Exercise scheme grows to help more people in Portsmouth

Last year charitable social enterprise BH Live, which runs Portsmouth’s sport and leisure centres in partnership with the Council, rolled out a series of weekly exercise classes at Mountbatten Leisure Centre and Pyramids to help improve the lives of people living in the city with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

COPD is a collective term for progressive lung diseases including emphysema, chronic bronchitis and refractory (non-reversible) asthma. It is estimated that 1.2 million people in the UK are living with diagnosed COPD making it the second most common lung disease in the UK. Around 2% of the whole population – 4.5% of all people aged over 40 – live with diagnosed COPD.

BH Live recorded more than 3,200 attendances and participants reported that by taking part in regular physical activity, many of their symptoms were kept under control. They were more physically able to tackle daily activities and experienced many of the social, health and wellbeing benefit associated with regular group exercise.

To meet demand and spread the service further across the city an additional class is launching at Wimbledon Park Sports Centre this month.

Fundraising to purchase equipment for the classes, and arrange specialist training, is supported by Breathe Easy Southsea Support Group. Last year one class participant, alongside the instructor, also took part in the Simplyhealth Great South Run and raised £500 which has been use to back the classes.

Paul Lipscombe, Chairman of Breathe Easy Southsea Support Group explains why it is important the scheme continues to grow. He said:

“We are working with BH Live to create more classes, so the NHS can support more people with COPD to join in with us to have a better quality of life.”

Claire Currie, Public Health Consultant at Portsmouth City Council, adds:

“We’re pleased to see another exercise class for people with COPD launch in the city. For those living with COPD, exercise specifically designed for the condition can help improve breathing and functioning. These groups also connect people who understand what it’s like to have COPD and that peer support is beneficial in helping people manage their condition.”

“The expansion of our activity programme for people living with diagnosed COPD is a fantastic example of community partnership,

says Rob Cunningham, BH Live’s Divisional General Manager.

“By working with the Breathe Easy Southsea Support Group, and in conjunction with our health partners such as the Solent NHS Trust, we are able to run more exercise classes that not only benefits local residents with day to day activities, but in some cases, is a vital lifeline. Living with a long-term health condition, such as COPD, can be very isolating and we hope that by introducing more classes across the city, more people will be able to access them and experience the associated health and wellbeing benefits of regular exercise.”

People who could benefit from the exercise programme should ask to be referred onto the classes by their health practitioner, such as a GP, physiotherapist or COPD nurse, on completion of a NHS pulmonary rehabilitation programme.

The classes are £3 per person to participate. Find out more by contacting BH Live’s exercise referral team at Mountbatten on telephone 02393 200358 or emailing exercisereferralmlc@bhlive.org.uk.


Notes to Editors:

 Source https://statistics.blf.org.uk/copd

Exercise classes for people with COPD run at the following locations:

  • Mountbatten Leisure Centre (Tuesday) from 10-11am
  • Mountbatten Leisure Centre (Friday) from 11-12noon
  • Pyramids (Wednesday) from 1.30-2.30pm
  • Wimbledon (Monday) starts Monday 6 January 2020 from 2-3pm


Class taking place at Mountbatten Leisure Centre

For more information about BH Live please contact:

Elizabeth Symmons, PR & Corporate Communications Executive
E: press.office@bhlive.org.uk
T: (01202) 055562

About BH Live

BH Live is a leading operator of leisure and event venues; a social enterprise that designs and builds engaging experiences to inspire people and enrich lives. For more visit bhlive.org.uk.

Get social with us: LinkedIn, Twitter @BHLIVE_UK and Facebook @SocialEnterpriseBHLive

BH Live operates the following venues in partnership with Portsmouth City Council:

  • Mountbatten Leisure Centre – Portsmouth’s flagship leisure and event venue with a national-class 50m swimming pool, 150 station gym, eight-court sports hall, squash, spin and dance studios, a cycle velodrome, athletics track, function suites with bars, a café and soft play facility. It is also home to a Clip ‘N Climb leisure attraction which opened in 2018.

For more visit bhliveactive.org.uk.

Get social with us: Twitter and Facebook @mountbattenlc

  • Pyramids Centre – one of Portsmouth’s leading entertainment and leisure venues overlooking Southsea beach and the Solent. It has fun pools, flumes, a wave machine and a three-level soft play adventure world. There is also a multipurpose gym, 70+ weekly group exercise classes and a spa.

It also hosts regular live music events, conferences, exhibitions.

For more visit bhliveactive.org.uk and bhlivetickets.co.uk

Get social with us: Twitter @PyramidsCentre @PyramidsLive @bhlivetickets

Facebook @Pyramids.Centre @PyramidsLive @bhlivetickets

  • Portsmouth Gymnastics Centre – state-of-the-art gymnastics hall, physiotherapy room and meeting room.

For more visit bhliveactive.org.uk.

Get social with us: Facebook @PortsmouthGymnasticsCentre

  • Portsmouth Tennis Centre – A 10 court tennis facility in the north of Portsmouth consisting of four indoor courts and six floodlit outdoor courts. A comprehensive tennis coaching programme caters for all ages and abilities and is the area’s hub of accessible tennis. The programme runs sessions for tots, juniors, adults and also includes variations of the sport such as cardio tennis and touch tennis.

For more visit bhliveactive.org.uk.

Get social with us: Twitter @PortsTennis and Facebook @PortsmouthTC

  • Eastney Swimming Pool – 20m swimming pool and a spectator area.

For more visit bhliveactive.org.uk.

Get social with us: Facebook @EastneyPool

  • Wimbledon Park Sports Centre – 20 station gym, five badminton courts, basketball court and sports hall.

For more visit bhliveactive.org.uk.

Get social with us: Facebook @WimbledonParkSportsCentre

  • Charter Community Sports Centre – 20m swimming pool, 20 station gym, sports hall and an outdoor multi-use games area.

For more visit bhliveactive.org.uk.

Get social with us: Facebook @CharterCommunitySC