THE charitable company which runs Oldham's leisure centres has been hailed by a political journal for its work breaking down barriers to healthy lifestyles.

Oldham Community Leisure has been highlighted by The 2019 Parliamentary Review, an independent political journal published annually, which allows private and public sector organisations to share and promote their best practice, has a readership of 500,000.

It focuses on how OCL has tackled the town's health challenges and raised participation levels by offering community-based activities and health intervention programmes, such as the falls prevention and exercise referral services.

OCL chief executive and chair of Community Leisure UK, Stuart Lockwood, said: “We are honoured to feature in this year’s Parliamentary Review, showcasing our ongoing commitment to improving health and wellbeing in and around Oldham.

"Our article demonstrates strategies we’ve successfully employed to make sure Oldham residents, particularly in more deprived areas, have access to the tools to build healthier lifestyles.

"Last year, for example, we donated £2,000 towards the set-up costs of Junior Parkrun in Oldham. Around 40 runners now take part and this number grows weekly.

“We’re working together with Oldham Council to improve health and wellbeing among those who need it the most generate a positive wider impact for the town. I strongly believe the trust model is the best vehicle for tackling health problems and inequalities, and hope our story is read widely and inspires others.”