3 July 2022
Signatures: 1,442Next Goal: 1,500
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Why this petition matters

Started by Chris Morris

Meopham Fitness and Leisure has been a important community hub for the last 28 years with funding initially provided by The Lottery, Sports England and Meopham Parish Council for a dual use facility between Meopham Secondary School and the local community.  The Facility  itself is not just a thriving community to its five hundred plus members (paid members via direct debit – which can double with casual users) but the Trust itself also employs around twenty eight local people either on a contracted, self-employed or casual basis. This is in addition to the recreation assistants from Meopham Secondary school itself, part of Swale Academies Trust.

The Facility also provides essential services to many underprivileged children from the local area through its HAF Playscheme, which allows free usage during the school holidays and a free hot meal to those children who need it when the safe school environment is not available.  Among its corporate members is the specialist local Helen Allison School. An affordable agreement allows the Helen Allison School to transport on a weekly basis, thirty pupils with special educational needs to the Facility so they can benefit from its up to date fitness equipment and dedicated and knowledgeable staff.  Closure of the Facility would mean that these local village children would not have access to sport and not benefit from all the positive mental well being associated with it.

Meopham Fitness and Leisure centre is unique to this area. Providing affordable classes such as Gymnastics, Karate, Basketball and Trampolining to in excess of two hundred and twenty children each week and is also widely used by the local groups mentioned below:

-          U3A and Mepara Retirement Groups

-          Meopham Fencing Club

-          Amelia Appleby Performing Arts

-          ANA Therapies 

-          Kondor Badminton 

-          Feathers Badminton Club

-          Gravesend Ranger Football Club

-          Thai Chi Club

-          Affordable Childrens Parties

-          Roller Discos

Meopham Fitness and Leisure Centre provides a safe environment for the village community, both young and old, to keep fit and take care of their mental as well as physical health. Recent reports issued by the Charity MIND stress the importance of regular exercise as a key component in achieving and sustaining good mental wellbeing. The proposed closure of the Facility would have a detrimental impact on the local community.

Meopham is a rural Kent village. Many of the people who live here have been here all their lives. The Facility is ideally located in the village so to make it accessible by foot for many people - both young and old. In an age where government initiatives are focused on improving the environment, reducing carbon emissions it would be counterproductive to enforce the closure of Meopham Fitness and Leisure Centre. By closing the Facility it would force motorists to drive to neighbouring towns and force local young and older residents to be housebound.

Meopham Fitness and Leisure Centre is unique. It has the feel of a family run Facility. It is run by local people and serves the local community. The children of Meopham Secondary School itself use the Facility before school, after school and during their lunch hour. We are currently living in an economic crisis, by enforcing the closure of Meopham Fitness and Leisure Centre which offers an affordable and favourable membership, would mean that many local residents would not be able to access sport and fitness offered at the larger more expensive corporate style gyms located in neighbouring towns.

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Signatures: 1,442Next Goal: 1,500
Support now