Parks across Manchester are set to play host to hundreds of fun, free activity sessions as ParkLives returns to the city for a third year.
Delivered by teams from Manchester City Council in partnership with Coca-Cola Great Britain, ParkLives sessions help to bring communities together and improve wellbeing.
Taking place daily in more than 10 parks and green spaces across Manchester including Heaton Park and Alexandra Park, activities will range from family fishing and health walks to lunchtime and buggy bootcamps, and are designed to appeal to everyone, regardless of ability or experience.
The programme has been devised following consultation with local communities within the city, and will see new activities such as Tai Chi and Green Gym Circuits feature on the timetable this spring and summer.
The fun starts this Easter weekend (15th and 16th April) with Easter egg hunts and family fun activities, including arts and crafts, giant garden games and face painting at Heaton Park from 12 to 3pm.
Councillor Luthfur Rahman, Executive Member for Culture and Leisure, Manchester City Council, said: “Thousands of local residents will benefit from ParkLives again this year. It’s a great opportunity for people to enjoy their local parks, meet new people or spend quality time together as a family. Whether that’s learning Tai Chi, enjoying a health walk, or trying your hand at fishing – there’s truly something for everyone.
“ParkLives is great fun, we see a lot of friendship groups forming and plenty of smiling faces after each session, but it also plays a serious role in helping to improve the wellbeing of people across the city.”
Sessions last for around one hour and are hosted by trained, friendly and passionate leaders and volunteers from the local area. Activities are group-based, and everyone can go at their own pace.
Laura Gligan, 33, from Manchester, will be leading health walking sessions at Clayton Vale Park and Alexandra Park over the summer. She said: “ParkLives is for absolutely everyone. I have a mixture of ages and abilities at my walking group, with some participants on the road to recovery from serious illnesses.
“The sessions fit easily around everyone’s schedules and help improve confidence and give people the chance to meet new people. It’s great to see so many of my group having fun and socialising outside of the sessions too.”
ParkLives is part of a £20 million commitment by Coca-Cola Great Britain to invest in community-based programmes.
Now in its fourth year, ParkLives runs in 10 cities nationwide as well as reaching many more locations through a partnership with StreetGames, the long-standing charity partner of Coca-Cola Great Britain that brings sports and activities to the doorsteps of disadvantaged communities across the UK.
Liz Lowe, ParkLives lead at Coca-Cola Great Britain said: “In 2016, we had more than 18,000 attendances in ParkLives sessions in Manchester, so it’s great to see the programme go from strength to strength in this city as more and more people get involved. This is really testament to the fantastic team of local session leaders and volunteers helping people to try new activities make new friends and discover the wonderful green spaces they have on their doorstep. With even more activities on offer this year, and all still completely free of charge, we hope that even more people will join in and spread the word.”
To save a space at a free activity, and check out a postcode-led local activity finder go to www.parklives.com
*Source: ukactive, March 2017