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Exercise Pilots

Volume 406: debated on Tuesday 10 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the scope of the local exercise pilots, due to begin in September 2003. [116889]

The local exercise action pilots (LEAP) programme will evaluate the effectiveness of nine primary care trust led, community pilots across the country, aimed at increasing levels of physical activity in priority groups.Individual pilots will aim to reach a minimum of 50,000 people, including individual target groups of approximately 1,000 people. Each pilot site will receive up to £200,000 funding over three years to develop interventions.The pilots will cover a variety of innovative approaches, ranging from incorporating activity into everyday life to providing structured opportunities in local facilities.While all of the pilots will take place in neighbourhood renewal fund areas, the interventions will take place in a range of locations including urban, rural areas, green spaces, market towns and sport action zones. The key target groups for the interventions are:

  • children and young people;
  • older people;
  • black and ethnic minority groups;
  • people at risk of illness; and
  • people recovering from heart attack or stroke.

In addition, other groups have been identified such as people with diabetes, teenage mothers and people on low incomes.

A national evaluation will, qualitatively and quantitatively, assess the overall effectiveness of the programme and the individual pilots in increasing levels of physical activity.