, our customers can rest assured we also offer much gentler activities like Yoga, bowling and walking! Plus new for the Autumn, I have introduced an all-abilities early morning fitness circuit, gentle exercise workout and Saturday morning fitness classes. There really is something for everyone- just call in or contact us for details.”  01977 511234


May 2009

There’s so much happening at Pontefract’s Glasshoughton healthy living centre this coming week. Fresh from the successful opening by Yvette Cooper MP of their fantastic new facility, a half million pound studio for dance, drama and a wide range of other fitness activities, the centre is going from strength to strength.

Local lad Craig Moss has just been appointed as Glasshoughton’s  new sport and active lifestyle development officer. Craig has been working in a similar role in the Doncaster area and that experience stood him in good stead with the interview panel. Centre Manager Derek Stead says he is delighted Craig is joining the team next week. “We were impressed by Craig’s obvious commitment to implementing some innovative sports and active lifestyle programmes, especially for younger people. The Forum are confident Craig will be quick to develop his role here, quickly making contact with our key partners in the PCT, local council, schools and among our many outstanding teams.”

Craig will also be making stronger links with local businesses as part of a countrywide health strategy to get us all doing our vital thirty minutes of exercise three times a week- so if there are employers out there thinking a spot of TaiChi or Tango is just what their employees need before, during or after work- Craig is your man to fix it up.

Derek adds, “There is truly something for everyone of any age or fitness level available at Glasshoughton- and if we don’t have it running yet, we’ll do our best to source it. You provide the people, we’ll provide the activity!”

Craig, who studied sport and recreational development, with roles since as sports coach in college and sport development in a high school, was most recently a sports and recreation development officer in Doncaster. Craig says he is most looking forward to the fresh new challenge. “It’s an amazing opportunity. Glasshoughton has top class facilities, state of the art new activity studio and a great reputation for serving the community. I wasn’t looking for a move when a friend spotted the job for me, but when I saw it was an exciting new position where I could really make my mark, I had to go for it! I’m particularly looking forward to liaising with all the different groups and encouraging people of all different backgrounds into the gym- especially those who wouldn’t necessarily go to a fitness centre normally, like pensioners and young adults.”
Children and families coordinator Rachel Rayner, is also keen to point out the success of the centre’s new website in reaching the local community. “Local folk may have seen a flyer drop through their doors or in their children’s school bag recently, showing some of the thirty five groups we have meeting at the centre and the terrific comments we receive. We’re getting dozens of hits each day on the site already, with sports groups being the most popular, but all those groups now have their own webpage with photos of their activities and full activity details. Everything going on at the centre is regularly updated on the site, and customers can easily book places for courses and our special events such as the family events and funday coming up 26-28 May. Children and their carers can even meet Craig at the big picnic on Thursday 28th and tell him all the sports activities they would like to see happen at the centre- so come along and meet the team. It really is all go!

The Glasshoughton team can be contacted on 01977 511234, email us through the website or


March 2009

On Friday 27 March, local MP Yvette Cooper will be joined by VIPs from around the area to conduct the official opening of the fantastic new fitness facility just completed at the Glasshoughton Centre. Largely funded by the Coalfields Regeneration Trust and Sport England with additional support from Yorkshire Forward, Keyfund, TEVA and others, this half million pound activity studio is poised to play a major part in enhancing the wellbeing and active lifestyles of local people.

The funding from Sport England represents a further phase in a series of investments by the organisation into sports facilities in Glasshoughton, totalling over £700,000. David Gent, Regional Director of Sport England Yorkshire said,
“We’re so pleased to have supported the new Activity Studio at Glasshougton, which will open up many more opportunities for people to play sport in a really excellent facility.  This is a great chance for people living in Glasshougton to choose what sports and activities they want to do, and see it made possible.”

Helen Thomson, Assistant Director of Economic Inclusion at funders Yorkshire Forward continues, “by supporting the new Activity Studio at Glasshoughton, we are helping to ensure the sustainability of an organisation which will provide a vital service to the local community, enhancing the wellbeing and active lifestyles of local people.”

Already well known for the outstanding range of children’s and families work for which coordinator Rachel Rayner was recognized as Yorkshire Woman of Achievement for Education, the Glasshoughton Centre can now offer a whole new range of activities including dance, drama and fitness courses. A former Miners’ Welfare, the site has been well known for providing outdoor sporting facilities for many years, but the new activity studio is the first purpose-built sports facility within the existing building.

Centre manager Derek Stead commented, “On behalf of the Glasshoughton Community Forum and staff, who run the centre and had the vision and drive to make this project a reality, we are delighted to welcome our distinguished guests on such an important day. We have worked closely with our partners in Wakefield Council and the Primary Care Trust to create this valuable extension to our existing facilities, which will be a huge benefit to the local community. Already we have new dance, drama and fitness classes booked in to provide opportunities for children, teens and adults. Added to our existing wide-ranging sporting facilities, conferencing, events, training and superb children and families provision, we are confident we have an unbeatable offer at an affordable price. In these credit crunch times, we can offer fun and fitness to beat the doom and gloom!”

Derek adds, “We’ve already had local people coming in off the street to see what’s going on and sign up for courses. We aim to make sure we have something for everyone, so if folk want to call or email us with ideas of what they would like to see the centre offer, we will talk to the thirty five groups who operate from here and make it happen. Alternatively, we welcome groups contacting us to make use of our superb facilities to expand their own businesses. There will also be a grand opening for the community at a fun-packed Funday in July, so watch out for details!”

Peter McNestry of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust concludes: “Improving sporting opportunities for people in coalfield communities is an important part of the regeneration process, so the Trust is delighted to have been involved in the development of this new facility, which is a fantastic venue for everyone from toddlers to pensioners. I hope that local residents will continue to enjoy meeting up, keeping fit and making new friends here for many years to come.”

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